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11-09-2003, 10:27 AM
  #83
Kirk Muller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8
I think Montreal's depth down the middle is finally looking to be a strength now.

Koivu-Higgins-Plekanec-Begin looks strong to me.

Hossa could be interchangeable with Plekanec since both are versatile enough to play C or LW.

I'm mostly concerned about first line calibre prospects. I'm not sold on Perezhogin, and have yet to see Kastitsyn play.

Watching the Sedin twins tonight (and their progression over the years) might be similar to how we see Hossa develop. Both have developed their footspeed, and over the past few years have mostly been strong along the boards and good down low, but lacked the ability to score off the rush. This seems to be Hossa's problem right now. He's good along the boards, respectable defensively, and can go to the net; he has the fundamentals down fairly well, but doesn't create off the rush.

This season, the Sedins are looking fantastic--both off the rush and off the sideboards. It took time for their games to progress to what I think will be their breakout seasons, and I'm thinking Hossa could develop along a similar path.

I know you're from BC and get to catch some Canuck games Nash13, do you think this is a fair comparison and analysis of the Sedins' development?
I agree with our centre depth, it was more just a shot at the Ribeiro worshippers because I fully expect Ribeiro to lose his spot on the second line. I am hoping either Higgins or Plecanek can step in in the next year or so.

As for the Sedins and Hossa comparison, it is good in the way that they both (Hossa and the twins) are excellent along the boards, but the Sedins, at least from my memory, have always been able to carry the puck through the neutral zone - one area Hossa needs work. The biggest reason the Sedins don't create off the rush imo, is that while they are by no means slow, they don't have the extra gear.

Also another comparison is I believe Hossa is developing like the twins in that I don't necessarily think he will have the so called "breakout year." Like the Sedins, Hossa will steadily progress into a solid around top six forward.

And don't discount what Jason King has brought the line. While Trent Klatt improved the Sedins boardwork, the problem was that is all they did. King adds the presence on somebody willing to crash the net and who can bury the puck when in close. (knock on wood, Michael Ryder)

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