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02-23-2009, 05:04 PM
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Okay, here's the problem with the whole "Briere kills our team defense" theory.

Our GAA in 07-08 = 2.77.
Our GAA in 08-09 = 2.88.

And that's with our PK being ranked slightly higher than it was last year. Now we can hem and haw about Biron's play dropping a bit, but at the same time, the quality of our d-men has gone up drastically, yet we are still giving up a whole bunch of goals.

Last year, we gave up 141 5 on 5 goals. This year, through 57 games (48 of them without Danny), we are on pace to give up 148 5 on 5 goals.

Now, I'm going to make a giant leap here and posture that Briere is not the reason we give up a lot of even-strength goals.

Also, keep in mind that our 5 on 5 GAA is going up even though we've added an elite 2 way player back into the lineup.

Is Briere a weaker defensive player? Most definitely. But I think it's very clear at this point that our 5 on 5 defensive woes are not his fault. We suck at 5 on 5 defense with or without Briere in the lineup.

Get the guy with some consistent, skilled linemates (not Knuble and Upshall for instance) and let him do his thing.

Even better, hire a coach who knows how to get a team to play 5 on 5 defense.

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