Bob Cole Divisional Quarterfinals: Rögle vs. Hamilton
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04-09-2012, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Originally Posted by
This is true that Stewart's biggest strength is in the slot. Defensemen will be charged with getting him out of the slot (or mitigating his ability to get there in the first place), and luckily I've got two really strong guys at doing that specifically on each of my top two pairings in Harvey and Heller. Both will have a bear of a matchup there in the zone, but I think they're up to the task.
When it's Harvey vs. Stewart, it should be a war in front, and I can see Harvey holding his own there. Harvey really doesn't have the size to go head to head with Stewart, but as arguably the best defenive defenseman ever, I think we should give credit to Harvey being able to pull a few tricks out of his back pocket.
Ott Heller doesn't really stand a chance. He's bigger than average, but not on Stewart's level.
Basically, when Harvey' in the slot, Stewart will have his hands full, but any other time, he'll have a significant advantage. Also, Harvey can't be there all the time - even when he's on the ice, he has more responsibilities than just stand in the slot. Actually, when Harvey is in front, that's a major boost to my forechecking. Smith and Harris get to have fun with Glen Harmon in the carner.
Furthermore, I think the flexibility to shuffle the deck, combined with last change, comes in very handy. Face-off in your end.... Harvey on the bench.... out comes Nels Stewart on Forsberg's wing.
I shouldn't have said I'm "Matching up" Gilmour on Stewart. I'm planning on using his line against that line is more what I should have said. The hope is that Gilmour can use his speed and be a terror in the transition game, and breaking plays up there in the hope that Smith and Stewart can't set up shop in the corner and in the slot respectively. This line doesn't exactly have an excellent puck carrier (Harris was a good stickhandler so he'll be the guy tasked with doing it, and I think he's adequate here, but against a matchup with Gilmour and Middleton in the neutral zone I think I can take advantage of this), so the hope is that I will own the neutral zone and then if you get past that, that Heller and Harvey can at least mitigate the damage Stewart can do from the slot.
Gilmour has great quickness, but he doesn't really posess that break-away speed.
Agreed that none of Harris, Stewart, or Smith are top-end puck carriers. All 3, however, are capable of doing the job. Both Harris and Smith are fast skaters with good puck kills, and they both have solid playmaking credentials. When Nels Stewart played defense, he was known mostly for his end-to-end rushes, which he was very succesful in executing. More importantly, Rogle has some of the better puck-movers on their back-end. Lidstrom, Murphy, Hatcher, Numminen, and Redden are all going to make good outlet passes, that give my forwards an advantage on the attack.
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