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05-27-2004, 07:19 AM
Blind Gardien
nexus of the crisis
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Four Winds Bar
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Okay, but for some players I'll reserve the right to say 1st/2nd line, etc, because there is such a disparity of team strengths in the NHL that it really is a fine line for some of these guys...

Saku Koivu : 1st line
Alexei Kovalev : 1st line/2nd line
Mike Ribeiro : 2nd line/press box
Michael Ryder : 2nd line
Richard Zednik : 2nd line
Jan Bulis : 3rd line
Yanic Perreault : 2nd line/3rd line/press box
Jim Dowd : 3rd line/4th line
Steve Begin : 4th line
Pierre Dagenais : press box/AHL
Niklas Sundstrom : 4th line
Jason Ward : 4th line
Andreas Dackell : press box/Europe
Darren Langdon : 4th line/press box

Conclusion : we need to see if Kovalev stays and can play consistently like a first liner (which he certainly did not do last season with us or with NYR, save for a handful of playoff games), whether Ribeiro can maintain last season's pace as a decent 2nd line centre (he's useless if he can't), and for the long haul, we have to hope that Kastitsyn or Perezhogin can fulfill their maximum potential. Depth guys are never a problem, but we still lack a true 3rd line leader. We have lots of supporting role depth, but we don't have a real defensive superhero in the Carbo, Gainey, Primeau, Draper, Madden, etc. tradition.

Andrei Markov : #2/#3
Sheldon Souray : #2/#3
Patrice Brisebois : #4/press box
Mike Komisarek : #5
Craig Rivet : #4
Stephane Quintal : press box/please retire
Francis Bouillon : #6/press box

Conclusion : If Souray and Markov can give us full seasons of the best we've seen from them, then I'm pretty happy with our #2/3/4 spots. Not many teams actually do have what I would call a #1 defenseman, so the line is a bit blurred there... the way Souray was playing up to the All-Star break, well, technically that would be like a #1 in today's NHL. But I need to see it for more than just half a season.

I suppose Brisebois is my controversy... he played as a good #4 for the most part this year, but I think he treads a fine line... everything went well for him this year, but I don't think it would take much for him to become an afterthough on our blueline. Quintal is miserable, no two ways around it, and hopefully some sucker of a GM out there will take him off our hands. Bouillon is good enough filler. I think we have pretty good character and leadership (Rivet, Souray esp., maybe one day Komisarek), but we still need to add another quality defenseman (you can't get #1's easily, so another #2 like Zhitnik would be fine), and I hope that Hainsey will be able to replace Brisebois. Keeping Dyhkhuis around for more depth would be fine by me.

Jose Theodore #1
Mathieu Garon #2

Conclusion : I agree with the original poster: Garon is NOT #1, by any stretch, no way, no how. Maybe he could be one day if he had the chance, but I think the same can be said for about 20 or more other goalies, while at the same time, there are already very few teams who do not have a #1 already.

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