During the preseason, I thought this guy was great. I kept reading comments by Franklin Steele saying that he would underwhelm me during the season. Perhaps that made me look at him more closely as a player when the season started because my happiness with him dried up.
First, I will tell you what is good about this player. He has great hands that are capable of making good plays. On the power play where time and space are available, he is probably one of the best on our team at moving the puck around. He can also back check well, shoot the puck and get some goals. With all that, how could he be on the bubble?
Voracek's amazing preseason hands would try the same moves in the regular season and they would end up in turnovers. Regarding the first game he was on without Voracek, Danny Briere said, "I thought it was my best game."
With Matt Read, Danny Briere had a better game even with a losing effort. With Brayden Schenn, Briere's line was the best on the team. I would be willing to say that some of it came from Briere finding his game again if the third line didn't look like the Briere line did in the first games.
He does not play a north-south game, and he seldom makes the simple pass to move the puck around. He wants to make the pass that will set up a scoring chance, to take the puck to the middle for a shot or to deke a defender to open up space to bring the puck up ice. That is when he loses the puck. Also, he seldom uses his big frame to hit.
If you have read my articles before, you know that I thought he should have been scratched earlier in the season. Am I being overly critical for this early in the season? You bet—we have nine other guys who are playing better, and it is better for the team if players learn from the press box instead of learning on the ice.