What’s Wrong with Kabs?

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    90

    Written by Wook

    Unlike many veterans who were forced to pack their bags after many consecutive years of dismal play coupled to lack of passion, people tend to turn a blind eye when it comes to Tomas Kaberle.

    Some people believe that Kaberle started playing poorly only after the Olympics. He must be tired right? Maybe he is having a hard time adjusting to all the new players.

    Let’s have a closer look at the numbers throughout the entire season.

    .. GP G .A .P +/-
    1) 77 7 42 49 -16
    2) 32 2 29 31 -5
    3) 45 5 13 18 -11
    4) 24 3 09 12 -5
    5) 21 2 04 06 -6
    6) 15 1 02 03 -5

    Key:
    1) Entire season
    2) First 32 games of season
    3) Last 45 games of season
    4) 24 games before the Phaneuf trade
    5) 21 games since the Phaneuf trade
    6) 15 games since the dawning of the new Leafs

    Facts:
    1) Kaberle was playing like an elite offensive defenseman until mid-December (still a minus player)
    2) In contrary to popular belief, Kaberle has been playing like a below average offensive defenseman since LONG before the olympics (i.e. much greater than half of the season)
    3) Kaberle’s production went further down after the acquisition of Phaneuf
    4) Kaberle’s production has been laughable as a member of the new squad

    As an offensive defenseman, he really has not been very offensive for the majority of the season. He continues to be on the ice when the opposition scores, and he no longer produces at the offensive end.

    With the exception of the game against the Rangers (where he scored that offensively gifted goal), Kaberle has not made much tangible contributions during the 9-4-2 stretch (points in just two games) following the trade deadline. Actually, I take that back, he was -9 in those 6 losses. I boldly state that, based on stats alone, had Finger or Exelby replaced Kaberle during those 6 games, we would most likely be outside the lottery position.

    It is entirely possible that he will magically turn things around next season when he is in a different uniform.

    Maybe he is just tired and getting old. Maybe the overwhelming youth and committed forechecking upfront negates the need for those long stretch passes to score. Maybe other defensemen on the Leafs can make those less frequent stretch passes. Maybe that “A” on his jersey is weighing him down. Maybe he misses his now outcast friends. Maybe Kabby is a sad and depressed man.