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04-17-2011, 12:31 AM
  #111
William H Bonney
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sierra Nevada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wooty View Post
I like the fact that nobody will take on Westgarth. That is a huge advantage especially if he is getting regular (4th line) time.
I'm not a fan of dressing a goon but Westy has played well. Tonight was probably one of his best games as a King. That said, I don't think anyone is afraid of taking on Westgarth. I just don't think they see the point. They're going to target Clifford and Simmer because those are Top 9 guys that would be good tradeoffs for San Jose. The Sharks would love to put Clifford/Simmer in the box for 5 minutes at the expense of Eager/Mayers. We lose that tradeoff and take a big hit in our toughness, agitation, and grit in our Top 9 while they're in the sin bin. There's an upside to San Jose fighting those two. With Westy there isn't and they're treating him as such.

To Westy's credit, he's recognized that so far and hasn't gone over the top trying to bait anyone either. The 3rd period tonight was a great example. After a Niemi stop, the Sharks were going after Lewis in the scrum and Westy calmly wrapped up 2 or 3 Sharks and negated their aggression directed at Trevor. Granted, the comfortable score helped but normally Westy would have come out of that with the only penalty because he's desperate to try and start something. It was small but important.

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