B’s Beat: Leave Loui Eriksson Alone
I’ve gotten pretty tired of all of the various fans, radio stations, and media outlets complaining about Loui Eriksson. We get it, Tyler Seguin is having a great year in Dallas right now. We get it, Eriksson hasn’t lit the scoreboard on fire since arriving here.
In short; here is what I hear on a daily basis in regards to #21: “wah wah, piss and moan, Tyler Seguin, wah wah, why don’t we trade this guy? Wah”.
I don’t think people realize that value of having a guy like Eriksson in the lineup. He is a surefire top 6 forward on any team in the NHL, and he’s currently playing on the Bruins’ third line right now. Is that a waste? Nope, that is some pretty outstanding depth. Seriously; do you realize how fortunate the B’s are to have someone of his caliber on the 3rd line? Do people even comprehend how sick that is?
Okay, Loui hasn’t put up the numbers we all thought he would, but there are legitimately good reasons as to why this has happened yet. For starters; Eriksson has suffered two pretty brutal concussions this season. Show me one player who was able to come back from two concussions in a season who has played better than Loui has this season. You will be hard pressed to do so.
Let’s not forget the fact that he completely had his teeth re-arranged in a game earlier this season too. Oh, and let us not forget the fact that he is playing for a completely new team after spending his entire career in Dallas. Those transitions can be hard on players.
Listen; I am not trying to candy coat the fact that his season hasn’t been a masterpiece, and yes this is a professional athlete, but I honestly think people are overlooking his value because of who he was traded for.
In 41 games this season, Loui Eriksson has 7 goals, 16 assists, and a +12. He also has 19 takeaways, he’s 6th among forwards in average shorthanded time on ice per game with 1.19, and 5th among forwards in average powerplay time on ice per game with 1.54.
He also makes a very cap friendly $4.25 per season, and he’s locked up for 2 more seasons after this one.
To me, Loui Eriksson is always going to be one of those under-appreciated guys. A good example of this would be Michael Ryder. Ryder was such a huge playoff performer and always came up big when it mattered most. No one really appreciated him though until he left. I believe Loui will follow a similar path, because he also has a very underrated defensive game too. I would argue that his stick positioning is third only to Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. If you think I’m crazy, look out for it in his next game.
Eriksson has also begun to find his game lately playing with Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly. In this writer’s humble opinion; these guys might be evolving into the league’s best third line. The Swedish connection between the Yeti and Loui has really ignited each other’s games as both have enjoyed big success as of late. #21 has 5 points in his last 5 games with 1 goal, 4 assists, and a +3 in that span. He also gained a wealth of confidence from playing very well for Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
He may not be having the season of a lifetime, but I have a feeling Loui Eriksson is going to come up big in the playoffs. He is simply too good not to, and he’s got so much more to give.
You can follow me on Twitter here (Don’t be afraid to tweet me! I will always get back to you when I get the chance!): @Mattjacob64