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09-23-2003, 07:18 AM
Originally Posted by
I watched Allen closely in Vernon during training camp. He looks to be much faster and stronger than last year. He played excellent defensive hockey in the intrasquad games, but did not rush the puck often. I think that Crawford has told him to concentrate on the defensive zone coverage first.
I don't know how he looked last night (didn't listen to the game) however, I sure notice how Canuck fans are quick to jump on him for any mistake he makes. Instead of making a deal about Naslund (or a few other forwards on this team) not paying attention to defense, it is easy to berate the young defense or the goalie.
Crawford seems to have the same attitude, for whatever reason, with Allen. After a defensive gaff last year, Allen would ride the pine or be sent down to Winnipeg. I can't understand why the Canucks haven't given him a longer stretch of games (with substantial minutes) to see if he is the real deal.
Crawford likes veteran defense (which does not sit well for Koltsov or Mojis seeing any appreciable time with the Canucks this year either) and Allen is not going to get a good look. He is slated behind Ohlund and Malik on the left side, and possibly even Slegr.
For this reason, I am guessing that Allen will be traded. I hope that I am wrong, as I believe Allen bring items to the defense that are in short supply on this team (toughness and crease clearing). Allen also has showed character and loyalty to the team (has not *****ed once over being jerked back and forth to the minors). I also think that if traded and given a chance, Allen will blossom into a top defensive defenceman who will also pop a few goals with his big shot.
I think you've summed Allen's situation up quite nicely and do tend to agree with your pov.
I have mixed feelings about Allen being a Canuck. One part of me would hate to see him go and another part of me would like to see him "blossom" on another team. Not the Western Conference though.