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SCOC Midseason Report Card: Tim Schaller

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Consistent defensive responsibility is hard to come by on Boston’s lineup. Thankfully, one player sticks out for it.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Evaluation:

Merrimack, NH’s most famous resident (and he will continue to be referred to as such until I am proven otherwise) has played predominantly in Boston’s depth, was picked up on a low-risk, one year deal. And since then he’s been just that. A low-risk, occasionally high reward player on the third and 4th line for a good portion of the year, until injuries occasionally forced him to play in the top six, of which he was...less than adequate.

It’s not that he’s a bad player. By no means. There are few players on Boston right now who can disrupt plays and get chances on goaltenders like Schaller does. It’s just that nearly every shot he’s taken has been a super-safe, low danger chance that typically puts a damper on any opportunity Boston gets from a play he makes. Creates faceoffs, gets the scorers on the ice. Which works when you’re playing on the third or fourth line, not so much on the second.

Which is a shame, because he can seriously forecheck and cause havoc amongst the opposing team’s boards like nobody’s business. Especially when paired with players like Riley Nash.

And when he’s on his game?

He’s on his game.

One big slight against him that’s been discouraging is that Schaller’s possession metrics have kind of taken a downturn into some of the least-good on the team. Granted, Boston is still the best at having the puck forever-and-ever in the NHL right now so he’s still at or over 50% in CF%, so hopefully this is just a down trend and the stronger play Boston has exhibited over the past week will pull him back into range.

Grade: B-

He’s a perfectly good depth winger. Not much else you can ask of the guy. He’s done exactly what has been expected of him over 46 games, even when it meant playing a little above his pay-grade. Boston is definitely luckier for having him.

Stats:

Games Played: 46

Goals: 6

Assists: 7

Points: 13

Shooting-%: 6.32%

Season CF% as of 1/27/17: 50.10%

OwnThePuck Visual: