Elijah Roberts

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Elijah Roberts

Postby Overager on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:27 am

Recently I was in a discussion with another Ranger fan and the play of Roberts came up. We both agreed that he is a great skater with excellent speed but my friend was critical of Roberts tendency to almost always skate to the outside as opposed to moving up the middle.This results in him trying to make a play from a low percentage area. We discussed how much Roberts has progressed since last year.I would be interested in the opinion of others.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby wrister on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:04 am

That perimeter play has existed since the Spott days and just keeps being promoted by the constant turnover of coaches from within. If Robert`s had an opportunity to work with a really good coach of defencemen I think you`d see him really improve. Is Barnaby the current defensive coach, if so enough said.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Taychuck on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:59 am

IMO Roberts has not improved considering the ice time he got last year as a rookie and again this year. I'm not sure why the coaching staff are so loyal to him and I don't necessarily believe that someone other than Barnaby would do any better with him. I would be dressing Petersen in his place so that he can acquire some much needed experience; not to mention the size differential between the 2 of them. Roberts does skate up the boards which you'll get from a smaller player and he will get clocked if he doesn't. He usually does absolutely nothing with the puck when he does this; he doesn't seem to be able to get a pass through to someone coming down the middle and the rush is wasted because he's already on a route on the outside and the opposition keeps him there too.

I'm not sure that defense is Roberts' position; he can't handle big bodies in front of the net and loses battles on the boards. He still does silly things with the puck in our end without looking to see if a Ranger is there....this has improved though from last year. While I would like to consider moving him to forward, who sits? He also would have to improve his on ice vision, like Mascherin & Bracco have. We have to play Schiemenz to see if he can play in the league; so far I'd say "no". Again, very undersized but he's young and will maybe bulk up a bit more over the summer. Will it be too late for him though to stay with the team? I've seen some improvement with him when he has the puck though as he's had a bit more ice time.

Speaking of Mascherin, does anyone think he's a better all round player without Bracco? I'm not talking from a physical standpoint...he doesn't like to go into the corners and mix it up (especially with an upper body injury) but I think he's a lot more defensively minded now.

Our defense is in big trouble when we lose Hora and Di Perna next year. If Hall and Blaisdell are healthy we'll be better off but Hall has had shoulder problems last year and again this year. Blaisdell is injury prone and can't be depended on to be in the line-up all season. I'd be trading or trying to acquire a big, tough d-man to help these two.

It's like this year; while Hora & Di Perna have had a lot of minutes and generally, their surrounding cast has been OK, how much are they going to have left in the playoffs where you play a lot of games close together against any and every team in the West that are bigger and tougher? They're not going to last long in a series where you get ground down with hits. When they take penalties it's one of 2 things: fatigue or that's the only way they'll ever get a rest as it seems like they're on the ice all the time. I know that's not true but that's what it sure seems like!

I'm pleased with Vallati and Gentles, but again, I hope they don't take a step back like Roberts did this season. Burns has been adequate since coming to the team. I've always figured if I don't notice a d-man it means he's doing his job.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Overager on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:18 pm

Taychuck- Your assessment of Roberts echos mine. However, i was reluctant to initially post that because I suspected I would be "jumped all over" by a few frequent posters.I don't think Roberts has improved. No denying his skating but apart from that he is much the same as last year.One thing to look for in second year players who were given top billing is to what extent they have improved from their first year. Cascagnette, Kohn,Henderson,Opilka, were,to me, in the same boat. Not much improvement! In fact, Henderson hasn't improved at all.When I look at some of our young forwards with 3 -5 goals I am not sure there will be significant improvement next year and, if so, we are in big trouble, not withstanding our absence of decent overage candidates for next year.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby memcup on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:18 pm

One disappointing thing (and the Rangers can't do much about it) is he hasn't grown physically. Often scouts will look at the parents and siblings and draft a smaller guy hoping that he will grow.
Alex Formenton of the Knights was listed as 5ft 6 in. when draft in the 11th round the same year. He is now over 6 ft.

But like they say, "you can't teach size"
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Taychuck on Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:53 pm

I agree that it's too bad he hasn't achieved the size of his sisters but would it matter? On the "you can't teach size" comment, some of our smaller players play and have played more physical hockey than some of our bigger guys over the years.

No one was tougher on the boards than Catanacci or Downie or even now, Gareffa....he plays much bigger than he is and bigger than guys like Henderson & Cascagnette have and continue.

When you're not a natural goal scorer or don't have "hands", you'd better be doing something on the ice every shift like hitting and back checking which many don't.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby memcup on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:43 pm

You can teach and improve skating, stick handling, positioning and even aggressiveness but when it comes to size what you got is what you got. Yes big players play “small” and small players play “big” but when it comes to one on one battles in front of net the smaller, lighter guy rarely wins.
Roberts does a good job with what he’s been given but if he was another 3 inches taller and 25 lbs. heavier I’m sure it would be reflected in his play. I always love watching him battle against Smith when they play Guelph but Smith’s size (and age) usually is too much to handle.

Yes you could single out other small players and say "what if they were bigger" but the subject player in this case is Roberts.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Number65 on Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:17 pm

I think that Roberts has shown signs of being an elite offensive D-man. He already makes way better decisions on when to lead the rush (and is better at getting back in position) than either Murphy or Iafrate did at 19 and he's only 17.

