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06-17-2012, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dmacgreg37 View Post
It could be argued that Lapierre is now the clear 3C.
I don't see how. An out-of-shape Malhotra w/ a bad eye still put up as many points as Lapierre did while Lapierre played 4 more games and played more 3rd line and 2nd line minutes.

Lapierre brings great energy, solid defensive skills, and such, but he still lacks a scoring touch, IMO. In '07-'08 and '08-'09, he was the #3 C for MTL and he put up 18 and 28 points respectively.

Malhotra's a consistent 25-35 point (usually 30-35 point) 3rd line center when healthy who is the best faceoff man in the league (60.7% over the past 3 years; next closest is Steckel at 59.6%) and is a premiere shutdown center (was's top choice for the Selke at the 3/4 mark of the '10-'11 season; before the eye injury).

If he can get back to 100% (which is still an if, unfortunately), he's easily one of the better #3 centers in the league. I don't think Lapierre is. That said, I'm pretty happy to have both those guys on the team. I'd like to see another veteran depth centerman added just in case one of them gets injured.

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