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02-26-2012, 12:34 AM
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EllertoKostitsynGoal's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
A Malhotra isn't really viable in Montreal. Or put in in another way, Plekanec is already the Malhotra. No way you can find the wingers to support a heavy defensive role for a new center and properly support Plekanec, Eller and Desharnais.

The best way to get Pleks going with this center structure is to keep Kostitsyn or find an equivalent so the team has 5 top six level wingers (67, 72, 21, 27, 46) plus Leblanc for the top nine and build a quality 2nd pairing. Plekanec can handle the defensive zone starts plus 1st line comps if:

He has two quality wingers with him: (lets say Gionta and Bouque/Kostitsyn)

He has a good 1st pairing defense behind him (Subban-Gorges).

For this to work they need enough talent in the rest of the lineup that they don't have to cannibalize this set up. And the key to that is having a quality 2nd pairing to vacuum up the rest of the minutes that 26-76 don't play. If Markov is back that's a simple problem, pair him with Emelin and you're done. If Markov isn't back this gets a whole lot trickier.
I guess filling the 4th line wings would be hard with that setup. And I agree that we need to keep AK or if we don't, replace him with someone of the same level or better. But if we are to keep Plek in a big defensive role he doesn't only need quality wingers in terms of pts totals they can get, he needs tough minutes wingers. Bourque doesn't fit that bill, Gionta and AK would tough I'd prefer if he got one of Pacioretty or Cole. I'd probably go with Pacioretty, Cole is the better tough minutes player at this point in their career but I'd like to see Pacioretty, as our long term 1rst line LW, get used to hard matchups. And Cole gives a huge possession advantage to any second matchup line.

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