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04-19-2011, 09:26 AM
  #29
joe89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
He played under 20 minutes in game 1 too though, when the game was close pretty much the whole way.

I think this is like the 07 playoffs for Nick - Babcock realized after the 06 playoffs that Nick had lost a quarter step, and he wouldn't be as effective playing 30 minutes a night. So he pulled him back a bit. Nick responded well. Same deal here. Nick has lost another half step, and Babcock is realizing that no matter how great a player is/was, sometimes 18-20 minutes of play from a 41 year old great player is more effective and efficient than 26 minutes.

Dude's 41 years old. How many 41 year olds do you know that can go bowling and not hurt, much less play playoff hockey?
But he did see around the 25 min mark plenty of times this regular season and averaged 23. While I do think Babcock is realizing he's not what he has always been, I think 18 mins is a clear case of keeping him fresh. There is no way I can see Rafalski and Ericsson getting more time than him when the whole playoffs are on the line. However, I think it's wise to cut down his PK time, because especially around the crease is an area where he has dropped off the most imo.

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