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07-28-2011, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Halifax
Country: Japan
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I think we'd be hard-pressed to make the playoffs if he got injured (how much of an "off year" it would take is highly subjective and speculative, at best); even more so than recent years. He's our leading scorer, 1st line centre, and #1 penalty killer (we surrendered more powerplays than anyone in the league last year, btw). In fact, last year only three other players (Price, Subban, Hamrlik) had "measurably" more impact on our place in the standings. The year before that, only Halak contributed more.

Sure, having Markov back might put some fingers in the holes in the dyke (he was our biggest impact player in '08/09), but he's a puck-moving defenseman who needs somewhere to which he can actually move the puck on a consistent basis... or more PP opportunities than we had last year (we were exactly "middle of the road" last year in that regard). There are also question marks surrounding his ability to completely carry this team if need be, given the injuries.

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