Official Blues During the Lockout Thread
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09-24-2012, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Originally Posted by
But WILL he really be able to score easily in The NHL? He'll have a LOT less room to operate and time to initiate his play on the small ice and with the tighter defences and more hitting.
Is he skating significantly better than he did 2 years ago? Does he play, at least passable defence by KHL standards? I haven't watched any KHL games with him playing (only seen a few highlights).
His skating is better than it was, but it is far from great. I do think it is overblown by some though, it certainly isn't worse than someone like Antropov. Plus, let's remember what Backes was like a few years ago. If he wants to play in the NHL, then I'm sure he'll get plenty of work done on it.
His defensively play does suffer because of the skating, but he isn't bad. He has been a + player in the KHL for his 2 years, the first on a very good Lokomotiv side and with Sibir last year going against the opposition top line with Enlund & Tarasenko. He is 5-10-15 (9 primary assists) and a +8 in his first 9 games this season.
What would he do in the NHL? Who knows. I think the key factor is that we were in the perfect position to give him a chance when you look at the make up of our team. We need a third line centre, but because we roll 3 scoring lines we don't need the typical idea of an NHL third line centre. We have wingers like Steen or Oshie who could have helped with the transition of the defensive game. We might even have got someone capable of winning faceoffs more than 50% of the time as well! If he did bust, I think we could have coped fine and moved to the backup plan of Steen/Oshie to centre and Schwartz up or whatever.
Who knows what our team will look like next summer, and if it will make any sense to be having a look at Lehterä.
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