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03-30-2010, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Shareefruck View Post
Except that 'playing defense' in the NHL is way harder than playing defense in junior, especially for a center. I expect Hodgson to do better offensively than defensively, to be honest. Even if he does acquit himself nicely, it's not like he's going to be immediately good enough to be able to 'bail out Schroeder as long as he's not a klutz' like you say.

There's very little doubt in my mind that that line will struggle in their own end in their first year. Maybe if they were on a line with Kesler instead of Samuelsson I would agree.
I think the truth is the exact opposite of what you are suggesting. There are dozens of examples of players in the NHL today that were great scorers in the juniors and can't touch the twine in the professional ranks -- most of them reside on third and fourth lines around the NHL.

Look at Ryan Kesler. It took him years to learn how to score consistently at the NHL level, but it took him about ten minutes to play proper defense.

Defense is a matter of commitment and intelligence, neither of which should be an issue for Hodgson.

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