Thread: Injury Report: Lalime and Vanek
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10-03-2010, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by HarryNealesGarden View Post
I don't really buy this though. Vanek was perfectly healthy for four entire seasons (again, not counting getting hit in the face with an errant slapshot), and then since last offseason he's been constantly banged up. What changed?
What changed should be obvious - the NHL's enforcement of the rules and subsequent impact on the style of play. Go back and watch any of the games in Vanek's first two seasons between 2005-2007: he was much more of an attacking forward that carried the puck on rushes or cycles within the zone. He scored a lot more goals off pretty solo rushes or beating a defender off the boards and taking the puck to the net than he does now.

With the league gradually allowing more of the obstruction back into the game, that kind of freedom and flow is now harder to find. Vanek's size and great hand-eye coordination, as a result, is being used now more in a stationary role to screen the goalie, deflect shots from the point and collect rebounds around the crease. Obviously, that's where all the physical punishment takes place, which is starting to show up in the minor injuries he's accrued the past 3 years.

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