MID TERM GRADES
Beat reporter covering a team assigns mid-term grades to players and coaches after the game that represents the mid-point of a season.
Like we really should be the ones holding the red pens.
To be honest, I've never liked the concept, and have tried avoiding it in the past, or at least tried to put a sarcastic spin on the process to make it different.
All previous attempts have failed.
so, now I have just decided to conform, but do so in a much more efficient manner.
See, when we printed it in the newspaper, we had to fill a certain amount of space, so we had to really sell our grades to the readers, which made the project all the more loathsome.
But, I decided to put it on the blog instead. That way I can keep it simple and not have to really make this whole farcical process worse than it has to be.
So, without further delay: My mid-term grades. I'm sure you could convince me to change them if you disagree: (players listed in numerical order)
Oskars Bartulis - C - Not sure it would be higher if he had played more.
Braydon Coburn - B+ - Got off to a really good start then leveled off - still, a solid defenseman.
Sean O'Donnell - B - Would be higher, but he tapered off after being separated from Andrej Meszaros.
Blair Betts - B- - Not as good in the faceoff circle as last year, and not as dominant on the PK without Ian Laperriere as his partner.
Daniel Carcillo - C - Not really a Laviolette type player. Doesn't really have a role.
Andreas Nodl - A - Maybe the most pleasant surprise on the roster this season.
Jeff Carter - B+ - Just wish he wouldn't go in spurts. If he was more consistent, he'd be an A.
Mike Richards - A - Certainly the Flyers most valuable player even if he hasn't been the first half MVP (read that a couple times, it will eventually make sense to you).
Scott Hartnell - B+ - and he gets the additional most improved player award.
Chris Pronger - B - Was slowed by injury early, made a nice comeback - now hurt again. Should be an A by year's end.
James van Riemsdyk - B - He was an F through mid-November, so this tells you how far he's come.
Ville Leino - B+ - I think everyone from me to the coaches to his linemates to the fans wish he'd shoot more... still, a beast with the puck and a heck of a playmaker.
Matt Carle - B - Not as strong as last season, but hasn't had a healthy Pronger next to him all season either.
Claude Giroux - B+ - Tapered off a little lately, but has had an offensive breakout season.
Brian Boucher - A - In my mind anyway, has been the first-half co-MVP. He has the mental makeup to carry it through the rest of the season too.
Sergei Bobrovsky - A- - For adapting as quickly as he has, he's been an A+, but he also has fallen off a tad too. But, with Boosh rolling, he doesn't need to be perfect.
Darroll Powe - B - Has filled in admirably for Laperriere on the PK.
Andrej Meszaros - A - Holmgren's best move of the offseason. The guy has been a superb, all-around defenseman.
Kimmo Timonen - A- - The guy who keeps the defense together and the quiet leader in the locker room. Underrated star on this team.
Jody Shelley - B- - Has played his role well... and a great guy in the locker room.
Danny Briere - A - The other co-MVP with Boucher. Nice to see him finally having the kind of year so many people expected him to have in Philly - including Briere himself.
Nik Zherdev - C - The guy can score. He's an offensive whiz. He does nothing else and frustrates the organization in the process.
Peter Laviolette - A - Has to be the early leader in the race for the Jack Adams Award, no?