What would be the harm in moving Lupul away from Kessel?
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11-01-2012, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Originally Posted by
Honestly folks. We really don't know what's in store when Randy Carlyle makes the starting rosters for the season. It could be that he likes Lupul and Kessel together. The last couple of years the problem with Toronto has been their scoring depth and defensive play of the top 6. Usually one line was scoring and the other struggled. The only constant has been Kessel. He has scored even when his line mates were Crabb and Bozak. Many argue that the success of Kessel / Lupul was the Ron Wilson's run and gun philosophy. What will those two be like when they are in a more defensive system? Are they defensive enough to be on one line together?
I say split them up. If Lupul is as good as you say he is then he will find his scoring touch on the 2nd line. We know that Kessel will get 30 + goals no matter what. I think that creating a balance is key and taking less defensive liabilities off of the same line might help in the Win Column.
What do you think?
What are your Carlyle rosters as opposed to your Wilson ones?
What is the big issue? It has nothing to do with systems, nothing to do with coaching, nothing to do with defense.
The big issue is effectiveness. With Lupul, Kessel has been incredible. Without him (both before Lupul came and when he went down with injury), he was effective but only to the level of the Kessel we saw pre-Lupul or the 65 point Kessel.
Seriously, look at the numbers. When Kessel played with Lupul, from the very game Lupul joined the Leafs back in 2010-2011, he went from 65 point player to 90 point player. Continued that pace until Lupul went down. Through the summer offseason too. When Lupul goes down? Right back to 65 point pace.
Now it could be argued that it's not Lupul but rather an effective top 6 player with offensive skill that has allowed Kessel to do this, but what does it matter? The two displayed unbelievable chemistry together and gave us two top line players. Splitting them up right now would be...just dumb. We have enough scoring depth with JVR, Grabo, MacArthur to justify keeping Lupul on the first line.
And if you're concerned about defensive play, then find them a capable center not name Bozak, or give them protected offensive zone starts like the Sedins get. Stop trying them to get them to play defense and let them do what they are best at. And that's scoring goals.
Seriously, that's what the third line is for. This idea that first line players must be Pavel Datsyuks or Jon Toews is asinine. Yeah it would be great but you can have effective first lines without it.
Or better yet get a first line center with puck possession skills and we don't have to talk about making the two of them better defenders. Problem solved.
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