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10-24-2003, 08:03 AM
True Blue
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway
I know that we are all skeptical but Mess has been the most consistent center thus far this season. He's actually played well.
I am not saying that he has played badly. However, as I have been harping on, there are 3 reasons that he has looked good:
1. NOT playing 18+ minutes a night, and thus having more energy.
2. NOT going up against the top 2 lines or the top 2 defensive pairing. Things are a little different when you start going against the top players.
3. NOT swishing and dishing. By playing w/ Matty & Simon, Messier is forced to play a simple game. Have we forgotten all the giveaways that his blind, behind the back, through the legs passes cause? For all the talk of him as a playmaker, people seemed to have forgotten just how many times his play caused odd man rushes to go the other way.

Now you put him in a position where none of the 3 apply. More minutes mean less energy for the 42 year old. Playing on what is the 2nd line will ensure that he now will be going against the other teams top 2 lines & top 2 defensive pairing. He is going to be playing against a caliber of players that he can no longer compete for long stretches of time against. Take away Simon and Barnaby and it's is right back to making blind passes.
All in all, this is a recipe for disaster. Unless the Holik line will really be the #2 line in all but name. IF the Holik line is used against the other teams top lines and the Nedved line would go against the other teams #2, then Mess should be able to survive. However, that would require Sather to match lines and actually coach, something he seems to be reluctant to do. Look at how many times that we have already screamed about why Holik is not matched against the other teams top lines. The other teams will know this and try to make sure that one of the top 2 lines is on the line against Messier's line. If Jackass is stuck on thinking that Messier is truly a premier player still and not play the matching game, this could get ugly quickly.

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