René Lecavalier Divisional Quarterfinals: Montréal vs. Guelph
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04-08-2012, 12:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Originally Posted by
Esposito is a bad matchup for Guelph to try to stop - who will keep him from just dominating the crease? Coulter was a beast, but paired with Coffey?
Luckily, the way our team was made we have one very distinct advantage in our favour regarding Espo: we won't be in the penalty box very often at all.
Espo's PP scoring accounted for a good chunk of his offense, and he isn't going to have the usual amount of opportunities here. We'll almost definitely have more powerplay opportunities by a fair margin and that compounds the benefit -- he can't score from the bench.
Obviously you're never going to shut him down, but taking away a big chunk of his high percentage chances to get to the crease in the first place is a great step in the right direction. Not to mention his foot speed was nothing to write home about, and that is going to come into play against our team -- how often is the puck going to be retrieved by one of our speedy guys and be gone by the time he's arriving?
Adding to that, Montreal has a few "bad boys" (Pilote, Hall, Pratt for example) who are going to take their fair share of penalties - especially trying to contain a team with speed like ours.
I like our chances against the PK units.
But Coffey is an equally bad matchup for Montreal to try stop - who on Montreal will defend him in open ice?
I can see this series being very high scoring.
Good question regarding Coffey. Montreal seems especially light on real good defensive forwards to pick up Coffey coming late etc.
Another thing that I like in this matchup is that Heatley's goalscoring vanishes in the playoffs which really brings down their second line unless he can find a way to shake that.
Heatley is a .46GPG guy in the regular season and a .23GPG guy in the playoffs. He does have decent offensive production in the playoffs overall, but heavily slanted towards assists, and you're not getting half as much out of Denis Savard as you could if he is being asked to do everything because he's a better playmaker than finisher himself (although still good).
Nash would be an option for them to move up but he doesn't even know what the playoffs are so that is a question mark.
I think our forward lines are more responsible two ways in an overall sense, I believe we have a decided speed advantage, we'll enjoy a heavy advantage in powerplay opportunities, and I'll love watching Mel Brigman play against Pierre Turgeon.
This would be a very entertaining series to say the least when you have the firepower these two teams have and the clutch goaltending they each have too.
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