We have a checking center, but no checking line
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09-27-2003, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Ranger fan in Philly
Originally Posted by
I dont have a problem with using Lundmark with Holik just because they play different styles. These two have proven time and time again that they have chemistry together, and sometimes we should just accept that and not worry about anything else. Let me remind you that Holik spent much of his last few years in Jersey playing with Gomez, who is by no means a defensive forward, and was still able to take care of the checking duties. I really think Lundmark can take on a similar role. He can give the line a speedy offensive threat, and I dont think he'll be a liability defensively. People too often assume that just because a player is young, he doesnt know how to play defense. I think defensive skills are more a matter of god-given instincts and effort than something that is taught. And from what I've seen out of Lundy so far, he seems to be responsible defensively.
Holik played with Gomez for a part of his rookie year. After that, NJ was trying to build a 2nd line around Gomez and a 3rd line around Holik. Gomez did not play extensively with Holik. The staple on Holik's line was always McKay on the right. The left was usually filled by Pandolfo or sometimes Brylin. But McKay was always there, so even if the LW on the line was an offensive player, like Gomez, Holik had at least one other defensive forward on the ice with him.
There's a big difference in size, speed, and skill when you come up to the NHL for the first time. A player that was good defensively in the minors, or Junior, or Europe needs to adjust to that, and it's not easy to do. A player that is not known as being particularly good defensively (like Lundmark) has a long way to go, and the process takes years. Lundmark isn't bad, considering his age, but he's a long, long way from good. But the point remains: how are we supposed to have a top checking line when 2/3rds of it is merely decent defensively?
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