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11-11-2012, 10:55 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Halifax
Country: Japan
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Originally Posted by HalifaxDucks View Post
Agree with most of this. Except I wouldn't call our defenseman corps awful... I know you didn't directly say that, I'm just saying we hold opponents to less than 25 shots a game frequently... There's been a lot of PP goals, and plays where he's had no chance on...

As many have said earlier he is great when we need him, but getting a quality shutdown defenseman would help. There's a tendency to be too scrambly in our own zone and sometimes a man will be left open in the slot.

The getting into a rhythm thing is bang on though. He had almost no D in front of him last season so he'd be peppered and tested early... This season a lot (sportsnet game against Gatineau is a good example) the offense will have control for so long, he won't get tested until 10 minutes in.

I don't know if his bad % will affect his draft status too much, as scouts don't always look for that. He's still a big game, cool as a cucumber guy.
Team defense is alright, and the best defense is often a good offense, but outside of Abeltshauser, the defense corps is actually quite bad. Disturbingly bad for a team with Mem. Cup aspirations, actually. They've been playing fairly disciplined hockey, and that always helps, but man... the talent and quality just isn't there. Gazzola has been a bit of a pleasant surprise for me, but his skill seems to be focused a lot on the far half of the ice. Would love to see his size used better to control the defensive half of the ice, as well. Bottom line, they defense is very offense oriented (skill and mentality), which seems to work well with our forward talent, but Fucale ends up hung out to dry way, way too much for my liking.

And I don't necessarily agree with the "get in a rhythm" thing, either. Fucale prepares as well as anyone, and has been making huge saves and stopping alarming numbers of odd man rushes since the beginning of the season. He doesn't face a lot of shots on average, but opponents get enough quality chances in the run of a game (I've seen too many odd man rushes against our powerplay, for example); often because of miscues from the defense. If they capitalize on any of them, Fucale's numbers can take a hit that they can't recover from in small samples. Doesn't matter though. Kid is cool, solid, money in the bank.

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