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Under Pressure: Loui Eriksson

Sep 18, 2013, 9:32 PM EDT

wideopenerikssongetty Getty Images

“Under Pressure” is a preseason series we’ll be running on PHT. For each team in the NHL, we’ll pick one player, coach, GM, mascot or whatever that everyone will be watching closely this season. Feel free to play the song as you read along. Also feel free to go to the comment section and tell us we picked poorly.

For the Boston Bruins, PHT selects … Loui Eriksson.

Trading anonymity for scrutiny

It’s strange to call a one-time All-Star “underrated,” but the label seems appropriate for Eriksson. Well, it did with the Dallas Stars at least, as the slick Swede hasn’t seen playoff action since 2007-08.

The 28-year-old can probably kiss anonymity away now that he’s a member of the Boston Bruins, though (just ask Nathan Horton). That’s especially true since his name will always be linked to Tyler Seguin‘s thanks to a trade that will surely be judged and re-judged with harsh hindsight.. With all due respect to the other assets changing hands, many will frame the swap as Eriksson vs. Seguin.

It’s not easy being compared to a second overall pick, something Eriksson is about to find out.

Plenty of firepower

A big part of that move is that Seguin’s ceiling is potentially tantalizing at just 21, but at this moment, the move is very fair to the Bruins … on paper, at least.

Before the streak-ravaging 2013 season, Eriksson was quietly developing a reputation as one of the league’s steadiest snipers. He scored 36 goals in 2008-09 and had at least 26 goals the following four seasons. His 12 tallies in 2013 won’t knock your socks off, but he still collected a respectable 29 points in 48 games. It’s not just goal-scoring, either, as he generated three straight 71+ point seasons from 2009-10 to 2011-12.

All of that implies that the Swede will fit in gloriously in Boston, especially since people rave about his two-way play.

But does he have enough punch?

Many will wonder if he has enough “sandpaper” in his game, however.

In 48 games last season for Dallas, Eriksson registered just six hits; that’s the same as Jaromir Jagr did before being traded to Boston and less than Ray Whitney delivered in 32 games. Seguin had 25 in Boston.

Hitting isn’t everything, especially when it comes to players who practice sound positioning like Eriksson does. Still, if his scoring dries up, you can bet the word “soft” will regrettably fly around.

***

There’s nothing Eriksson can do about how well Seguin does or doesn’t play in Dallas, but Beantown could sour on him quickly if he endures the wrong kind of big, bad season.

For all of our Under Pressure series, click here.

  1. lowenni - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Hmm…If this guy has widely been called the leagues most underrated player for years…isn’t he no longer underrated because of that attention?

  2. LampyB - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Only if he steps up.

  3. hockeyflow33 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    The Boston media will have a field day with him; they seem to think hitting is more important than scoring so it does not bode well for Eriksson

    • rogersjd16 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      Even if this were true (which of course, laughably, it’s not), considering they’ve won a Cup and been to another the past 3 years, maybe it’s not something to chide…

    • pepper2011 - Sep 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      “The Boston media will have a field day”

      where do you come up with this. I promise you they don’t think hitting is more important than scoring. It is however a part of the game. Like rogersjd16 said they have made it to two Cups in 3 years and won one of them.

      There is a difference between being soft and only caring about hitting. Seguin is soft, Kessel is soft. What Boston fans and media expects from it’s players is: effort and heart. Toews and Kane are perfect examples; Marchand is the same; he doesn’t really hit all that much. but he’ll take a hit to make a play.

      Seguin will not go to the corners or drive towards the net.

      I love bitter “hockey fans” like hockeyflow that don’t really understand the game.

      It’s why losing to the Hawks sucked, but was a bit easier to digest. Bruins fans respect them. They are not the biggest or the strongest, and probably not the most skilled, but they effin’ put it all out there, and they played as a team. Vancouver might have won a cup if someone on their team was willing to pay the price Bickell or shaw did getting in front of the net. And the Bruins might have won a second had Seguin been willing to sacrifice his body.

