After a solid rookie season, Jamie McBain began this year in the press box and had to earn his playing time with seven other defensemen also on the team. It didn't take long for him to be inserted back into the lineup and he had quite a wild year to say the least. With his usual defense partner, Joni Pitkanen, being on the IR for most of the season, the coaching staff had a tough time figuring out how to use McBain and his performance on ice either thrived or suffered as a result.
There were games when McBain was used against the toughs and that had mixed results. He managed to hold his own on some nights and got destroyed on others. The word "sophomore slump" came up a lot with McBain this year when he was playing tough minutes when in reality, he was playing a role that he wasn't fit for and probably shouldn't have been used in. Uncoincidentally, he started playing better in a protected third pairing role with Jaroslav Spacek and saw all of his numbers improve.
McBain's versatility is nice to have and he gained a lot of experience this season, but where does he fit on the team long-term? A look at his numbers from this year show that he is best as a third-pairing defenseman for now but might not be completely helpless in a top four role. A look at said numbers is coming after the jump.no comments