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04-11-2011, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Originally Posted by
It could be just me but Mcmillan looks better than Almond ever looked. I know Almond has better hands but Mcmillan seems to have NHL speed and is more physical. It would be great if both of them could fill out the 3rd and 4th line centers but I just wanted to bring Mcmillan to our attention since he isn't mentioned much.
The thing that cannot be overlooked is the situation which Cody Almond was called up for vs. McMillan. Almond was brought up for a team in the playoffs that just lost their #1 center. McMillan was brought up to an eliminated team just to reward him for his effort in Houston. One felt he had to make plays, the other was just doing what he had been doing in Houston.
McMillan has looked good though. One of my favorite Hitmen players all-time. He fit like a glove on that 4th line. Madden didn't gel that well with those guys. There were times this year where Madden would over-commit and get the line out of position on the fore-check. There were times where Madden tried to make fancy plays and cost us. But McMillan, he kept it simple, great positioning, and perhaps the most important thing for a 4th line player was his shift length. Only once(that I recall) did he get caught out there for a long shift, stuck in the defensive zone. Kept his positioning and got the puck out himself and went right to the bench to get Koivu out there. 39 seconds/shift, the lowest of any player to play for the Wild this season.
The face-offs were bad like Almond though. Can't get by at 40% in this league. Both of them need to be better. Should be learning from Peters, who came up and schooled everyone with his 62%.
Its still debatable whether center is the best position for McMillan, whereas Almond's been more of a center his career. He's solid enough positionally to play it, but with the poor face-offs, and some lost opportunities to fore-check, it may not be ideal. He likes to hit. Sort of like Nystrom in that regard, that yes he can play center, but do you want him to play center.
I'm fine with an Almond/McMillan/Nystrom/Wellman/Sheppard competition for the 4th center position next season. Of course if Wellman's playing center it shouldn't be line 4, but Cullen basically played like a 4th line center even-strength this past season, so he could move down.
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