Marcel Hossa's spot on the first line
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10-26-2003, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Originally Posted by
Tough call on a Hab team that isn't really loaded with high-octane forwards, but the question that immediately comes to mind is this: who else fits?
Many good points have been brought up here including Hossa's underrated ability to control the boards, which I think is the key to his game, at this point. He's also been going to the net more and more frequently each game. I also feel I can see, in his play, an improvement in his confidence level which is making him a better player.
Now, the comments on his passing abilities are warranted, I'll admit. I find that, while he does great work on the boards, unless someone is there to do something with the puck he's won, it's usually just a board win and a missed opportunity - or at least it has been. I've found that his passing has improved tremendously in the past two or three games. Take a closer look next game, I think you might be surprised at the subtlety of his passing game.
Of course, there's still the question of whether or not he belongs on the 'first' line. Quick answer: no. There's not a shadow of doubt in my mind that he is playing above his station, but the counter to that is where do you think he belongs?
Personally, I think he should presently be on the third line with Juneau and Dackell where he'll be supported by good defensive players which will minimize any defensive deficiencies, but also because it's a good fit for him chemistry-wise. He's played with these two before and they were a good line together. Problem here is why take Bulis off that line when clearly his presence elevates the collective game of Juneau and Dax.
That's exactly the message I was trying to send with my first post, but I guess the terms you used are better than mine for people to understand. We have all seen the improvement in his game, and we all agree on the fact that he's shown more determination, and fought for the puck much more than he did in the past, since the regular season started. With that being said, he could do the same work, playing on a defensive-minded line, without being penalized with ice time, as everyone is getting quality ice time lately. He provides good offensive input, but I too feel some guys are more ready than him to step up and put up the numbers (i.e. Bulis, who's shown offensive sparks throughout the past two weeks, and deserves to get his chance).
Anyway, it could be only a one period try-out, just to see what impact it could have on the team. As far as I'm concerned, Marcel could play the same role on Juneau's line as he currently does on Ribeiro's line, without seeing his ice time dramatically drop. He still has many years ahead of him to prepare for 1st line duties.
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