The first of the grinders to make our list, Darroll Powe is a guy that came in with tempered expectations. IN the past, Wild fans look at a new signing and dream of big things. A grinder coming in is always going to score 20 goals, all while keeping Daniel Sedin to one SOG and no points all season. With this signing, it seems that Wild fans knew what they were getting, and got it.
No one expected Powe to come in and lead the team in points. He was touted as a guy who would play on the PK, hit hard, and make it a tough night for the top lines. By all accounts, he did that more often than he didn't. The lack of success of the team is tough to pin on the guys who do the tough work. It's not Powe's job to score goals, so when the team loses 2-1, he still did his job, even if the team didn't.
Grinders get grades, just like everyone else. What does Darroll Powe's report card look like? After the jump.
#14 / Center / Minnesota Wild
Jun 22, 1985
|2011 - Darroll Powe||82||6||7||13||-20||57||0||0||1||109|
Nathan - With Darroll Powe, we were expecting someone who could come in, play tough minutes against top scoring lines and provide a physical presence. He's not flashy. He's not supposed to be a difference maker. He's a warm body, serviceable to slow down the opposition. Any offense above 5 goals and 10 assists would be unexpected. Powe did exactly what was expected.
Bryan - Tough to knock Powe. Sure, he's a -20, but his job is to be a minus. He plays the hard minutes, up against the top lines from the other team. The 13 points he put up are icing on the cake. Now, Powe certainly could have done a better job, as could every player on the team. But when a guy is hired to play third and fourth line minutes, does so, and even plays up from time to time? You can't help but like the guys that play this type of game.
Was he effective? In his own way, sure. Is he a game changer? Not in the slightest.
Jesse - It's always a little tougher to grade a guy who gets 4th line minutes and some PK time. Powe is no exception. While I don't expect Powe to chip in on the offense on a regular basis, I do expect him to be tough to play against, and he wasn't really that tough on the competition. He delivered fewer registered hits with a home rink that is known around the league to be a little more loose with the subjective category, so that's not working too well in his favor. For a defensive player, he does need to get back to his physical level that he had in Philadelphia. The MASSIVE drop in shooting percentage is also fairly alarming. As I said before, I don't expect 20 goals from Powe, but only scoring 6 goals on 109 shots seems low for a professional hockey player that's not primarily an enforcer. The only thing that kept Powe's grade from being lower in my book was the fact that he had a very sizable jump in blocked shots this year.
JS - His first impression wasn't a very good one: Questionable hit in the pre-season, unimpressive play early on, zero production, but once he got more comfortable, he ended up being what we hoped he would be: Good energy guy, rock on the PK (led the team in PK time), 2nd on the team in hits and first among forwards in blocked shots. He also found a way to chip in offensively once in a while. Fun fact: He had 2 points at home and 11 points away. Huh. I honestly didn't like him at all at first, but he grew on me. I think the PBJ line (Powe-Brodziak-Johnson) should be reunited next season, as it seems they were at their best with that combo.