Arnason hasn't sucked balls lately

Listen. We all know how I feel about Tyler Arnason this season. At the beginning of the year he was truly awful and deserved to be benched.

But you know the last few games he hasn't played like the suckiest suck who ever sucked. Actually he's been *gulp* a valuable member of the Avs. In his last 8 games Arnason has 6 points (all assists). He also has 15 shots on goal, 9 of which have come in the last 3 games. He also hasn't looked completely lost on the ice in every game and I've seen him actually work hard and be ok on the forecheck a couple times.

I don't think it's any coincidence that he has been better since being reunited with Wolski and Svatos on the new second line. For some reason those three seem to click and have provided the Avs with a pretty decent second line that is taking some of the pressure off of the Hejduk-Stastny-Smytty line.

In fact lately Arnason has been outperforming TJ Hensik, who has looked a little lost on the ice. We're all still waiting for that light to click on Hensik and him to grab the reigns but he has been pretty inconsistent. He needs to have solid games every night and it's discouraging to see him essentially benched the other night against Vancouver.

I think part of Arnason's ... ummm... resurgence (can i call it that, I don't think so. maybe just surgence since you have to be surgent to resurge right?) is that he's finally cast with linemates that compliment his limited skill set. Arnason was woefully miscast playing with wingers like Darcy Tucker, David Jones, and the Cody Mc's. But having Wolski and Svats machine has been a boost to all three's play. At times this season Wolski seems unsure of his role on the ice. When playing with David Jones or Darcy Tucker he seemed to be willing to let them do some of the dirty work of crashing the net and do the forechecking. When he plays with Arnason and Svatos he knows that he is the guy responsible for that role, and it has helped him play really well.

If nothing else this decent play has possibly given Arnason some trade value, but right now, with the avs down to bare bones at the forward position, Arnason playing ok has helped the Avs
play respectable hockey.

2 comments:

  1. It's absolutely true, Arny has played well lately. As I've said on hf (and been soundly ridiculed for, despite it's truth), he's also been a much better defender all season long, even before this offensive surge.

    what's helping this team too is the lack of Tucker and (dare I say) Sakic. Both were huge defensive liabilities, and their replacements in the lineup have been working harder.

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  2. Sakic being injured, in my opinion, doesn't benefit the team, well actually, it kind of does.

    As you said, with the second line center spot open, Arnason can now play with skilled players who complement him.

    Of course, that gets to the core of the problem. After Sakic retires, we all know we want Stastny and probably Hensick as our top two centers.

    Arnason needs to be traded while his value is slightly above sea level. He's not a third line center. It's not a criticism on how he's playing, but no matter how well he's doing now, he will eventually be that crappy third line center again.

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