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07-24-2009, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedifr View Post
I rather put Giroux and Briere in the top 6 and have a shut-down third line and not waste Richards and Carter against guys like Malking and Ovechkin....We can agree to disagree....

A top 6 of

Hartnell Carter Briere
Gagne Richards Giroux

or some combination of that may be the best in the league!

Besides, we were talking about a Dman here in Morris, not a center

I agree with GKJ....I believe we are a Malhotra "type" away from being a team competing for the cup, assuming Emery is at least as good as Biron that is....We have to wait and see on him.

A top 4 of Coburn/Timonen Pronger/Parent is more than capable of competing....just fill in the bottom pairing with cheap guys that wont kill you....Basically the Red Wing theory, how has that worked out for them???

Also, one thing almost all the cup winners have in common is that very good defensive center that can win faceoffs and play agaisnt the other team's top offensive players.....Pittsburgh - Staal, Detroit - Draper/Flip, Anaheim - Pahlsson, Carolina - Brind'amour, TB - Taylor and Andreychuk (who was taking a good bit of faceoffs at the time)

The closest thing to that we have is Richards, but why waste our top offensive center or a young guy like Giroux in that role???
You keep mentioning Malhotra, Mike. However, no other team but Atlanta has offered the guy a contract. As well, Columbus was more than content to let him walk, and he's a Hitchcock kind of player, should send red flags right there. Something is not right that this third line centerman hasn't been signed yet. These are the kinds of players who usually get snapped up in the first couple of days of free agency. There's something wrong with the whole Malhotra situation.

As for some of the guys you've mentioned as checkers, in the cases of Staal and Filppula, they're only in the checking roles simply because of the depth that's ahead of them. With that being said, they still generate offense to the tune of 40 to 50 points a season. Brind'Amour, Draper, Taylor and Andreychuk are/were used in their third line roles simply because Father Time has/had caught up with them. Nothing wrong with that, it happens. The only one who has produced less than Malhotra has been Pahlsson, but he was always expected to be a good defensive player with very little on the offensive side.

Fact of the matter though is that with the way the game is being played now, everyone on the team has to be half decent two way players. So, if by lining up Gagne - Richards - whoever against Crosby is the way to go, then so be it. That line is still good enough that not only can they cover their defensive assignments, but they're also fast enough to recover to generate an offensive rush.

If there's anything this team needs, it needs everyone on the ice to give a full and consistent effort for the entire 60 minutes. I know the popular thing here is to blame Stevens for that, but at some point, the players on the ice have to be held accountable as well.

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