By Melissa Hashemian
When life hands you lemons make lemonade—or better yet, when life hands you the possibility of greatness, take it in.
Now, perhaps the word greatness is a little too much to illustrate Dominic Moore's talents just yet, but the idea isn't too far off.
Analysts and fans may have contradicting opinions regarding the 6'0" centreman, but one thing's for sure—there's nothing wrong with a little Moore.
The 188-lb., Thornhill, Ontario, native was the New York Rangers' third-round choice (95th overall) in 2000, and although not in the centre of popularityville, he still managed to make a name for himself.
He then went off to play for the Penguins and Wild next before winding up in Toronto in 2008. The Leafs claimed Moore off waivers from Minnesota that year, as he laced up his skates for the first time as a Maple Leaf on January 12, 2008, against the San Jose Sharks.
His debut would turn into a permanent role on the Toronto roster, as the 28-year-old prepared for the ultimate opportunity to play for one of the most media-centred cities.
As a waiver pick-up from the Wild, Moore is having his best year yet with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. It's nothing to boast about per say, but this forward has shown a lot of grit and determination in the games he's played this season.
With half the season gone, Moore has registered more points in the '08-'09 season than he has gained in the last three years alone (19). Things have changed remarkably since coming to Toronto. Moore has shown confidence offensively and his puck-handling skills have improved significantly every game.
There has been an adequate development in his consistency on the ice, acquiring three points in his last four games and gaining an acceptable backbone when it comes to his play-making skills. Additionally, he has won 54.6 percent of his faceoffs, leading Toronto in that department.
I know there's a possibility of a lot of hockey fans and experts not agreeing with me completly in terms of Moore's aptitude, but I thought it would be nice to recognize his performances, along with the qualities he possesses and utilizes while playing the game of hockey.
Moore continues to play on the third line with Jason Blake, yet due to Jeremy Williams' shoulder injury, Wilson seems to be juggling that line with a variety of different players.
Luckily Williams' injury is day-to-day, thus, fans can hopefully expect a return within the next few weeks or so. The chemistry between these three forwards was phenomenal, as they all contributed offensively on and off the power play.
However, I find a small type of interruption in Moore's performance lately. This type of interruption I like to call "time cut-back," and it's exactly what is happening in Moore's case.
As of right now, Moore averages 18 minutes of ice time every game. It seems like a lot, but his shifts aren't for very long. He's very good at draws, so I find that to be one of the main reasons he's getting the extra ice time.
He has almost tied his career high in goals (nine), and it's only his fourth full year in the NHL. Expect double the production with double the ice time from this player. He is full of potential, but just needs a little push to show all of it.
I can't say he's the leader Batman was in his community. However the role of Robin will suffice, as he proves more and more everyday that it's okay to be the serviceable sidekick.