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09-10-2012, 08:09 PM
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The offensive advantage that I think we hold on the first line is great, but I do see one advantage where I think we're going to be able to take advantage, and that is on the backend of each team.

Our top 6 is filled with fantastic skaters (even Keeling was noted as a strong skater), and the Yaroslavl defense isn't exactly filled with a lot of mobile defensemen. McNamara was certainly not noted for his speed; Goheen was a big guy who could make long rushes but as far as I know wasn't noted particularly for his skating skill and more for his size and strength; Juzda in his LOH profile was noted as not having strong skating ability; Bob Rouse was noted in his Pelletier profile as not a strong skater; I have no idea on Holden's skating ability to be fair. Only Romishevsky is a guy noted for good skating ability in his top 6. I think Pittsburgh's top 6 forward group is going to skate circles around the defense of Yaroslavl.

Along with this, the combination of Bykov and Khomutov were known for being able to get each other puck absolutely instinctively. With a defense that is well known for going out of position to make big hits, I look for this duo to have a big series against Yaroslavl's defenders.

Our defense is much better suited to defend Yaroslavl than vice versa. We will send out Jarrett and Young as often as possible against the top line of Yaroslavl, as that is truly the only line that is worrisome on their behalf because of the lack of offense provided by their second line wingers. I would go as far as to say that other than Romnes and McDougall, Pittsburgh has the 5 of the 7 most gifted offensive players in this series (I'd possibly include Briere in that due to the fact that we are now in the playoffs, but his regular season resume does leave something to be desired on this level as a second line center).

Finally, where does the offense come from on the backend of Yaroslavl? Goheen was known as a puck rusher, but how much forward did he play (honest question, I don't know the answer). Romishevsky was known as a guy who was good offensively early in his career, but became more defensively focused as his career developed, with his mid-to-latein his career barely producing any offense at all. This is a series concern for the PP of Yaroslavl in my opinion.

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