I can’t take it anymore. It’s bad enough to have to deal with a terrible player who the coach plays favorites with, but now I have to deal with people jumping on the Michel Ouellet apologist bandwagon. Enough already!
Ouellet has been given every opportunity to succeed by Therrien yet what has he accomplished? 11 even strength goals playing with Malkin all year? Pathetic. Erik Christensen was misused most his time on the club, yet accomplished just as much in points. The difference was he wasn’t always reliant on the other players; he could create things himself. Ouellet is incapable of that.
Some say he had a good playoff. I’m sorry, setting up one goal does not make for a good series. You never heard his name the rest of the time. Why? Because he was never in the picture for the announcers to call his name. Why was that? Because he was too slow to keep up with the Senators, looking like a kid trying to play with adults.
People say Ouellet is responsible defensively and a good fore checker. Well if you consider doing nothing on either to be good than by all means he fits that description. He is too slow to apply any pressure when fore checking, and in his own zone he just runs around trying to get the puck, not covering his guys or breaking up passes. How many times did we here “good fore check by Ouellet” or “great breakup by Ouellet”? Answer: zero, because he didn’t do either.
One thing I keep seeing is “he did well with his skill set.” This is such an utter bullshit excuse. Never has anyone else had this said about them. When Brian Holzinger sucked, did we justify it this way? How about Ian Moran? Eight years of terrorizing our blue line and this was never said about him. What about the Hans Jonssons, Alex Hicks and Jeff Daniels we had? No? How come? They played well within their skill set! Yet this reasoning has been applied only towards Michel Ouellet. What has he done to deserve exemption that the others haven’t? (Scoring 19 goals while leaching does not count because you aren’t really doing anything but holding your stick out).
I see people giving grades to players for the year and giving Ouellet one in the B range. ??? Huh? Are you kidding me?! Let’s look at the thing Ouellet can do:
Sit on the side of the net and wait for the puck
Throw one or two weak hits a game
Score while stopped
Now compare to the things he can't do:
Get past defenders either by going around or through them
Show anything akin to agility
Skate faster than Georges Laraque
Keep up with his line mates
Take a shot that comes within a few feet of the net while moving
Do anything while moving
Take ill-timed penalties because he is standing still and watching the other players go by
Play physical (physical play is Gary Roberts, not one or two weak hits a game)
Control the puck with his stick
Take advantage of odd man rushes
As you can see, the things he cannot do are significantly greater than the things he can.
To be honest, I think people have come to dislike him so much they have become apathetic to towards him. Instead of saying “he sucks they need tog et rid of him” it’s now “well he plays within his skills and isn’t completely awful” What is this, some new age hippy bullshit? Is this some pathetic form of positive reinforcement to hope he gets better? Is it some horribly wrong way of dealing with the fact you don’t like him as a player?
People keep saying he improved over the year. Yes, he did, but improvement is relative. This guy didn’t go from waiver wire to all star like Briere or St. Louis. He went from “god awful” to “just plain bad.” So when you’re still terrible such improvement means little to nothing.
So enough of this “Ouellet is good” crap because it’s just not true. He continually dragged down any line mates he was paired with, always ruining offensive chances with his lack of skating and stick skills. I’m not in the habit of jumping on the bandwagon or carry a “what have you done with me lately” mentality. I stick to my assessment that he is not a good hockey player.