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11-11-2009, 05:30 PM
God Bless Canada
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bentley reunion
Country: Canada
Posts: 11,793
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Hamilton Bettmans review...

*The first line will be one of the toughest to play against in the draft. Lemieux wasn't overly physical, but he used his massive frame and strength to make life miserable for opponents. Smith and Krutov bring skill and toughness on the wings. I think Krutov might be better-suited to second line duty, but it's hard to mess up a line with Mario and the Hooley. Teams that have a defensive pairing lacking in grit, toughness and/or size might be wise to keep them away from this bull of a line.
*Not sold on the wingers for the second line. I'm sold on Sittler - I think he's good enough for a first line role. But Smith and Boucher don't do it for me. Competition is a big issue for Smith. He put up numbers, but against who? Boucher had two second place finishes in goals, and a couple third place finishes in points, but it didn't last long. The year before consolidation, his numbers plummeted. He played a little more than a year after consolidation, and it's not like he was a 30-something veteran at the time, either. What Boucher does bring is the gritty presence to that second line.
*The third line is a very, very smart line. In terms of hockey IQ, they're going to among the best in the draft. As stated when you guys picked him, Chapman was the guy I'd targeted for our third line from the outset. The question is how they will do against lines that bring skill and toughness to the table, because I'm not certain there's the big-time physical player on this line.
*Much like Jungo's team, there isn't a legit No. 1 defenceman. Vasiliev is the best of this bunch, but he's a bottom-end No. 1. He's a rock-solid blue-liner, but I wonder if he's better suited to being a No. 2. It means this team doesn't have the minute-muncher who can play 25-30 minutes per game.
*From 1-6, the defence is as tough as any in the draft. Vasiliev's tough. Johnson is tough. Corbeau is tough. Munro is tough. Suchy isn't all that physical, but you need someone to quarterback the power play.
*When I look at this team, I see a lot of guys who never played against the best in the world on a nightly basis. And it's a big concern. They played in fractured leagues, or European leagues. pappy's right when he questions the double-standard in this draft, and why we treat the WCHL and the PCHA and the European leagues different from the WHA. How are they going to adjust to playing against the best ever on a nightly basis, when they never played against the best in the world on a nightly basis? Some players are going to be in for a real learning curve.

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