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08-25-2008, 10:40 AM
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This is a scoring team, not a defense-first team. To have playoff success they need to improve defensively, and there's no doubt a stud veteran d would be valuable.

However, in terms of improving defensively over last year, I think there has certainly been some movement in the right direction. Neither O'Byrne nor Gorges were regulars this time last year, and both are MUCH better defensively than Brisbois (although they don't have his passing abilities), plus both are young d who should continue to improve over the course of the year.

Up front, Tanguay is FAR more responsible and efficient defensively than Ryder was. Streit's loss is almost entirely offensive, as he was mostly a liability in his own zone, and the addition of BGL takes enormous pressure off Komisarek to fight and protect his teammates, as well as provides a much better deterrent to running our goalies than anything we've had in years.

Overall, not a major improvement. I'd say right now, the #4 slot is comparatively weak and the #7 slot is wide open. If a Valentenko, Belle or Carle can contribute positively over the course of the season, then the d will be pretty good, but that's a gamble. Depth is certainly an issue.

One thing that gives me pause is that Carbo has shown a definite preference for having an extra d in the lineup as a 4th line winger. Last year we carried 7 d almost every game and sometimes we had 8. So do we really expect him to only dress 6 this season? Is Dandy going to play (shudder) regularly?

If no Mats, then a veteran d on a short contract could well make sense to bridge the gap until the very deep prospect pool start to arrive in Montreal.

Last edited by Bullsmith: 08-25-2008 at 10:46 AM.
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