Player Discussion: Erik Cernak

Discussion in 'Tampa Bay Lightning' started by alko, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Hit The Lights

    Hit The Lights Registered User

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  2. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    Well, at the very least, it looks like we now have one answer as to what's gonna happen to our D next season.
     
  3. alko

    alko Registered User

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    Could be Cernak an elite Defensman?

    HE is now playing very good game. Hard checking guy, many shots blocked and finally scored a goal. There is for sure a lot work in front, but the start is promising.

    What should he need to add to his game, that we could him name as "elite Defensman"?
     
  4. ccman68

    ccman68 Registered User

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    Offense is what he needs to add if he wants to be elite. How many elite defenseman are there who score only 20 points a year? 0 is the answer. He needs to be able to get like 30 points a year so he can at least be compared to guys like Slavin and Lindholm. Also he needs to be able to put up the same results without someone like Mcdonagh next to him.

    Still I don't think he will ever be elite. I think he could easily develop into a #2 defenseman though. Something like what Stralman used to be but with a different play style obviously.
     
  5. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    I think expectations should be greatly adjusted for him. He does not look like a sub 30 point defenseman to me, even without PP time he is way too involved offensively making the correct decisions to think he won't be accumulating a lot of secondary assists.
     
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  6. Bolt 45

    Bolt 45 Registered User

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    I also think the bar's a little higher offensively for Cernak. His offensive instincts are really good, and that's the part you can't teach. I think he'll naturally start producing more as he gets more comfortable... I mean, I don't know if his goal was screened the other night but that was a wrister against Lundqvist. Impressive. I'd be curious to see what he looked like with the second power play unit at some point.

    As far as whether or not he can be elite? I don't know. Maybe? My gut says no, just because I'm not seeing the kinds of polished details I would kind of expect, but there are only a handful of truly elite guys and the margin between really good and elite is pretty slim. Cernak's ceiling is high enough. I like what I'm seeing, regardless of whether or not he becomes a top 10 Dman in the league. He'll be a reliable top 4 blueliner for us, I think, which is what we need. Anything more would just be a nice bonus.
     
  7. Unfinished Business

    Unfinished Business Registered User

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    i dont know on elite. Do I think he has all the ingredients? YES.... Do I think he has the offensive talent and instincts YES. I say this and say sergachev will not be. I see things in cernak I truly love... I worry on playing minutes for elite level more offensive time cause think we are going to get STACKED even more defensively then now. I think karlsson comes. I think foote is already past sergachev in most ways. Is interesting so right side should be a hell of a lot better moving forward I love sergachev as a lower guy though. Just dont think he plays same style as a cernak or foote defensively and as someone said about cernak you got to have those instincts.... He makes a lot of mistakes to me in d zone that maybe he grows out of good news? we can probably keep them both down on minutes for awhile coming and just let them develop and see what we got.... I am ok with foote being our 7th next year actually hope thats the case. Now management do you want 3 guys that young? Not so sure so unsure what we will do...Got to give sergy his 300 games and see if he is only a sixth guy with good offensive instincts or if he can develop more on the d side:) He is getting more chances this year and so far im impressed yet I see foote and cernak as more talented and bringing a lot of the offense that serg can bring. They are righties though so basically NON issue

    p.s. i am fully happy with mcd and cernak having the hard minutes of pk moving forward and that says a ton on a kid at 20 its a WOW factor
     
  8. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    Elite offensively? No, he doesn't have the puck moving ability or creativity for that. Elite defenseman? Yes, look no further than his elite defensive partner. McDonagh produces some good offensive numbers but not anything that is going to blow you away. I think another comparison is Shea Weber, Cernak is Weber light. Josh Mason is another comparable.
     
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  9. Unfinished Business

    Unfinished Business Registered User

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    ive seen stages of a 20 year old doing things i have not seen from many defensive guys in years. I will not be surprised if he starts opening up even more and showing yep some very remarkable offensive instincts.... you want a rookie to come in and 100% own the defensive end. Cernak did that I think that is what he was asked to do. Now we have faith in him he is evolving imho.... I like his chances to be a 40-50 guy in the future. He is sooo powerful cant get him off the puck if he takes that to the net more often watch out. He also has the skills to make legit moves shots ive seen it..> Is like foote they told foote to just worry on defense first month he did what they asked now he is lighting it up. Expect same from cernak kid just has game...
     
  10. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    I think this is going a bit overboard, honestly. I don't know that his defense is ever going to get to a point where he can be considered a legit #2 or anything. I mean, he's not the mirage Jake Dotchin was, but let's not get carried away.

    He looks like he belongs in the top-4, which has destroyed all expectations. But I think he's probably pretty close to fully developed. He's going to get smarter with experience, sure, but I think his skillset is already here.
     
  11. bigdaddio

    bigdaddio Registered User

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    I think too early to tell. He's already top 4 D on a deep talented team right now. Only in the last 4 periods has he started to show aggression and confidence in the offensive end. He can only get better but who knows how much.
     
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  12. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    Which part is going overboard? I don't agree, I think you are tempering expectations to be on the safe side which is fine. But you are already labeling him as fully developed, Why? Defensemen don't show you what they are going to be until about 200 games at this level, he's barely hit 30. He's 21. He was impressive from game 1, but more than that, I can see the growth in his game offensively from what the little bit of time I seen him in Erie and Syracuse . He has the latent physical ability, and on a team with Hedman, McD, and Sergachev, how can he not pick up a few tricks?

