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12-18-2009, 04:47 AM
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Derek Sanderson

On any defensive trio or "checking" line there is the key player whose presence allows the other two to optimize their game. Recognizing this player is the key to appreciating why the line has success.

Ed Westfall was the player who made Derek Sanderson appear like a great defensive player. Westfall, when Sanderson arrived with the Bruins, was an established player, excellent defensively on a weak team. Sanderson, a rookie, fresh from junior - Niagara Falls, did not know the NHL, likewise the NHL did not know him. Westfall helped introduce Sanderson to the NHL and supported his high risk defensive play with his great anticipation.

Granted, Sanderson had issues with lifestyle choices before and after leaving the Bruins but when he returned to the NHL with other teams he never had a linemate that would his style like Ed Westfall did. Significantly when Ed Westfall joined the Islanders he facilitated the defensive side of many of their forwards.

Don Marcotte, while an excellent defensive forward, never reached Ed Westfall heights, IMO.

Last edited by Canadiens1958: 12-18-2009 at 04:49 AM. Reason: addition
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