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Garnet Hathaway proving his worth

December 11, 2017

Before the season started I had Hathaway making the club in a fourth line role. I thought he was a good replacement for the bought out Lance Bouma. He may not have had a great camp but his style of play I don't think shows well in camps with the in your face physical play. His time was short lived with the Flames, he was put on the waiver wire. He cleared waivers and ended up playing one game before he was sent down.

For the Heat he started off the year on a torrid pace playing with Jankowski and Mangiapane. Jankowski received his promotion after 6 games and most people expected a drop off in Garnets point production which was not the case. He played 12 more games before his call up. He has 11 goals 8 assists in 18 games while adding his gritty play with the Heat. 

Hathaway started his call up on the fourth line moving to his offside playing left wing. Seeing limited action his first game where nothing great. He ended up moving up and played with Bennett and his old linemate Jankowski on his more familiar right side. I was hoping his chemistry with Jankowski would help out. The first game didn't produce a whole bunch. In the games since though he has really turned it up. In his 6 games since being recalled he has 11 shots on net, 4 points, 1 goal and 3 assists. These are all good stats for any call up specially after seeing a highly skilled Bennett's bad start and even Jankowski's slow start after being called up. He is also driving play with a 54.66 Corsi in his 7 games played. He has seen no Power Play time but has seen some Penalty Kill time with 2:25 of ice time there. As far as chemistry has went with the 3rd line I would have expected it be with Jankowski after playing together so much last year and the start of this year with the Heat. So far he seems to be meshing better with Bennett as he has turned his game around.

So the question lies is what to do when Jagr returns from his lower body injury. I do not see him being sent down but where will he play? Like I said he seems to be meshing well with Bennett while Jagr and Jankowski seem to be better running mates. So what happens to that line? It would be easiest to just move Hathaway back down to the left wing on the fourth line and leave the Bennett Jankowski Jagr line together and pretty sure that is what will happen but with the fourth line not producing is it time to change that up? Here is an idea. I don't really like it but Brouwer has been playing better so try out Brouwer, Jankowski, Jagr. Then go with Bennett, Stajan/Lazar and Hathaway. Try Stajan first, I would say, but if offence isn't happening give Lazar another chance. This seems like you are taking Bennett away from better players but should spread out some offence. With Bennett playing much better and producing so hopefully he could shoulder the bulk of that line. The key would be finding enough ice time for everyone. There is still over half a season left to play so if it didn't work out there is still lots of time to change it back.


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