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10-13-2011, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SLake View Post
To be fair, we've seen two games of Hillen-Laakso this season and both have been on the road where protected minutes are harder to come by. I can point to all four games against the Oilers last season blowing by Franson and O'Brien and write them off as well...

There is another level to Laakso's game that we didn't see last weekend. Trotz mentioned that today and sent the message that he's gotta show what he did in the preseason to solidify his spot. Hillen did start to settle in as the weekend progressed, but had a poor weekend all-around IMO.

The pairing was actually pretty good when play was continuous and the matchups could be controlled a little more changing on the fly. Where they got killed was off of faceoffs when they were sent out, then Columbus countered with the Nash line and St. Louis with the Backes line. The pairing simply doesn't have the size to compete with those lines and started scrambling as soon as the faceoffs were lost.

Gotta prove they can handle weight better before they can truly be counted on...
Trotz said yesterday: “I talked to Laks, who I know more than I know Jack. He has another level in his game and he’s got to get it going,” Trotz said. “Jack I thought settled in last game. He was nervous the first game like the rest of us. He’s sort of settled in and practicing much better now.”

Sounds like Trotz may insert Ekholm for Laakso tonight, if Ekholm plays at all. I can't imagine them pairing two guys who have a combined 10 NHL games (all Laakso) together for a home opener. Perhaps if Laakso were playing better Hillen would sit, but that didn't seem to happen in either game last weekend according to Trotz.

Trotz is definitely committed to his draftees, so sooner or later I would guess you will see Laakso as a regular on that third pairing if the Cube can come back on a regular basis. Hillen may then become the 7th on the shelf or waived.

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