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08-31-2011, 02:55 PM
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2nd Line comparison

I'll make this quick.

Offensive upside = Even

Tanti > Dahlen, Backstrom > Ribeiro, Sands <<<< Stastny

The offensive gap between Charlie Sands and Marian Stastny is enormous, and makes up for the smaller gaps at the other two positions.

Actual offensive production = Advantage Eden Hall

Not every goal can be scored off the rush. The ability to win battles for the puck is important to scoring goals, especially in the playoffs. Ulf Dahlen is one of the best puck winners at the MLD level, while Philadelphia doesn't have anyone on the second line who is known to be strong in the corners.

Billy's strategy for his second line seems to rest of some bizarre idea that Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals is proof that you can win in the playoffs without winning battles for the puck.

Defense = Advantage Philadelphia

I'd rank the players defensively like this:

Very good = Charlie Sands
Pretty good = Nicklas Backstrom, Ulf Dahlen
Nonfactors = Mike Ribeiro, Marian Stastny
Poor = Tony Tanti

I think the Sands/Backstrom combo is good enough to make up for Tanti. It's not like Ribeiro and Stastny are great defensive players, themselves.

Overall = Close

Does the greater actual offensive production of Eden Hall outweigh the defensive advantage of Philadelphia's second line? Who knows.

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