It was big news this offseason when Mike Peca criticized Jay Bouwmeester and said he was easy to play against. It wasn’t a huge surprise as the knock against Bouwmeester was that he never played as big as his 6’4” frame would indicate.
The surprising thing about the comment to me was that it indicated a lack of respect for Bouwmeester as a defenseman in the league. For a former player to make such a statement shows that Peca never worried about him making a difference in a game.
No matter how “soft” a player he was, at least he could be counted on for offensive contributions, averaging 14 goals and 26 assists over his last 3 seasons in Florida. However, that part of his game took a hit as well last season as he put up the 26 assists but dropped to just a meager 3 goals.
Last season’s poor performance, combined with the sharp criticism fro. Peca really put the pressure on Bouwmeester to get off to a good start this season. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened either going scoreless in the first six games of the season finally picking up an assist against Columbus in a 6-2 rout.
What once started as a promising career has slowly deteriorated to mediocrity. With his large contract in Calgary, hopefully Bouwmeester can turn it around and find his game again, lest he succumb to the same fate as Wade Redden.