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04-26-2012, 03:15 PM
Nucks future 1C??
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Originally Posted by jarek View Post
Let's not forget one thing before we start talking about shutting down Gretzky - Australia's offense is substantially weaker than Inglewood's previous opponent, Cincinnati. That isn't a judgment of Australia as much as it is a praise of Cincinnati, but that doesn't make it any less true.. and Inglewood still beat Cincinnati. Given that Inglewood is a fairly strong defensive team as well overall, I think Australia is really going to have to prove how they're going to score as much as how they're going to slow down Gretzky.
Cincinnati was a better offensive team, but I don't know if I'd say substantially weaker. Let's also consider a few other factors.

- George Hainsworth, is not an upper tier goaltender, Gretzky and company definitely would have been able to expose him much more than they will against Bernie Parent.
- Cincy was not an overly strong defensive team, I thought they had a very good shutdown line, but it wasn't a top defensive team, so it's very likely that scores in the Inglewood/Cincinnati series were high scoring games.

Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Yeah, scoring is the question for Australia. They have a chance, however. They have two lines of defensive players (Lewis - Fedorov // Berlinquette - Sanderson) who match up well with Gretzky - Kurri and they have a strong goalie/coach, so it's unlikely they're going to be destroyed here defensively. But will they score enough, themselves? I dunno. Conacher is a very dangerous scorer and he was a strong playoff performer. Leetch is going to have problems with Conacher one-on-one, so this series in some ways comes down to a referendum on Moose Johnson.

Personally, I think Johnson is being pretty well overrated by the people who call him a steal where he was drafted this year, but I also can't say I think he was a bad pick. I think there are a few small caveats with his career, but Johnson was an excellent and physically powerful defensive-defenseman no matter how you slice it.
Australia is the better defensive team, although Inglewood's top-four is much better, despite lacking a good #1, which Australia does have. The corps lacks a true leader. I think Leetch will have his hands full with Conacher, a big guy who drives to the net. The question I have, is that is scoring really that much of a question when there is nobody to shut down the remains of that line? I'm not overly confident in Inglewood's first pairing as a shutdown unit, and I think containing my first line may be more of a task than it looks like.

Originally Posted by jarek View Post
As much as Conacher will give Leetch issues, I think the biggest question is how many issues will Gretzky cause for Australia? It is well documented that Potvin didn't do much better than an average job against Gretzky, I thought, and I'm sure the Islanders put out their best defensive players to go out against Gretzky as well, and he still managed to score. I'm not going to say that Australia will get destroyed defensively, but I do think you guys are talking a little too casually over how good a match Potvin and Australia's forwards are against Gretzky.
Gretzky will create issues for Australia, that is evident. But Potvin vs. Gretzky is not a bad matchup, yes it is proven that he had troubles hitting him, but he was still part of an effort that was able to contain him, having a strong defensive team is highly beneficial against the best offensive player of all time. Not to mention a rock-solid defenseman in Bob Baun is on the right side of Potvin.

Originally Posted by jarek View Post
That being the case, it doesn't really look like Inglewood has another elite player on a different line that can go ape **** like that.
And I think ultimately, Inglewood's top line will be heavily depended on this series. I think whatever line goes out against LaFontaine-Mogilny will grind them to dust.

I don't know if there are many similarities between Hitchcock and Al Arbour, but his defensive style of play is the perfect solution to stop Gretzky, there is a lot of defensive capability on this roster and it will be put to use to stop Inglewood's star player.

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