I hate to be all Mundater about this, but I worry I (we) have been so anxiously squinting into the crystal ball to see the brilliant Dutchy future we all await, we may be failing to realistically assess his role and the decision to keep him up last year.
I realize my rotten tomato collection is about to go way up and that some of those tomatoes will contain rocks with the words "Calder candidate" hastily scrawled on them. I realize too that he is only 19 and that he nailed a lot of posts last year. But I also think he is displaying some tendencies that I hoped would go away by now and I'm concerned that my (our) desire for a Sakic surrogate has caused us to too quickly and unfairly anoint one that isn't and won't be up to task.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit his fist pump at getting passed over in the second round of the draft made me love him instantly and that because of this he is the only person on the planet my daughter has standing permission to marry.
I'd like to point out that part of my concern weighs the maturity comment from the roundtable with Stasny, Gali, and Stewy as well as the thought that by keeping him up we opted to take immature years now instead of more mature years later. Thus he will be eligible for free agency sooner than had we waited.
Now to the tomato gathering process:
1) defensemen don't seem to fear him much. They easily work him toward the boards for an outside shot most of the time.
2) too often his shot doesn't seem to be hard enough to get by NHL goaltenders
3, 4, 5, and 6) he stickhandles, and stickhandles, and stickhandles, and stickandles some more. Often. And often he yields ground, position, or the speed of a rush in the process and ends up in the corner fighting to maintain possession. Seems like he wants to score pretty all the time and dangles and dawdles until the solid chance fades into a longshot or less. I see this same thing at a slower, smaller level during my sons squirt games.
7) Blasphemous though it is, the other night I thought Tavares looked more like the wise investment that will pay respectable dividends and Duchene looked like that really sexy investment that has a reasonable chance of making you rich, but just might hand you back less than put into it.
So can I trouble anyone to help talk me down from the ledge, because my faith in the poster boy (not surprisingly, a poster of Duchene was unavailable midseason at the Pepsi Center last year) looks like it's still a few years premature and my Dutchy Koolaid is starting to taste more and more like water.
Since I have mixed some serious metaphors already, I'll put it non-simply: please throw some rotten tomatoes at my negativity so that my Koolaid inexplicably tastes better and the startling and stinging of the tomato juice in my eyes somehow makes me less likely to fall off of the ledge.