Tom Gilbert

By , December 10, 2011 10:24 am

Tom Gilbert, most improved player?

Tom Gilbert, most improved player?


Gilbert had a big game last night, throwing a couple heavy hits, but it wasn’t his only big game of the year. The running joke of “that couldn’t have been Tom Gilbert throwing that hit” is now getting old, as we see him do it more and more. As usual, he and Smid made it difficult on their opponents. I didn’t think I’d see the day that Gilbert figured the physical part of his game out, but he seems to have on a consistent basis, and I’m really impressed. He’s worth his $4m/year now as he’s playing a complete game rather than looking like a guy forced into his role.

And before the “I told you so”s come out, he hasn’t always played like that. The last two years were difficult to watch. I call it like I see it and give credit where/when it is due. The first two years, I really liked his game and was a big supporter of his (from an offensive standpoint more than anything). The next two years, I was pretty disappointed in him. I wanted to see him do better for his own sake and the sake of the team, but I just was not impressed and found it difficult to defend him from the Oil fans out there and soon became one of those fans, unimpressed by his game.

This year he’s managed to keep his offensive game reasonably intact while adding new components to it – smarter defensive play, and finally using his size. See Tom? It wasn’t that hard. I believe Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid to be a #1 pairing, capable of shutting down opponents while being able to generate some offense too. This team would not be where they were without these two (in addition to “The Nuge” and Khabibulin). Before the start of the year, who would have thought we’d be saying that at this time?

12 Responses to “Tom Gilbert”

  1. chucker says:

    Last night was simply fantastic for number 77. He completely dominated and demolished a few guys to boot. I hated this guy the last couple of years. It is terrific to see him showing all us armchair critics that he can be a top pairing guy. It is refreshing to see because my expectations were the same for him as they were for MAB after the last few years. He is definitely one of the best stories this year in Oilerland.

    Also, did you get bonus points for writing this? :D

  2. John says:

    Totally agree, looking at his last several years as a whole doesn’t make his contract a bargain by any means but he sure has been playiung up to it this season! GO GILBY :)

  3. Racki says:

    chucker:

    Also, did you get bonus points for writing this?:D

    LOL! Believe it or not, I haven’t even mentioned I wrote this article :P So she hasn’t noticed yet. But I used to be a big supporter of Gilbert in those first two years too. I’m just liking him again because he’s playing how he should be.

  4. Grass&sOIL says:

    My only criticism of him in the past was him shying away from contact and not using his big frame. This has now been corrected so he is A OK in my books now. I can deal with his ever decreasing turnovers as he is still young for the position he plays.

  5. Grass&sOIL says:

    You know Gilbert’s game has changed when you see him as a candidate for Hits of the Year on NHL.com’s front page.

  6. Racki says:

    I’d say that is far from hit of the year, but yes, he definitely has changed his game. Very happy to see him using his size finally. He had a huge hit last year too (or year before).. on Ryan Clowe of all people.

    And just in case you didn’t know how to pronounce his name, here is a youtube video:

    Lol.. that guy kills me. I’m not sure why.

  7. hemmerlady says:

    Racki:
    I’d say that is far from hit of the year, but yes, he definitely has changed his game. Very happy to see him using his size finally. He had a huge hit last year too (or year before).. on Ryan Clowe of all people.

    And just in case you didn’t know how to pronounce his name, here is a youtube video:

    Lol.. that guy kills me. I’m not sure why.

    What is that thing?? (the youtube video)

  8. Racki says:

    Did you not listen to it? It is audio.

  9. hemmerlady says:

    yes, i listened to it. :p Could have made my question clearer. Who IS that guy? and why is he pronouncing Hallsy’s name like “Hail” ? He sounds like kermit the frog. Maybe it’s Jay Onrait pulling a prank. j/k

  10. Grass&sOIL says:

    The first few didn’t really get much of a chuckle out of me but then I clicked on the Devan Dubnyk one.

  11. gr8one says:

    Grass&sOIL:
    The first few didn’t really get much of a chuckle out of me but then I clicked on the Devan Dubnyk one.

    Wainay Gretsguy was pretty funny too…lol.

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