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12-23-2010, 09:21 PM
  #39
MathMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SJSharkie1 View Post
No, he's not the only coach to do it, and any of them who do are infuriating. It's like they're too scared to bench veterans.
AKost isn't precisely a rookie at this stage of his career.

But there's an important reason coaches don't bench top-line players: they need them. Bench even AKost and not only do you need to replace him with a worse player but it messes up your matchups. Eller on the top line weakens the Plekanec line (Eller isn't as good as AKost) and it weakens the fourth line (Pyatt isn't nearly as good as Eller either). It makes it really hard to get favorable matchups, and that's just AKost. Even if Gomez had deserved a benching (he didn't), removing him from the lineup would have crippled the Habs' matchup ability.

The same applies to the D-men. The Habs are short on top-4 D-men as it is, and they're starting to feel it now. The Markov injury is starting to tell. Removing another top-4 vet would be suicidal at this point.

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