Leino Benched.... its about time
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11-02-2009, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Originally Posted by
Agreed. He looks like a shell of the guy he was.
I sometimes wonder how scathing Babcock can be about back-checking/defensive awareness with this team. If a guy is sensitive, who knows if hes going to be focusing on his defensive game to the point where it detracts from his overall game so as to avoid Babcock's wrath.
To me, it looks like Leino is constantly concerned about committing to the offensive zone. Hes not a fast skater, and when you combine that with Babs' defensive demands, he could just be wary of driving down the middle or battling for pucks, and getting caught as a result. His move of choice has become a wrister from the perimeter, which allows him a quick transition from offense to defense, and I rarely see him past the hash marks.
I wouldn't be surprised if Leino is too concerned about being the goat to loosen up and play with a comfortable stick in the offensive zone.
Could definitely be part of it. Another part might be Leino being used to bigger ice. As you said, he stops at the hash marks and either throws a weak shot on goal or gives the puck up. On bigger ice, over by the boards, he would have time to make a play from that spot. In the NHL, the defense is immediately on top of him.
Whatever it is, it needs to get fixed. The guy's too good to just slip away to nothing.
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