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07-11-2011, 11:17 PM
  #149
VanIslander
17/07/2014 ATD RIP
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Funny you say he never matched his 50 goal season - while he didn't match the goal total, I think he was a lot better as a two-way player under Hitchcock.
Yes! I italicized "underperforming goal scorer" in my post. I should have bolded "underperforming goal scorer". I was a North Stars fan going back to their first Stanley Cup run in 1981. Modano was criticized for lack of finishing, lack of effort and lack of physicality in his early years. Expectations might have been a bit too high. There were even some who said (not me) that the team could not win a championship with him.

As for Modano vs. Nieuwendyk, it was clear the captain was the leader on and off the ice when competition got heavy. He handled traffic much better during the Dead Puck Era and when he went down with an injury at the start of the '99 playoffs the team knew their cup chances were shot. The next season Joe led them to the cup. I prefer the go up the middle and battle defensemen style of grit and determination over the fluid perimeter passing game. Both are great. I always thought Joe a step better, though Modano-Lehtinen had surprising chemistry and really were a fantastic tandem, helping each other out a lot.

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