Bob Cole Divisional Quarterfinals: Rögle vs. Hamilton
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04-09-2012, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Originally Posted by
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.
Yeah, I feel confident as far as Harvey being out there against Stewart.
Ott Heller doesn't really stand a chance. He's bigger than average, but not on Stewart's level.
Heller was a big guy, only an inch smaller and five pounds less than Stewart whenever their careers overlapped for ten years. I tried to find quotes of them specifcally going up against each other but I was unable to do so. Heller however though as I said was noted as a guy who was good at getting people out of the slot. I clearly feel more confident whenever Harvey is out there, however Heller is better than most at getting people out of there. I think he will be up to the challenge. [/quote]
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.
Yeah, as I said though our hope is to not let that forecheck and cycle to be established through strong play in the neutral zone. Not going to deny that I am not a fan of the matchup of Harmon down there, and I've thought about dropping Reijo Ruotsalainen from the lineup, moving Gerard up to the top pairing, and playing Heller and Evans together on that second pairing with Harmon and Van Impe on the third. Heller is a strong puck mover along with being good at getting people outside of the slot (as seen by his 7 top 5 finishes in assists), so I don't think I'd have much issue with getting the puck out of the zone with an Evans/Heller pairing. It's something I'm still pondering just like you're pondering the Redden/Portland swap.
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 think you trying to play the coaching game, even having the last change in 4/7 games, is a bad idea with Irvin against Trotz.
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.
Yeah I do appreciate your puck moving from the back. That was one strong aspect of your team that I underrated I think upon my initial review of your team. You're still not convincing me that any of Harris/Stewart/Smith are above average puck rushers or carriers, but Smith and Harris certainly aren't bad by any stretch.
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