What I’m about to say and talk about seems extremely unfair for a player who had a rough 2018-19. He had a nasty shoulder injury he was playing with that limited his effectiveness, and injuries like that can seriously mess with a player’s natural instincts as they try to block shots and find pucks while also trying not to re-injure themselves.
Unfortunately I do not come to stick up for John Moore’s season; I instead come to bury it. To insist your eyes lie to you constantly, and that his contract money could be better spent on someone else.
Because a shoulder injury was, in my estimation, probably third on the list of problems John Moore brought to the bottom pairing.
But to be fair, I will start with the good stuff; Moore had a great first impression.
In his first ten games, the injury bug gave Moore the opportunity, and it appeared that the Bruins system had yet again found a way to take a player that had been part of a middling team and make them the best version of themselves. Moore’s skating speed was paramount to his best feature as a defender; keeping up with players trying to enter the zone unimpeded, and usually he was pretty good at cutting down a dangerous chance to a merely routine chance for the Goalies to make every so often. His shot was also pretty solid as well!
And that’s where the positives for John Moore end. Because once we got used to him, midnight struck, and the John Moore from the Devils came back and that guy? That guy had but one big negative against him.
He was just trash in his own end.
John Moore’s on-ice positioning for the most part could best be described as “Peripheral”...or “Float-y”. In which John would usually start where he was supposed to be, but he never quite figured out how to stay there. Always committing too early or too late to a check or to a player, or choosing two or more players to defend while leaving his side of the ice a gaping chasm right in front of his goaltender.
His decision-making is also kinda...off. John’s decisionmaking was like many players in depth roles; do the smart thing, try not to make things worse, safe plays only. Problem is...John Moore would try and make the safe play to a fault, where sometimes it wasn’t the smart play.
I said this in a post before the offseason began in earnest, but I, a layman, should not be able to notice a defensive player’s positioning being off on an NHL team. I just shouldn’t. High School? Yeah sure they’re just teens. College? there’s usually somebody whose a little slow at skating. NHL? Absolutely not. Torey Krug was in position more than he was. Kevan Miller was better at keeping his goalie safe, and he didn’t even play half the year!
In short, there’s been a lot. And not a whole lot of it good. Which sucks! Because John Moore is a really nice guy! John Moore’s family is really nice and are great people! They don’t deserve this! I don’t want to be mean about this!
In the Playoffs:
He certainly contributed.
Part of that was his shoulder injury, which was so bad that according to some he was having trouble moving his arm above his head. But another was...and I’m sorry to say...
He just wasn’t needed as much as other players.
To his credit, he played over half of the Toronto and St. Louis series’, and had a hand in the Carolina series, but for most of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Finals, there were players that did what he did except way better, and the team did better because of it.
Player Aggregated Rating: 2.4/10
Let’s hope this was a bad year due to injury because if this is the level of player that’s kept guys like Vaakanainen and Clifton down in Providence, then someone needs their heads checked.