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08-27-2011, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
How much scoring did our 4th line provide last season?
Interesting question. There were 21 goals just between Pouliot and DD, figure Darche's 12 goals would also count. And then 5 between Pyatt-Boyd-White. Eller played a portion of the season on the fourth line, too, and he had 7; Halpern as well and he had 11.

So figure part-time or full-time fourth-liners scored as many as 20% of the Habs' goals, probably around 25% of all goals scored by forwards. Which points to it being a pretty bad year for the Habs' big forwards. Of course some of those guys didn't stay on the fourth line the whole time (Eller) and/or added PP goals (DD), but that only points to the value of the fourth line as a development area for young skill players.

Did you have a point you were trying to make with this?

Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
How's that? Adding toughness automatically means a worst player than what we have?
No, but pretty much every suggestion I've seen on this board to add "toughness" and "grit" does.

I have nothing about players who are "tough". I am against pursuing "toughness" as a goal in and of itself. If you get a "tough" player who's better than the one you have, then you're not so much adding toughness as adding a guy who is a better player. I would wholeheartedly approve of and embrace such a move, but that never seems to be what we're talking about here.

See, toughness and grit have no intrinsic value unless they are used to drive hockey result. My point is that having a "mix of players" does not have some mystic quality that is inherently desirable. The goal here is to get the best set of players you can get, and toughness and grit are tools in that sense -- useful tools, but rather overrated, considering people think a player who provides nothing else has value.

Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
See, Travis Moen play for this team. And from your analysis, he's a good player. Yet, if we would have a guy like him in mind, he'd fit in the bad category?
Moen is a good example of what I mean. He is not on this club for his "toughness" or "grit", he's here for his defensive ability. Do those make him a better defensive player? I'd say 'yes', but they are ultimately not why the Habs pay him, he's paid to be a defensive forward.

Question: if, contracts being equal, you could replace Moen with a guy who was a more effective defensive forward because of speed and superior positioning and hockey sense, and perhaps had a bit more of an offensive touch but who was smaller and less "tough", would you?

Seems obvious? But there are people on this board who certainly give the impression they'd prefer the worse player for the sake of "toughness". Because the Habs really need someone to take five-minute fighting majors.

Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
See, while not a fighter, not a goon and not even a tough guy, I strongly believe that adding a guy like Cole IS ad addition to our overall "toughness".
Again, he might be -- but I bet his ability to put up even-strength points and drive puck possession while playing against first-line opposition was the real reason they got him. Of course, his size and strength are part and parcel of his ability to do that. But if the Habs could have gotten Martin St-Louis instead, they would have.

It's also important to note that he adds his "toughness" where it matters: on a guy who plays 18 minutes a night. Adding "toughness" in the form of a 5-minute fourth-liner is not going to make the team better.

I'm all for improving the team. But becoming "tougher" without adding hockey ability does not actually improve the team. Add players because they're better, not because they're tough.

Last edited by Mike8: 08-27-2011 at 07:36 PM. Reason: merge
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