March 15, 2012
Jamie McGinn: Rocky Mountain High
Who would have ever figured Jamie McGinn was such a pivotal hockey player.
McGinn has earned a reputation as a fourth line energy banger who appears to be far bigger than his 6'0" and 205lb body suggests. He crunches players on the forecheck (especially Vancouver Canucks players for whatever reason). He is diligent defensively. But he just never got much of a chance in San Jose to play beyond the energy line role.
So San Jose traded him to Colorado at the trading deadline (for T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik) in a trade that did not generate a lot of excitement initially. But it has turned out to be the one trade that has brought in the most immediate impact.
McGinn's impact in Denver has not been via his usual physical play so much as his goal scoring. On Wednesday he scored twice including the game winner with less than 2 seconds to play. He has scored 7 goals in 8 games. Not coincidentally, Colorado has surprised many by getting back in to the playoff race.
Meanwhile, in San Jose the Sharks have gone in to a tailspin minus McGinn. Their own goal scoring has fallen from an average of 3 per game to just 1.5. The power play has gone silent too, going just 3 for 21 since the trade?
Is McGinn's absence in San Jose explain the Sharks' troubles? No. It is mainly coincidence. McGinn had 12 goals all season in San Jose. He was a nice net presence on the second power play unit. But he was never much of an offensive force in San Jose. In fact, last season he once went on a 44 game goalless drought.
But you can bet McGinn's play in Colorado is a big part of their current success. Is he going to score an Avalanche of goals long term? No. But it is nice to see a hard working player get a chance and enjoying success. The 23 year old has an under-rated all around skill set and should be a nice player in Colorado for years to come.