I too was hoping he'd match the size of his father and uncle, but I can't say that there's anything to be disappointed with in his development.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Taychuck on Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:53 pm

Really Number 65? I don't think the kid has a clue, to tell you the truth. Comparing him to Iafrate is interesting because most of the time he didn't have a clue either. You must be watching something much different than I am and many of those around me at the game. He was a +14 last year over the season as a rookie and this year he's a +3....I'll be the first to admit that these stats can be misleading but I don't think they are this year....he's not improved from his rookie season, he's gotten worse.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby wrister on Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:51 pm

I agree that Roberts has regressed but so have a lot of our young players. You really have to question the coaching staff on why these players go backwards instead of forwards. We have way too many of the same type of player and that is indicative of the drafting and what type of player scouts are to zero in on. Last nights game was so disorganized, I`ve seen better pond hockey, and I know you can lay an egg every once in a while but this time of the year the team should have jelled and be playing like a unit. I sure don`t see how MH and Steve B can call that kind of hockey entertaining.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Overager on Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:48 pm

I will try to stay away from comparing the Rangers to London,Erie,Windsor ,the Soo, Owen sound etc. but when I compare them to supposedly weaker teams the Rangers still come up wanting. Our "younger players" seem to have hit a plateau or, at least, what progression we might have seen earlier has disappeared. Those who think that the Rangers will be a "force" or "contender" next year are definitely looking at them with their hearts and not their heads.We looked bad against Flint tonight and Flint is definitely rebuilding.This "young talent"that some talk about is definitely young but I am not too confident that they are as talented as some think. Damiani 5 goals,Schiemenz 2 goals,Guest 1 goal. Roberts has regressed, Burns is a "throw in", Carter is a fringe player, Peterson never sees the ice, Halls contribution when he returns MIGHT be O.K., our goal tending is weak and, in his second year, Opilka is well below the league standard. Our overager candidates for next year are led by Henderson with his 6 goals and on and on. Our hockey staff from scouting staff to G.M. needs a shake up.I'll admit that I really don't see much in the future , based on what we have seen in the past five years.The Rangers are back in the late 90s and early 20s.Maybe we will be always admiring the Knights as we look up at them. We contribute to the community, have excellent facilities, an excellent financial position, a great fan base but ,as a team we are very much middle of the pack.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Number65 on Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:43 pm

Roberts is one of only two players on the roster who is a Plus, the other being Vallati (Peterson is as well, but in just 25 games).
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby tomcat_meow on Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:21 am

Elijah has room for improvement that is for sure. The big question is will he improve next year. Coaching has a lot to do with that. I really thing it is time for the Rangers to start looking for an improvement in coaching. I honestly think it is more the coaching or shall I say lack of good coaching that will cause a rookie to be lackluster at best and not strive for improvement. I see a bunch of players on our team that are in the same boat. Players that are offensive get chances but can't finish well. Not saying they don't finish but their percentage of finishing is low compared to Macherin. When I see players continually taking wrist shots that are way off the net it is obvious they have poor control and need to fix that problem...(coaching is the key). I guess you pay for another Deboer or coast year after year, sometimes in the playoffs, sometimes not.
Class Act = Kitchener Rangers!
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Taychuck on Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:31 pm

Well, while I don't disagree that coaching is important, Vallati as a rookie is doing more than Roberts did last season as a rookie and appears to have more of an upside. Is that coaching or talent? I'm hoping Vallati will continue to progress next year season and not take a step back like Roberts did. If that's a coaching thing or guys just plateau and there never will be improvement because they're just not talented enough, who knows. Vallati does have Roberts on size which we need more of on the back end big time. We need it up front too but we really need guys that can clean out in front of the net and guys built like Roberts just can't do that. That's not his fault, it's his parents!

Any speculation why Roberts sat on Tuesday night? Off ice iscipline? Not happy with his work ethic in practice? Sick? Nothing was really stated so I guess we have to read between the lines. This entire thread started about him rushing with the puck and accomplishing nothing offensively and then he's down in the other end of the ice while the puck is in ours.....his last goal was because he followed up on the play, not because he created offense on his own. When you're not performing at either end of the ice then I guess that begins to be a problem. Again, his size isn't his fault and assuming that we've given him a workout regime that will add bulk and strength and that he's eating properly AND he's doing what he's asked what can you do? Maybe he just not what we thought he might talent wise.
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Re: Elijah Roberts

Postby Overager on Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:24 pm

I believe the biggest thing with Deboer was that he made every player better and got everything out of each player. Adam Keefe was simply a tough kid until Deboer turned him into a player. Same with Clarkson. He was not considered much when he arrived but DeBoer turned him into a very good player. Wasn't Nabigon (sp. ?) a Deboer product ? And on and on. We haven't had that since Peter left. Plus, the Rangers keep promoting from within with marginal results. However, MH is responsible for drafting, scouting and trading. Is his record good ? No coach can compete with the top teams unless he has a degree of talent to begin with and if you take a realistic look at our talent base since Peter left we have been weak. Are London's scouts that much better than ours? If so, clean house and hire better scouts.
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