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04-08-2012, 01:49 PM
  #26
BillyShoe1721
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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First Line

Winnipeg took an odd approach with their first line in that it's their best defensively, but well below average offensively. This comparison offensively does not approach close. Winnipeg's offense has a combined 10 top 10s in points. Gordie Howe has 21 by himself. Howe dwarfs Fleury offensively, as does Kariya over Bailey. I'll give Kennedy an advantage over Nieuwendyk offensively and overall for sure(I'll be conceding that in likely every series I have). These lines are definitely going to be facing each other a lot because Bailey is the only left wing on your roster that is able to match up against Howe. Your other three left wings are big, strong guys, but none have anything of a defensive reputation that I know of. Kennedy and Fleury bring strong physicality for your group, but Howe is likely the toughest player in a top 6 in this draft, and Nieuwendyk is no slouch. My first line is going to operate its best while on the transition, and while Bailey can play that game and Fleury can to an extent, Kennedy's effectiveness may be hurt a bit by it. In your own bio it says he had a lack of speed, was not an "easy skater", and was an outright "horrendous skater". Howe and Kariya in transition could pose a problem because of Kennedy's poor skating.

I'll definitely give Winnipeg the advantage defensively between these two lines. Howe and Fleury are close with a small advantage to Howe, Kennedy gets a plus over Nieuwendyk, and Bailey gets the biggest advantage over Kariya. My line is still a solid line defensively for a first line with Howe and Nieuwendyk both plus defensive players, but the Winnipeg line is one of the strongest defensive first lines in the draft.

Overall the first lines are an advantage to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia first line simply boasts too much firepower for Winnipeg to compete. Winnipeg's line will be better defensively, but the gap between the offensive abilities is significantly larger than the gap between the lines' defensive abilities.

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