    His play to this date just reinforces what I thought I saw at his first training camp, he's a blossoming star. I don't know how he got labeled as slow, his acceleration and side to side speed for someone his side is impressive. Fan expectations will be weighed down by him not being picked on the first day, but look at his usage. A conservative coaching staff is throwing him out there in the highest leverage situations already and he's flourishing. By his teammates reaction to his goal you can tell he's someone who gets it inside the locker room. To say he won't make it as a #2 because of his defense, I don't understand that at all. Maybe offensively, but defensively he's been playing like our best defender more often than not.
     
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  13. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    I mean he's fully developed physically. Some defensemen (Aaron Ekblad) reach physical maturity early, so what you see becomes what you get. It's not like a Victor Hedman, where you have to wait for him to fill out, and also get smart enough to use his considerable physical tools.

    I believe he'll get better, because experience will make him better. But I don't see him, for instance, getting faster than he is now. He'll learn to use his skillset better, for sure, but I don't see that getting him to Shea Weber light level.

    I didn't mean he won't become a #2 because he's bad defensively. I mean, as good as he is defensively, I still don't see signs that he'll be a legit #2 based on his defense (because I don't think his offense is going to explode).
     
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  14. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    That's a reasonable perspective, but me and you disagree with the final assessment.
     
  15. bigdaddio

    bigdaddio Registered User

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    If you have any doubt what Coop thinks about Cernak, he played about 3 minutes in OT.
     
  16. J T Money

    J T Money Registered User

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    On the PK in OT nonetheless.
     
  17. Vasilevskiy

    Vasilevskiy I've many surnames

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    Future top pairing d-man (in 1-2 years). He is that good. I see a Shea Weber lite too.
     
  18. Unfinished Business

    Unfinished Business Registered User

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    hes unreal and getting a HUGE rep for sure... to see the difference of him in d zone vs sergachev is night and day. I like serge and think hes here for the duration but cernak is already past him imho in all ways. Mcd last night did stay back a couple times for cernak to shoot in pucks from d line which was nice to see he gets it... Cernak attacks the o man crossing the line as good as any 20 year old ive ever seen.... Or that have seen in forever since saw konny and lidstrom lol.... just a total dominating guy and its huge for us this year imho
     
  19. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    Sergachev still has quite a few advantages over Cernak, they are different types of defensemen. Sergachev has more top end speed and can be classified as a PMD. When he activates he creates nightmares for the other team, Cernak doesn't do that nearly as much. Sergachev also has a lot more creativity and has manufactured offense on his own, where Cernak relies on his point shot and doesn't take as many risks. Sergachev's patented side step for instance, has burned us once or twice but has helped produce a lot of goals too. Sometimes Sergachev's creativity gets him into trouble, but that also provides a higher ceiling when he figures that part of his game out.

    Cernak, for his part, has been much aggressive and has shown flashes of creativity since he's gotten here. His walk along the boards and step in front was something very unexpected of him. Let's hope they both continue to develop and help each other out.
     
  20. The Macho Man

    The Macho Man Lusty Bodychecker

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    I think if you classified Cernak as a "PMD" in the classic definition, you wouldn't be wrong. He has a good first pass and is good at exiting the zone (that's how I view a "PMD"). However, if you're saying he lacks the offensive upside of Serge - I 100% agree. He's getting better and has good pinches, and his shot is pretty heavy, but I don't think he has the awareness in the offensive zone to create offense out of nothing, while Serge does.

    Cernak is a guy who I think will be effective at taking advantage of what's there, but he's not going to make something appear that wasn't otherwise there (if that makes sense).
     
  21. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    Yes that makes sense, and I agree with all of this. Sergachev is constantly looking to create offense where as Cernak will make the smart, simple, yet still effective play. My distinction between them with respect to being a PMD is that Sergachev activates on the rush much more frequently and creates many more odd man rushes, where as Ryan McD is the guy in that pairing whom activates.
     
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  22. BeingTheThunder

    BeingTheThunder Registered User

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    AND Sergachev makes a lot more bad decisions or is slow to react at times in the defensive end... that, to me, is where there is a major disparity between them. Sure, Sergachev is better offensively but Cernak is MUCH better defensively.
     
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  23. LightningStrikes

    LightningStrikes The Kucherov Show

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    Just another nugget our great management has gotten us.
     
  24. Rusty7550

    Rusty7550 Registered User

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    I am so happy for Erik. I've been watching him since he was 15 and I always knew he can be a NHL player in the future. Btw, I saw some Shea Weber comparisons here. Weber is actually Eriks favourite player and he models his game after him.
     
  25. Hockey4Life91

    Hockey4Life91 Registered User

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    EC definitely looks like a top 2/3 defensemen to me.

    It is impressive how easily he runs people over. It is constant. I don’t think I have seen a defenseman - recently - put so many people on the ice before. He truly is a wrecking ball out there. It is like at least 5 times a game.

    Though he makes great first passes and joins the rush, he is not a puck moving defenseman. MS, on the other hand, is one. The fact that we have both of them with VH and McD is fantastic. Together, the future of our top 4 has a great blend of skills. MS needs to improve in the d zone. He indeed has lots of room for growth. But, again, his primary contribution is offense. His maturation there is to be expected. If EC had the same deficiencies, he never would have stayed up. That is because his primary contribution is defense. EC and MS truly are an apples to oranges comparison.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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