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11-15-2008, 03:05 PM
Nation of Poutine
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: La Vieille Capitale
Originally Posted by
I was concerned going into the season about the lack of grit/toughness/"physicality" (whatever you want to call it) in our projected top 6...
nothing about the start of the season, including the 8 wins, has led me to feel otherwise.
As skilled as our top 9 is, winning in the playoffs requires more, and as the roster stands right now I don't think we have the make-up of a team that can handle a 6-7 game series against a hard fore-checking physical team.
It's a tough situation, because looking at the top 9, who do you move?
Lang? big bodied RH centre we "needed" so desperately (playing ok, but his 46% faceoffs make me wonder...)
Higgins? Imo even if last years offensive output is his limit (which I doubt), he brings more than that to the table and plays the kind of game that should keep him in a habs jersey for the long-haul.
Koivu? heart and soul captain... not going anywhere
Kovalev? streaky for sure, but most talented guy on the roster, and most feared by the opposition... plus he's great in the playoffs
Tanguay? been the best point producer on the team thus far, hard to fault him for doing what he does best, can't really expect him to do much more
Kost? Too much untapped potential to risk watch blossom elsewhere
Kost Jr? Ditto, plus plays with a great aggressive edge despite smaller stature
Pleks? trade the turtleneck??? Crazy... guy is solid in all parts of the game, showed last year he can put up the points
Lats? See kost comments...
Just looking at that abundance of skill, it feels crazy to suggest that any move should be made
but unfortunately building a team isn't just about having the most "skilled" players.
and even more unfortunately, the one drawback every single one of those guys has (except MAYBE higgins) is that none of them can really be called "physical" players.
I argued in the past (until i was blue in the face) that you didn't NEED size at centre, but you do need grit, and this group lacks it sorely.
If it were my call, I'd be looking to trade lang+ for a solid, physical Dman who can play top 4 minutes, and then call up Chipchura and see if his style of play is enough to balance our top 3 lines.
Tanguay- Koivu- Lats
Kost- Pleks- Kovalev
Higgins- Chipcura- Kost jr
Kosto- Lapierre- Begin/Laraque
if the team is still looking soft come february, look at targeting a physical winger that can play in the top 9, but as young as Chipchura is, i think his style of play/attitude is exactly what our forwards are missing right now.
The problem with our skilled guys is one of lack of size + skills in my opinion(players that have both). Change Plekanec and put Jokinen in there and it changes our team from top to bottom. That really is what we need.
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