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League – 60
Challenge Cup – 8
Play Offs – 3
Total Goals: 22 / Total Assists: 33 / Total PIMs: 62
Pither is the 2nd biggest disappoint for me this season. From when he joined us mid season, last season, his performances and point preduction were great, just the thought of a full season with Pither was enough to get me excited about what was possible this season and I expected him to be one of if not the top point scorer in the league. However he is nowhere near that and at the beginning of the season he said he could shoulder the responsibility of producing regularly and that is clearly not true. To add to his poor form offensively, he’s also defensively inept, regularly coughs the puck up when he’s barely challenged and he is extremely prone to taking dumb penalties especially in the offensive zone. Definitely don’t want back.
Pither has frustrated me on numerous occasions this season with his needless hooking and tripping penalties and his ability to go missing for large periods. Whilst his offensive ability cannot be doubted, his plus minus is shocking when compared to the number of points he put up. On the basis of this I would not look to re-sign Pither as his defensive irresponsibility and discipline outweigh his offensive talents.
A cracking late season signing last season, a lot was expected of Pither this, but while the team by and large were playing well to begin with, Pither was a notable absentee from the score sheet. As the season progressed he started to look more like the player who was a “must re-sign” last campaign. Another I’d be ok with returning, but we need more from him for us to be successful.
A strong end to his 2017-18 season saw loud calls from fans calling for his re-signing, and the club duly obliged by tying him up for the 18-19 campaign to widespread acclaim. Undoubtedly a talented forward with a decent record in the face-off circle, things just didn’t quite click for Pither during large chunks of the season. His effort cannot be faulted, but it looked like the burden of providing secondary scoring seemed to weigh heavy on his shoulders as a result of other forwards failing to light the lamp. It wasn’t difficult to observe the frustration in his general play at times, and it seemed the harder he tried, the less luck went his way. A respectable points per game record despite bouncing between lines, but this would undoubtedly have been boosted if Pither was playing in a more offensively-orientated team.
Amazing when he came in part way through last season and the loudest calls for any summer action from the fans to the Panthers organisation were to SIGN LUKE PITHER! Sadly, it’s not gone so well this season. I can’t say I blame Pither himself, things could have been different if he’d had a full season within a team that was actually functional.
But, a common complaint, the goals didn’t really come, for the latter part of the season, and prior to the prominence of the Stewart-Perlini-Farmer line, he lost his first line centre status to Bolduc and there were some daft penalties taken at crucial times which frustrate a team and a fanbase. You’re an easy scapegoat when those sorts of things happen.