René Lecavalier Divisional Seminfinals: Hartford vs. Lada
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04-19-2012, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Durham NC
Sorry I'm not able to post as much as I'd want to for this matchup guys. My only real internet access this week has been at work since I'm getting more then a bit ****ed over by my ISP. It should not be taking them 3 ****ing days to fix a service outage issue.
Anyway, getting down to specific line vs line matchups:
1st vs 1st:
I really don't think there's a better line out there this year to try to neutralize that powerhouse Mario line. Balon vs Makarov: Makarov will still do his damage this series, but Balon was a good enough skater to do his job against him defensively. Clarke vs Mario: This is prettymuch the perfect matchup for Clarke to be effective. Mario isn't known as being nearly as physical as Moose was, and he should be able to do his job effectively in shutting down Mario as much as is possible. With Seibert backing him up as well it'll be hard for Mario to do his thing. Hossa vs Stevens: Stevens is a physical force, but Hossa has enough size to hold his own and is more then capable of shutting Stevens down. On the flip side I really don't see anyone on that line that will be able to handle Lada's counterattack when they get possession. Hossa in particular could have a big series when the game's at Lada. Both lines are going to score, but I'd say this is a wash if not a very slight edge to Lada.
2nd vs 2nd:
Again like my first round matchup, a second line I like a lot, but it's going against one that's just flat out better. Joliat vs Mullen: Mullen's a guy I like a lot, but Joliat's just in another class both offensively and defensively, this is one spot where the series could really turn in Lada's favor. Hawerchuk vs Thornton: Thornton's got the better All Star resume and the Hart, but that's a bit deceptive as Hawerchuk has a 2nd place finish to Gretzky in the Hart and AS, a 3rd place Center finish to Gretzky and Mario in AS voting, and a couple Hart finishes that were just outside top 5 where both Mario and Wayne were in the top 5. Safe to say against lesser competition Hawerchuk would have stood out more and likely have a similar resume to Thornton. Hawerchuk's better as a two-way guy as well. Recchi vs Goulet: Two very different players, and not really built to counter eachother either. Goulet the better offensive guy, Recchi the better physical guy. I think both will do their damage on this matchup. Joliat gives a pretty decent sized edge to Lada for this matchup.
3rd vs 3rd:
I see this as being a zero sum matchup. Morrow - Risebrough - O'Reilly is the more offensively talented line, but Pandolfo - Kasper - Klukay should have no problem neutralizing them.
now when I'm on the road things get interesting:
Hartford 3 vs Lada 1:
I see this as being a big edge for Lada in this series, Arcand understandably doesn't. It all depends on just how disciplined Clarke can play while still doing his thing and goading the other team into stupid penalties. If that happens (and I think history favors that as well) I think the Clarke line will be able to simply put up some huge point totals. The Hartford 3rd just seems to be built more for physically wearing down the opponent to me rather then outright shutting them down. And a line of Balon-Clarke-Hossa will be very tough to wear down.
Hartford 1 vs Lada 2:
Hartford should be able to do most of their offensive damage here. But with that said, as favorable as it is to get Mario away from Clarke, I think Lada's 2nd line will be able to do their share of damage here as well as the Hartford top line just doesn't have the two-way guys to try and contain Lada's 2nd line. Edge will be Hartford here, but it won't be as big of one as one might innitially think. Lada's 2nd line will be able to do their thing and put up some solid numbers here.
Hartford 2 vs Lada 3:
I know the original intent was Hartford 2 vs Lada 4, but that would just be a huge advantage for Lada as the 4th line wouldn't see much ice time. So I'm going with the idea that Hartford will want to send out their 2nd unit vs Lada's 3rd. So this will prettymuch come down to how much Lada's 3rd can keep Hartford's 2nd off the board, with a bit of help from Frank Brimsek. Pandolfo is capable of shutting down Mullen, that matchup isn't a big concern for me. Goulet will fare better vs Klukay, but Klukay was regarded as one of the best checkers of his time and will keep Goulet off the board far better then Recchi will. Kasper vs Thornton IMO is where this matchup will be decided. Thornton will have to use his edge in size to keep possession against the pesky Kasper. So if Thornton can do that, they may be able to wear out the Lada 3rd line, if not then I think Lada will do a good job of neutralizing Hartford's 2nd line, leaving this to come down to which first line can score more and keep their opposing matchup off the board more.
Last edited by DaveG: 04-19-2012 at
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