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07-22-2011, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by barrytrotzsneck View Post
SOB's biggest issue wasn't his penalties. His boneheaded plays were tied to his penchant for taking the most indirect path to getting the puck out of the defensive zone. He could have a clear lane out if he was willing to pass, but would instead loop back deeper into the defensive zone, somehow ending up behind the goal when just moments before he had his supporting forward wide open with a clear lane. Also fond of trying to skate the puck 175 feet from end to end, usually resulting in a costly turnover.

When SOB was keeping it simple, he was pretty effective -- solid, but not spectacular. The problem was that he, all too often, tried to be fancier than his skillset would allow.
I was going to post something along these lines. I like SOB's grit and toughness, and I think we definitely need some of that on the blueline next year. If somehow we could get Shane O'Brian to stop trying to force plays to happen he would be fine. As you mentioned, ignoring the easiest path out of the defensive zone happened entirely too much. Not only that, but he loved to pinch. The guy loved to skate the puck in deep in the offensive zone, and would often times carry it all the way behind the net. I have two problems with that. The first one is obvious. SOB is NOT an offensive minded player. There is rarely a reason for him to pinch. That brings up my second problem. He did it at seemingly random times. It was almost never a good time for him to pinch in, but there he was. Attempting to stick handle, jumping over players lying on the ice, probably pretending to be Bobby Orr in the Finals like he's a kid on a pond again.

I agree 100% that a SOB who simplifies his game is a very effective #6 defenseman. If he could play an entire season like he played the first half of last season I would welcome him back. I don't think it happens, though.

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