Thursday, January 15, 2009

Andy Bohmbach Week: Tom Gorowsky's take

In honor of Andy Bohmbach Week, Tom Gorowsky was kind enough to answer some questions for the blog about his good friend Andy. Thanks, Tom! (Hmmm, makes me wish I had thought to ask Andy for quotes during Tom Gorowsky Week, but of course at that point I was still a little scared of Bohmber.)

60: What do you think is the strongest part of Andy's game? What do you think his presence on the ice brings to the Badgers' lineup?

TG: Bomber is really strong with the puck and has an offensive mind, he thinks the game well in the offensive zone.

60: Andy has 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points in 23 games so far this season, with 7 of those points (3G 4A) in the last 7 games. (In 35 games over his 1st 2 seasons, Andy had 1 goal and 4 assists.) To what do you attribute this increase in points production?

TG: He has more points this year for the simple fact that he is finally getting an opportunity to play, instead of 4-5 shifts per game, he gets that in a period and is in a role that offensive play is encouraged.

(Tom makes it all seem so obvious, doesn't he? By the way, if you'll all remember, Bohmbach attributed his increased success both to getting more comfortable in his role and to increased icetime, as well as the overall good play of his team in games like the Huntsville game. And surely increased icetime, in addition to providing more scoring opportunites, has also provided him with the opportunity to become more comfortable in his role.

And as far as Tom's comment about being in a role in which offensive play is encouraged, well yeah, that's huge. I'm starting to wonder if perhaps Bohmber got unfairly pigeonholed as a 4th-line player during his 1st two seasons and the beginning of this season. It's the same problem I had with Tom being on the 4th line the last three seasons (well, when he actually got put in the lineup anyway) -- it wasn't in a role in which he was going to be productive, and then people were disappointed (unfairly, I think) when Tom didn't score (and that's ignoring all the times he did score, don't get me started about last year's Showdown). Don't get me wrong, Bohmber did a nice job on the 4th line for the Badgers, he was solid, but the role certainly wasn't conducive to scoring goals. Based on Eaves' comments regarding the 4th line (when they score, it's a "bonus"), it's pretty clear (to me, anyway) that Eaves emphasizes a different role than scoring for guys playing on the 4th line on any given night.)

60: This year Andy's been getting time on both the PK and the PP. Can you talk about his roles on those units?

TG: PK: He has a really good stick and has been a great pker for us so far this season. PP: I'd like to see him on it more permanently, as he is one of the best offensive players we have, and his poise with the puck is better than almost everyone.

60: I've heard that Andy had a pretty strong work ethic. Can you talk a little about that?

TG: He had a really good summer in terms of working hard in the weight room. On the ice, he works and competes hard every opportunity, and usually spends time before and after practice working on his skills.

60: Recently, you and Andy have been playing on the Badger's top line with Blake Geoffrion. Can you talk about that line, its chemistry, etc?

TG: I think our line has worked really well, we create scoring chances almost every shift. We are all big, strong guys, and that enables us to work well down low in the offensive zone, so all three of us can play the same type of game and it makes us all better.

60: I've heard that Andy's a pretty funny guy. Can you give us any examples that won't get you in trouble?

TG: Bomber is a really funny guy, he makes great facial expressions.

(Hmmm. Is that why he often looks like he's going to kill the photographer?)

60: I asked Andy what he'd pick for a theme song for himself. (Stupid question, I know, but I'm a sucker for theme songs.) What do you think he picked, or what would you pick for him?

TG: His favorite song is "before he cheats" by Carrie Underwood.

(Funny, Tom.)

Thanks again to Tom. I hope everyone stops back tomorrow for the conclusion of Andy Bohmbach Week!
(Photo courtesy of Redheat15)