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04-29-2011, 09:58 AM
  #47
BigKing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc620 View Post
I tell you what, tho... Simmonds became a bull dog on the puck, taking and keeping pucks. He really improved on that, an absolute terror on the puck.
I have to disagree with this statement, unfortunately.

If all you are remembering is the playoffs, then yes, he improved his strength on the puck in the playoffs versus the regular season; however, Simmonds took a big step backwards in regards to this when you look at his work from the season before.

"Grinder of the Year" became a guy who didn't get many chances to control the puck along the boards and, when he did, he didn't come out with it as often as last year.

I think a large factor for this was his linemates this past season. Handzus lost a step and it wasn't until he was put with his old buddy from last season--Richardson--and another good skater in Clifford that we saw the Simmonds we came to expect from last season.

Dump and chase doesn't work if you can't get to the puck quick enough. Hopefully, next season, we won't have to see Simmonds working with a slow center.

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