Thread: Recalled/Assigned: Canucks recall F Victor Oreskovich(post#76)
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03-17-2011, 03:55 PM
  #98
Outside99*
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* Still waiting for the prognosis on Malhotra - much less concerned about when he will return than whether he makes a 100% recovery though if I was speculating, he won't be back until late in the playoffs.

* Oreskovich was obviously the victim of the #s game when he was sent down at the TD as he was playing excellent hockey for a 4th liner - I would argue the 4th line was effective because of his speed and forecheck, and not because of Hodgson. I see no issue at all to have him in the lineup. Obviously, the current composition of the 4th line was really like having 2 3rd lines so somehow you knew it wasn't going to last...

* Higgins on the 2nd line - makes total sense, you had to know it was going to happen sooner or later. 2nd line has been disconnected for most of the year - very little passing between them relatively speaking (assists can be misleading re. rebounds, etc...), shoot first mentality across the board. Closer to 3 forwards on the ice rather than than a team of 3. Whereas Higgins sees the ice very well and looks for his linemates, also very good along the boards, good forechecking and defensive play improves at the same time - as he said himself, does the little things well - has the perfect coach for this as AV pays attention to those little things as we all know. What a great pickup by Gillis.

* Lapierre has steadily been getting comfortable and is the most logical choice to take over the 3rd line centre position. A bit of a downgrade from Malhotra obviously but less than people think - was a 3/4 in Montreal. I've no clue why Raymond would be inserted in the middle of the 3rd line, is not a centre and has limited hockey sense as a winger to begin with, loses puck battles more often than not and tends to turn the puck over quite a bit. Lapierre is another great pickup by Gillis.

* 4th line becomes Oreskovich Raymond Tambellini (and Glass when he returns). Less than ideal down the middle of course but you take any of the above 4 over Hodgson IMO. Honestly, I'd have the most confidence in Oreskovich in terms of defensive responsibility (plus he's strong on the puck).

Malhotra would have been a huge loss if Lapierre and Higgins had not been acquired, would have basically taken us down to 2 centres (and as we've seen very recently, it actually does happen that both are in the penalty box at the same time), that would have been a potentially disastrous proposition. Instead, Malhotra is still a big loss but one that we can live with, IMO.

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