      I love the over simplifying of tough Hockey teams. “They are goons, blah blah blah”. No – They make no bones about it. It’s sacrifice; just cause you we were a #2 pick and full of offensive talent – it doesn’t mean you don’t have to work as hard or sacrifice as much as Gregory Campbell; when your on the ice; where you were drafted means nothing.

      Loui Eriksson will be just fine.

      • amityvillefun - Sep 19, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        Well said.

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        I have no problem understanding the game chief.

        I haven’t seen many games that Eriksson has played in but you can guarantee that if all he does is score and doesn’t hit, Felger, KPD, Haggerty and the rest of the terrible hockey reporters we have up here will talk about how he doesn’t play well.

        There are all sorts of ways to play the game and there are guys that don’t hit but for some reason it’s expected by the media up here that you need to do that to be successful when that’s simply not true.

      • pepper2011 - Sep 19, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Actually if you read my post; I covered that.

        Bergeron doesn’t really hit – he makes contact (almost every play)
        Marchand doesn’t really hit (there are a few guys he targets)
        Krejci doesn’t really hit (targets a few when he gets pissed).
        Horton – pretty much avoided all contact since the game against Philly after the Rome hit that kept him out a while.
        kelly not a big hitter, but will.
        Peverley – kinda got a free pass cause he stopped producing, never hit, but he hustled and made contact every play. He tried and you knew it.

        The Bruins have Seidenberg, Boychuck, Lucic and the 4th line. Chara doesn’t even hit that much anymore. He knows when to, but has been picking his spots more and more. there is a difference between hitting and contact. I want contact every play, yes.

        It’s like running out pop up or fly ball, or knowing when to sacrifice a yard to get out of bounds and stop the clock. Or, if you want to keep it hockey; skating hard for a line change.

        Oh yeah Mcquaid, but he tends to do more damage to himself.

        If Eriksson plays like Seguin, and Kessel he will not enjoy his time here. If he plays like the other 17 guys on the ice he’ll be fine.

        I also think the majority of B’s fans want Bergeron to avoid contact at all cost. Initiated or otherwise. If you play the game the right way nobody will call you out. so your whole argument is kinda gone.

      • homelanddefense - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        did you just use Felger as an example? Who listens to ANYTHING that guy says about hockey (or really any sport for that matter) and pays it any mind?

        He of the “Chara will never win because he cant win game 7’s”, Tim Thomas will never win because “he doesnt win game 7’s or get past the first round” and “That contract for Bergeron is ridiculous, he is just another guy”

  4. potz77 - Sep 19, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Ericksson will be just fine. I don’t want him to hit everything in sight. I want him to put up 30-40 that we are being told to expect and help make the PP relevant again. He is also a two way forward so he should fit the system. Welcome to town Loui!!

  5. bekay19 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    There is no possible way he can be as soft as Seguin is/was

  6. amityvillefun - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Hitting isn’t everything (although we do appreciate it here in Boston). If he takes the puck away with a poke check or a stick lift, it gets the job done effectively as well. As long as his defensive play is as sound as people are saying, I’m sure he won’t have a problem. “Soft” does not go over well in the Bruins culture though….so don’t be avoiding the corners or the front of the net! Campbell earned the fans respect by doing whatever it takes to win…that is what Bruins fans want to see! The desire to win and work hard.

    The Bruins traded away a guy with some serious potential and talent to get what they hope will be more of a “sure thing” in the short term. I hope he can live up to expectations and succeed under the pressure. Good luck Loui!

  7. dlk75150 - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Loui will be great in Boston. He will excel and I’ll be watching from Dallas! Love the way he plays clean and talented.

    • amityvillefun - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      You’ll enjoy watching Seguin’s speed and moves in Dallas. The trade will probably do him a world of good. If he progresses and matures (and he probably will), you’ll have a “star” player down in Dallas that can really put up points and electrify the crowd.

      • dewzer - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        You are correct about the speed but his only move is to use it to go by slower D men.Can’t recall him ever dangling by anyone. Just look at the finals how hawks shut him down.

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        It will probably be a trade that works out well for both teams.

  8. dboldave - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Krejci doesn’t fit the typical Bruins tough guy mold either but he does just fine. As long as his defense is sound, it doesn’t matter if he hits.

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