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04-26-2011, 06:06 PM
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Vancouver will be playing with the following lines:

Bruce MacGregor - Joe Sakic - Bill Cook
Patrick Marleau - Brad Richards - Frank Finnigan
Tony Leswick - Tumba Johansson - Pavol Demitra
Alex Shibicky - Doug Riseborough - Chico Maki

Vancouver isn't particularly concerned with getting matchups, Niagra doesn't really have a big line, per say, and Vancouver has speed and defensive utility spread amongst all the forwards.

Pavel Bure is likely Niagra's biggest weapon, and MacGregor and Leswick can both match up fine against him, and even Marleau wouldn't be a liability because he has great speed and defensive consciousness.

With that being said, I want to go power with power, and put my first line up against Niagra's first line as much as possible. I feel like Sakic and Cook would dominate and control the play more than Sundin and Bure would be able to, and MacGregor on the line provides a nice insurance policy against Bure. MacGregor had BLAZING SPEED, and is famous for successfully shutting down the speedy right winger Yvan Cournoyer.

Niagra has some nice depth pieces offensively, but there is little chemistry or cohesiveness as a team, and Vancouver's mix of speedy, defensively conscious forwards will be able to mitigate some of those depth scorers that Niagra has.

Amongst Vancouver bottom 3 lines are 4 time retro selke winner Frank Finnigan, speedy responsible forward Patrick Marleau, Tony Leswick who was a speedy skater, agitator, and shut down forward against the likes of Maurice Richard, and another strong skating, pesky, defensive forward in Doug Riseborough.

Niagra, on the other hand, just doesn't have the tools to stop Vancouver's top line for dominating this series, and they're outclassed on the blueline and in net.

Vancouver has the high end forwards, a stronger overall blueline, and more consistent goaltending.

I think a lot of people underestimate Vancouver's blueline depth and the tactical advantage that a strong second shutdown pairing like Thomson-Mortson provide.

I believe that Vancouver was one of the first few teams to pick up a #3 defenseman (Mortson), the first team to round out their top-4 with Bob Goldham, and then also first team to pick up a #5 defenseman in Numminen (in case of injuries, which are a reality in the playoffs).

Numminen is a guy who could easily play in the top-4 in this thing and not look out of place, boy... looking around the league, there are some teams with #5 dmen who I would NOT want playing 18+ minutes a game.

Last edited by hungryhungryhippy: 04-26-2011 at 06:15 PM.
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