use this thead to talk about the Leafs' 4th line
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10-04-2009, 06:57 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by
You throw hits to knock the other guys off the puck, and to make them cough it up easier. You punish guys in the corner in order to come out with the puck. Intimidating physical play leads to giveaways and takeaways, two areas in which we were
My point is: We aren't going to outskill many (if any) teams. Why play that way?
Burke built a team that is supposed to be physical and miserable to play against
. Truculence and pugnacity, remember? It's only been two games, but so far they have mostly looked just like last year's team. Wilson either sits our toughest forwards, or doesn't give them much ice time while seemingly playing Wallin (who had no points, no hits, no shots, no takeaways, and was a minus 1) to death. On the blueline he sits Exelby, the most devastating open-ice hitter we have.
Truculence and pugnacity? It would be nice to have a coach and GM on the same page.
Burke built the back-end and 4th line to be physical and miserable to play against. As it stands, nobody in the top 9 outside John Mitchell is a legit physical presence (Poni rarely uses his size, and Stalberg is more of a finesse guy). The team, while better on paper, still suffers from the same short-coming as always: team mentality.
Nobody on this team is thinking on the same page. Use last night for example. Beauchemin tries to be aggressive, misses his check, and creates an odd-man rush for a goal. I know that there's a lot of new faces, and it will take more than 3 weeks to learn to read each other, but on a play where the D-man is being aggressive, you need the high forward to be busting his butt to get back. Is Beauchemin to blame for that play? Definitely, he has to get his man on that play. But it's also the high forward's assignment to get back on that play too.
For this team to go anywhere, they need to be on the same page, and that means they can't miss defensive assignments all night long, and they certainly cannot give up 5 breakaways to a team that will score 75% of the time.
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