How could anybody not love Robi? Seriously.
He’s adorable, he has that French-Canadian accent, he has a sweet disposition. Yet he’s just about as tough as they come.
He gets hit more than anybody, it seems, and most of the time it looks like he’s surely going to have trouble getting up. But he just pops up like nothing happened.
In Game 5 of the Ducks series, he was hit in the face with a puck. His visor got the brunt of it but it did break his nose. Brenden Morrow helped him off the ice as he was bleeding pretty badly. But he only missed a couple of shifts before he was back out there on the power play. Then in Game 6, wearing a full cage, he had a goal and assisted on the game winner.
In the series against the Sharks, his assist on Morrow’s series-winning goal was genius. He wound up to shoot, watched Nabokov drop to stop the shot, and passed it to Morrow, who was standing there all alone. That’s not the work of a defensive defenseman.
Robi can skate like crazy. I love watching him skate backwards, especially. He has a move that he uses all the time, yet it works pretty much every time. If he’s being pressured in the defensive zone, he’ll zoom around the net with the guy right on him and whip around on the other side a good three strides ahead of the guy. He can out-maneuver backcheckers with ease.
This season he really came through for the Stars when both Zubov and Boucher missed huge amounts of time. There’s a really nice article on the Stars site about him and how he shone with all the extra responsibility. He ran the power play a lot of the time, which helped him to score nine goals after having zero in 2006-07. During the playoffs, the power play was really clicking while he was running it. Not to take away from Zubov, who usually runs it, but I think it benefited from the change in styles a little. Maybe next season they can mix it up a little more, knowing what Robi can do.