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08-22-2008, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
I actually like your lines (although with Sjostrom as a second liner, it highlights the lack of top six forward depth on this team)...I do have a couple issues, though. Drury has shown an ability to score 35 goals, and an ability to score 25 goals. With guys like Cally and Fritsche, the numbers going to be 20-25. With Zherdev, he has a better chance of topping 30 goals. Of course, what happens to Dubi's production. It's tough finding the right match of players that will create the optimal results, as opposed to benefitting one guy at the expense of another.
The thing is Fletch that Drury put up that 37 goal season within the context of a 06-07 Sabres team that was just an offensive juggernaut (we know this as ranger fans, we saw them enough.) Everyone on that team scored. If you take out those two years at the end of his buffalo stint, Drury is a career 20-25 goal 50-65 point guy. Now that's excellent production for a guy who gives you so many other facets in his game, but we're just not talking about a guy who is ever going to score up to his contract, and I'm ok with that at this point. He earns most of his money by being the great overall player that he is. And this brings us to the flip side that you brought up; Dubinsky's numbers will drop if you swap him with Drury on the third line. And the thing is that, at least at this stage of their careers, Drury gives you a lot more when he's not scoring (or scoring less) than Dubinsky does.

The more I hear about Zherdev the more it seems to make sense to pair him with Dubinsky and see if Brandon can again play the physical compliment to a talented puck-possession player who likes the puck on his stick. But we'll have to see it on the ice (and I need to see Zherdev a bit more with my own two eyes before i draw serious conclusions.)

I also agree that Sjostrom in the top 6 is not ideal, but he's at least intriguing and I think it's worth experimenting with. Maybe he is just Marcel Hossa 2.0, but with the dearth of talented big forwards on this team, I can't help but want to see what a guy of Sjostrom's size, speed and reasonable hands might be able to do. If he doesn't pan out as a scoring forward then you put him back on the 4th line and try something new, but i think it's worth a shot.

Last edited by xander: 08-22-2008 at 04:35 AM.
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