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02-19-2011, 11:48 AM
Change is good.
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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I actually think that it once again comes down to a lack of top line skill. Seems somewhat counter-intuitive? That the problem sounds more like an unwillingness to go to the hard areas? Well, think about it - to get to the middle of the ice, you need to either a) make a guy miss, b) blow by him or c) receive a pass in the open after one of your teammates has drawn multiple defenders to him.

We have lots of guys (damn near the whole roster) who are willing to go to the dirty areas. That's not the problem. What we're lacking is the players who can get the puck into the clear for the dangerous scoring chance.

So, what winds up happening is that we skate in with speed... and get tied up along the boards, battle for a while and lose the puck. Or we get it back to the point... and shoot it into a crowd in front. What we rarely see is a guy suddenly come free one-on-one with the goalie at the faceoff circle or in. You know those moments that kind of freeze in time where the other team's fans suddenly go "Oh. ****." and then the puck's in the net? We don't get those - and IMO it's because we simply don't have the skill.

Encouragingly we do see flashes from Stepan, AA, and MZA and we saw some from MDZ last year. We even occasionally see it from Dubi. But all of them need to develop further - and even then I think we're still missing true top end, game breaking skill. This is the primary reason why I feel we're still smack dab in the middle of the rebuild process.

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