Brandon Mashinter … Existed With The Chicago Blackhawks
(Writer’s note: Andrew Ladd will be included in a separate post grading trade-deadline acquisitions.)
For the love of Marian Hossa, please let the Brandon Mashinter Experience be over moving forward. A continuation of the John Scott Experience and Brandon Bollig Experience, the deployment of Mashinter in exactly half of the Blackhawks’ regular-season games and a pair of postseason games was absolutely painful.
Mashinter filled coach Joel Quenneville‘s need for an enforcer-type guy being on the ice, even though Mashinter didn’t enforce anything and was a pretty bad fighter to boot. As a player … Mashinter just isn’t NHL-quality at this point in time. Considering he’s 27 years old, that probably isn’t going to change.
Mashinter is a free agent this offseason, and I’m hoping the Blackhawks just move on from him. I don’t even want him in the AHL, because it gives Q an option to complain to Stan Bowman that the big-league team needs a hitter.
Let’s just move on to the grading and get it over with.
2015-16 regular-season stats: 41 games, 4 goals, 1 assist, minus-7 rating, 23 penalty minutes, 25 shots on goal
2016 postseason stats: 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot on goal
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The only honest-to-goodness positive I thought I could attach to Mashinter didn’t even involve him. There was a play during the regular season (can’t remember against whom) during which Dennis Rasmussen kicked the puck out of a behind-the-net scrum to set up a goal. I thought Mashinter scored that goal, but apparently he didn’t.
Mashinter tallied his first career NHL goal against Vancouver, which was good for him. It was probably bad for the team, though, since it meant Mashinter was going to be in the lineup more. The Blackhawks were already up 3-0 on the Canucks, who didn’t score in the game, so the goal was ultimately irrelevant except for personal history.
Two of Mashinter’s four goals were the first tally in a game, which is something. Sure, those came in a 6-3 win over Colorado and a 7-2 victory against Toronto, but I need some positives for the positives section.
Look, you might think I don’t like Mashinter just because he goes for the hit versus going for the shot, and because he was involved in some clearly-staged fights. But it goes beyond that.
Mashinter provided a whopping 62 hits in 41 games, which does not at all justify him being in the lineup to provide some sort of grit. His average time on ice was 7:30 in the regular season, essentially shortening the Blackhawks’ bench before a game even started. His Corsi-for mark was a disgusting 44.1 percent despite getting almost even zone starts. He’s just not good.
He couldn’t handle a majority of passes from linemates far too skilled to be playing with Mashinter. He was consistently out of position and too slow to catch up to plays going either way. I mean, I’m sure the guy was trying, but he’s just not an NHL-ready forward.
Yet he was forced out there half of the regular season. This, of course, isn’t Mashinter’s fault. Q and his staff see something in Mashinter that clearly isn’t there. So we can only hope this was a one-season ordeal.
I mean, at least the guy scored a few times. None of the goals meant anything in the grand scheme of things, but at least he was trying. That’s about the best I can say for Mashinter.