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03-06-2006, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NYIsles1
On this team (unlike those clubs) the third line center's role requires a player who can contribute at both ends of the ice as it's currently constructed.

Even if I were to agree with you that this team needs more offense (deja vu', the fallacy perpetrated to gullible fans, summer 2005!), seems to me that one might start targeting the first and second line centers for more offense waaaay before the third-line pivot. Anyhow, if teams can go to the Cup Finals with the likes of those offensive dynamos Tim Taylor and Stephane Yelle manning their checking line, so too can this one succeed with Shawn Bates in a similar role. It is worth noting that Yelle plays on a team that is notoriously short on firepower itself; point is, they do not give up goals.

Seems to me that we just have a different approach to fixing what ails this team. I believe that this team will score more goals if it concentrates fully first on preventing them. "Getting more offense" should in no way be the first priority (icing 12 forwards and 6 dmen who commit to team defense each night is.) In fact it's a distant second, IMO, having witnessed the lessons of this past summer and current season. (As well as seeing what has worked for winning teams for decades. Same as you have.)

If you think Bates is not an solid defensive forward, fine, we simply disagree. But if you are trying to revolutionize the priorities/role of a third-line center in the NHL, you're going at it alone. The only teams in which offense is a priority for the third-line center are all-star and fantasy teams. Seriously. Of course you welcome offensive contributions from your third-liners, but that is secondary. And relative to other 3rd liners around the NHL, Bates produces offense very respectably.

Where your point is lost is that the Islanders for years have been giving up 20-60 goals (thirty eight in 05-06) against more than New Jersey every year (including 01-02 when the Islanders beat them out in the standings) but every single year the Islanders led the division in scoring to off-set it...

"Offset it"? Which team has been more successful over that the last few years? Defense wins. Period.

Last edited by Trottier: 03-06-2006 at 05:02 PM.
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