ATD 2011 Draft Thread II
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02-01-2011, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
People are correct that you have to surround Coffey with the right talent to make the most of him. He is kind of like Esposito that way. However, if you surround him properly his upside is absolutely huge - also like Espo.
I always say it is no coincidence that Gretzky, Lemieux and XXXXX all had their best seasons with Coffey feeding them the puck and gaining the zone on the powerplay etc.
Coffey is often criticized—and sometimes booed in his home rink—for playing like a blitz-crazed free safety, abandoning traditional stay-at-home defense for chancy forays into the offensive zone. Still, Coffey gets more than he gives as his +52 rating for the regular season suggests. Besides, as [coach] says, "
We built this team around speed and offense
. Paul gives us both."
"Maybe Paul's style wouldn't be right for some teams, but it's perfect for us," says Gretzky, who credits Coffey for much of his success. "Paul can make that long breakout pass so I can stay up a little higher in our zone. And I know he's going to be skating up just behind the play, so if [right wing] and [left wing] are covered, I've got Paul as another option."
However, as he slumped onto a bench in the Oiler dressing room after a practice last week, Coffey looked and sounded weary of having to defend his style of play. "Since I was a Peewee, people have said I'm too offensive-minded," he said. "But that's my role here. Look, XXXXXXX's a good defensive defenseman on a good defensive team. I'm a good offensive defenseman on a good offensive team. Does that make him better?"
Coffey was more a rover than a defenseman but I don't think anyone can argue with the results in the right environment. He just needs to be put in the right environment and turned loose.
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