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04-29-2004, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Originally Posted by Fletch
there wasn't much finishing going on. Can't get an assist when players are finishing. Further, you're not going to get too many assists being Leetch's partner. Too often you need to hang back and be that safety valve (I know, Poti a safety valve, whatever, right, but that's how it was set in that system). Further, you're not the guy bringing up the puck either, so you lose out there, too. I actually would not have difficulty with Poti being on the blueline if he was paired with a competent partner. I think he's a better puckhandler than Rachunek and a better skater. I thought that after Leetch left, Poti was a much better player. I think he's similar to Kovalev in a way. The rest of his game gets better if he's more involved, meaning, if he's carrying the puck all the time, pinching in more often, etc., it keeps him involved and there are less lapses. Like Kovalev - who sucked with Nedved (who often carried the puck). Kovalev's best when he's carrying the puck and playing tons. His awareness improves. Same with Poti, in my opinion. If Poti cannot translate into a good commodity trade-wise, I have no problem keeping him and playing him with Kaspar or another defenseman.
And I simply don't buy the idea that playing with Leetch caused Poti's numbers to go down. By shear luck and averages he should have racked up 14 secondary assists playing first pair minutes.

To your point about guys not finishing. I don't recall too many times when we said, "Boy so and so needs to finish that great pass from Poti". Somehow guys finished enough for Jan Hlavac to record 21 assists. Same goes for Malakohv's 15, Mironov's 13 and deVries' 12. Hell Kasparaitis had 9 assits in 28 fewer games and Bouchard had 7 assists in 44 fewer games. So who is finishing for these guys?

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