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11-23-2004, 02:43 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Originally Posted by
Lundmark is a bad example because Don Maloney has said that Lundmark will play pivot this season. Prucha and Lundmark will not be competing against one another on the depth chart.
In general terms, I do not believe Petr will begin his first NHL season anywhere else but line 4 - even if he has a stellar training camp. Pre-season games are filled with kids on all lines - meaning that Lundmark was playing against unrealistically easy opposition that September he was RW to Holik. And (as we saw with Lundmark) having a sensational preseason can be misleading, although York and Johnsson are cases of two kids who had sensational pre-seasons and who remained solid.
Now, do I think that Prucha is
his first NHL season on the second line?
I do for the following reason: He has shown (while playing for the national team in pressure-cooker situations) that he is not afraid to be in the spotlight. In fact, his game elevates when he's playing with better linemates.
But there is a big difference between playing fourth line and second line when you consider facing the likes of Philadelphia or Ottawa or Colorado or Detroit or any club with significant forward depth.
Hey, against Edmonton, I would gladly place Prucha on line 2. But in the NHL, you have
to learn the tendencies of your opponents. And that takes time.
So my answer is an emphatic
. I do not anticipate Prucha beginning his NHL career anywhere but on fourth line and probably
I also have concern for Prucha regarding the length of the NHL season. He
do the same thing York does, which is to play strong(ly) for 50-60 games and then fade at the end.
Last season, Petr played about 65-70 games I think when you include playoffs and World Championships. Even under Gary Bettman's 72-game scheme, the playoffs would still stretch Petr's endurance in a league as physical as the NHL.
Yes, I think Hlavac first started on a 4th line, then sent to Hartford for a few games then he got to play with Nedved.
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