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12-03-2003, 09:44 AM
Jeff from Maine
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Question Of WHY The 2nd Line Is Struggling

With question of WHY the 2nd line is struggling is a fair one.

Some think its Samsonov...others feel we need more of a scoring presence than Lapointe can offer...and others may feel that Bergeron is the reason.

Personally, my thought is that Samsonov is struggling because he isnt the kind of guy who makes his linemates all that much better. Certainly he makes them an extent.

But he NEEDS something different than what Bergeron and Lapointe can offer. Bergeron, and I know that many disagree with me, is just NOT a guy who can carry a line or make his teammates substantially better. I think that at this point in time, he is more of a product of a lines success (when on the Rollie line) and certainly he is a fundamnetally strong player.

But since he changed lines, which brought on a substantial style of play change, he has been slow to adapt to the game that Sammy plays. Bergeron will play well with Lapointe, as Marty isnt a change of pace type of guy.

But Sammy requires a Thornton or Zinovjev/Comrie type of shifty guy. Certainly we wont call Thornton shifty, but his talent is at such a high level and he clearly dominates and creates space for Sammy (and anyone else who plays wioth him for that matter...).

Zino and Comrie are shifty guys whose style of play draws defenders to them. Bergeron doesnt have that shiftyness of his skates. And when he gets the puck, he moves it away QUICKLY. he does draw defenders to him.

And Sammy, being the water bug that he is NEEDS space created for him so that he can operate his skating/stickhandling game.

I wish that Bergeron would be reunited with Axelsson and Rolston . It was productive, scoring chance wise as well as on the actual scoresheet.

And I`ll bet that if Zino or Comrie played with Sammy that we wouldnt see these lengthy droughts...both DRAW guys to them with their style of play.

We complained ad nauseum about Zino looking as if he were going to be jack checked a dozen times a game. Well, thats not such a bad thing. He holds the puck for a long time, to be sure. But its EFFECTIVE, because it draws defenders to him and pulls thm AWAY from Samsonov.

Its space creation.

I`m not trying to place blame...but its just an observation.

As far as Bergeron being a far better NHL center than Comrie...well, thats your opinion Its as valid as mine....but not anymore so

I think that overall, as a total player, Bergeron will possibly be the better player.

But offensively, IMHO, its Comrie by a full sheet of ice!


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