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01-27-2011, 08:43 PM
Buddy The Elf
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by Duc620 View Post
How well will the Kings skill guys play looking over their shoulder?
The proof is in the pudding my friend. You answered your own question. They seem to do just fine playing without him. They didn't appear to be looking over their shoulder last night. Look, when the team has the offensive prowess to overcome a guy like Westgarth's shortcomings, I'm all for it. However, when the team is fighting for a playoff spot and it is evident the team can be successful without him, it is time to ice the best lineup you can.

The difference in team toughness between the 10/11 Kings team from the 08/09 Kings team is night and day. They aren't taking the **** they used to because they have guys with character that won't put up with it. And this team still isn't exactly "tough". However, you have guys like Clifford and Simmonds that are more than willing to drop the gloves. You also have guys like Richie and Greene who, while are not fighters, have had no problem standing up for themselves and teammates.

I'm not advocating Clifford to do Westgarth's job as an "enforcer" and take on heavyweights but I think Clifford has been 100x more beneficial to the team this year because 1) he can skate a regular shift and 2) there a hell of a lot more guys in the NHL that are willing to scrap with a guy like Clifford and more often than not, take a pounding. I think if anyone on the team has sent a message to their opponents this season, it has been Clifford.

I haven't bothered to look but I'm curious to know how many fights there have been without Westgarth in the lineup. What kind of mayhem is going on without him there riding the pine?

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