Once again, Gary hits several points on the head with Bruno. He is definitely a fan favorite, and I can undoubtedly say that I like him. He has a great personality, and is definitely a great voice for the organization.
As someone who cannot physically play the game of hockey, I am not one who feels comfortable criticizing a player on the basis of his performance or overall play. I can’t step out on the ice to do their job, so I never feel comfortable “picking” on a guy or trying to state what I think is “wrong” with their game.
Still, as a fan of the game and someone who has followed the NHL for some 30 plus years, I feel that I can make some generalized observations. I am, by far, no expert on any given topic, but I have never denied behind opinionated nor being afraid of voicing those opinions.
A combination of injuries and healthy scratches limited Bruno to 53 total games played. In those games, he had 6 assists and was a minus 14 overall. Frankly, not overly impressive stats.
As Gary pointed out, there are times in which Gervais makes great plays, does all the right things, and steps up as a guy who deserves to be among the six back liners on any given night. At times, he plays a solid and tough physical game as well. I can even recall a game in which he jumped to the defense of Frans Nielsen after Nielsen took a late hit, and though Bruno ended up getting his jaw broken, it still was a demonstration of a good “team guy”.
Unfortunately, though, there were also many instances where Gervais looked a little lost and defensively sloppy out there. He is, without a doubt, a good skater, yet he was positionally weak and simply made bad choices with his passes and his plays on some nights. Just as he did the “little things” quite well at times, in other cases, he just seemed to do those same things incorrectly. When he was good, he was Good, but when he was bad, he was … Bad.
Like Gary, I’d have to give him a C rating for his overall play. The potential is truly there, and I very much have liked what he has brought to the team at times. It’s just that his consistency simply has not been present in his game. To me, consistency is plainly an important factor to a team’s play and the individual’s contributions to that play. Bruno has to bring his A-game a lot more often and show the skill and experience he clearly possesses.
The question, though, will be if management feels that he has a place on the roster next season. If we have a healthy defense, Gervais simply does not fit in the top 6 of the core. At least, in order for him to earn that role, he is going to have to “bring the thunder” to his game in training camp. That is, of course, if Mr. Snow signs him again in the off season. Again, I like the guy, and I personally would like Bruno to be an Islander come the fall and show us the talent he has on a nightly basis.
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