north-south hockey and a balanced attack
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05-23-2008, 12:10 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Originally Posted by
It's only because Detroit is in the finals now. Last year when the Ducks were in the finals it was all about N-S. E-W is now considered trendy in the hockey world.
The north-south, two-way style won't win it for East teams anymore, it's that simple. Anaheim did it with a bruising team and the best D in the NHL, which gave Selanne the confidence to work magic.
And were we such a balanced team? No. A LOT of dischord. You have Jagr, Malik, Shanahanan and Strudwick getting pulled over for being way under the speed limit, and on the other end of the spectrum are Gomez, Straka , Avery and Sjostrom.
We had a first line skating in circles, a second line like boy scouts on a hike with a confused leader (Shanahan), a third line playing D, and a fourth line doing odd jobs. We had a blueline of third pairing guys. The lack of productivity was balanced I guess. THAT is why we took a step backwards in the playoffs (where, ironically, we DID get balanced scoring). We had this cute fairytale attitude that we could go deep with hard work, spirit and character. Which gets you only so far (that was ALL the Isles had with a top line of Fedotenko-Comrie-old man Guerin).
Look at the Pens, the Sabres last season, the Canes in '06. High-flying offensive teams with average D and excellent young goalies (two of whom have since fallen a lot, but nonetheless). This is how the East wins. The game is more open and quicker. If we changed our approach, we would answer a lot of questions: can Gomez be a no. 1 C like Marc Savard? Can Drury net 70 pts.? How will Lundqvist fare with more high-speed breaks down the wing? What is Staal's true offensive upside?
Some will claim to know the anwsers, but there's no way to know. Last question: if we sign Jagr for 2-3 more yrs @ 6-7M, what happens if/when his well runs dry?
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