MLD 2012 Mickey Ion Semifinal: Medicine Hat Tricks vs. Pittsburgh Hornets
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09-27-2012, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Originally Posted by
In response: The bottom six won't need much of an offensive contribution in any series really because of the overall defensive nature of the team. We'll get spot production from Scott Young (a very capable scorer) and a HHOFer in Shorty Green and that should be plenty. Even Zamuner peaked at a near 0.5 ppg pace, so between a 300+ goal scorer in Young and a HHOFer in Green, I'm not at all concerned about what little production needs to come from the bottom six.
Yes, Julien has worked well with defensive-minded players and generally hides offensive d-men deeper in the lineup, but Campbell has matured into a capable defensive player that Julien can utilize. Julien used offensive-minded defensemen at other points as well: Memorial Cup champ with Mario Laroque as a top-pairing guy, a young Marc-Andre Bergeron was logging big minutes in Hamilton before Julien was called up, in Montreal in 2004 when the Habs went to the second round, his top-3 d-men were Souray, Markov and Brisebois, his only year in NJ was with Rafalski logging the most minutes...so he's had some success with offensive-minded players certainly.
And he sets them up for success structurally. For instance, Patrice Brisebois' best ever plus/minus season was under Julien.
My own thoughts: While this Pittsburgh is very good and has a few players that I was strongly considering taking, I do wonder about its ability to survive this Medicine Hat buzzsaw.
The European talents may have a little bit of trouble with the rugged physicality of this Medicine Hat team
...even a guy like Shuvalov, whose peak/prime seems to be very, very early in Soviet hockey, was regarded for having a shot five inches off the ice...well, Sean Burke is 6-foot-4 and has 11" tall pads, I think he'll be all right with it.
I'm not sure of how Peeters will hold up in this playoff series - he seems to have some shaky outings in the playoffs and his RS numbers seem to paint a similar picture, which will allow for the powerhouse top unit to gain enough offense and then allow the remainder of the team to check the European stars - or semi-stars - into submission. Undue frustration of having being unexpectedly and unrelentingly rattled every time they step foot on the ice should lead to some undisciplined stick fouls anyhow.
I expect it to be a tight series, and I certainly have a lot of respect for this opponent. Medicine Hat comes in well-rested and healthy after disembowing our first round opponent...Pittsburgh likely had at least a somewhat tougher time in their first series.
Kozlov, Kallur, Eriksson, and Bonk all proved themselves in the NHL. I'm not too worried about their ability to deal with the rough stuff.
Golonka should relish the physical game and dish out as much as he takes. You mention retaliatory stick fouls as a concern for the Europeans. I guess you are assuming all games are played with North American officials.
Lukac and Shuvalov are unknowns in this area. We know they are European, but little more about their likely response to physical play. Similar to your first line RW- the most intimidating thing about him is spelling his name.
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