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12-07-2009, 05:47 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Jersey
Frankly, I don't know who has invaded Ilkka Heikkinen's body since he got to the NHL. In the first game, he was as physical as he can be, which is not his game. Yes, he can hit, but he was way too physical in that game for his strengths and weaknesses. Then in the second game, he just kept going back in front of the net and was almost totally passive.
Heikkinen used to be (pre-NHL) an offensive defenseman who could play D, hit occasionally, had average speed, and a very heavy shot. He had good vision and could distribute the puck well.
In the games I have seen, he has not been offensively effective at all, and seems very tentative every time he got the puck. He did not distribute the puck well, and did not shoot except once.
I hope he gains some confidence, because he is not taking advantage of his skills. I am sure he was told to tone down the hitting because it was too often taking him out of the play. He does not have the speed to get back and position himself well. If he somehow goes back to who he is, he should be a 3 or 4 guy, not 5 or 6. But the way he's playing right now, he's barely a 6th blueliner.
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