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04-07-2004, 10:11 AM
  #22
Mike8
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It's tough to say who would do a better job in a shadow role between Juneau and Begin.

The upside of Begin is that he will drive right at Thornton. Thornton can be undisciplined and take retaliatory penalties, and Begin has drastically improved his own discipline over the course of the season. If Begin successfully gets under Thornton's skin then that is a major advantage for Montreal.

I would disagree with the sentiment that Juneau did a great job in shadowing Thornton in '02. Thornton's line was running all over Montreal's forwards in that series. All the highlight reel saves that Theodore made were off Thornton or Guerin. While Juneau is sound positionally, Thornton can skate right through him and there's little Juneau can do.

There's one thing Juneau does do well: clutch and grab. But as we've all noticed, the officials have been calling more obstruction penalties since January (or thereabouts). This is bad news for Juneau.

The upside of Juneau is that he doesn't seem to get called on his incredible amount of obstruction in the neutral zone. He is an intelligent player with a boatload of experience. With two big defensemen like Souray and Quintal on the blueline and Begin/Ward on his wings in support, I'd look for Juneau to play center and all five players to have specific roles in working over Thornton.

It's important to keep in mind that Juneau is always at his best when he plays Boston.


As for Montreal's perceived weakness in this thread....

There is no Doug Gilmour on the team but as Guy! stated: Koivu's just as fiery, just as clutch as Gilmour was in '02, and he's in his prime. There's a dozen players on the roster that are upgrades or have improved dramatically since the '02 series.

Don't kid yourselves: this is a much improved Canadien squad. Just as it is a far better Bruins squad than the one in '02, which is what will make this an entertaining series.

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