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What do you expect from: #28 Zemgus Girgensons?


dudacek
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Zemgus Girgensons  

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  1. 1. Which of these best describes what you think the Sabres will get from Girgensons this year?

    • He's going to surprise people with his leadership and best two-way season, making people wonder he wasn't made the 3C long ago
    • He's been a JAG for years now, he'll meet expectations, but what you see is what you get
    • He won't come back well from his injury and will follow in the footsteps of Cody Eakin


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Jim Schoenfeld played nine seasons as a Buffalo Sabre. So did Larry Playfair. Rene Robert played eight. Danny Gare played seven.

Counting last year, which he missed entirely with a hamstring injury, Zemgus Girgensons is about to join some rarified company by entering his ninth season in blue and gold, making him far and away the current team's elder statesman.

Drafted in the first round of the 2012, Girgensons became a fan favourite during the tank, sacrificing his body regularly and piling up 15 goals in 30 points in just 61 games as a 20-year-old. Some fans pictured that as a teaser for the budding 2C power forward to come.

It never happened.

Zemgus never again approached that kind of production, settling in instead as a bottom-six forechecking winger and penalty killer for a series of bad Sabres teams .

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=130896

Coming off the second-best goal-scoring year of his career and a burgeoning resume in a shutdown role, Girgensons blew out his hamstring in training camp last year and missed the entire campaign.

He begins this year penciled back in at centre ice for the first time in a long time, and will likely be facing some tough matchups.

What do you expect from Girgensons this season?

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I honestly have no idea. 

He is signed for 2 years so he could easily coast (why work up a sweat on a total tank team?) and he might be tentative after the injury, but he might also be basically what he was. I doubt he has any more than what we've already seen.

Next year he plays for a contract, maybe his last decent one, so I'd suspect next year he gives it his all, whatever that is.  

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Expect he'll suck it up & be the 4th line C, but really hoping they find a better answer than him in that 'keep Eakin off the ice under all circumstances' role as his true niche is checking line LW.

Don't see him scoring a lot as that line will face some heavy usage trying to protect the Mittelstadt & Cozens lines to a certain degree.

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I think he'll be surprisingly good this year due to his likely elevated role. Unlike most players who might get depressed due to losing; I highly doubt it actually effects him. He comes from Latvia, where winning is a rarity in international play. For him, what matters is if he gives his all every game and doesn't cost us a game.

He's always been a hard worker, and guy with some skill that has never truly put it all together but I could certainly see him hitting 15 goals again. He's never been a playmaker but between his above average speed and adequate hands; he should be able to score somewhere between 10 and 20 goals.

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