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12-14-2012, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
When he was playing on Edmonton's top line or New York's top line?

In Edmonton, Craig MacTavish was the main checking center for many years - including 1988-89. Very unheralded guy.

In New York in 1992-93, he had Darren Turcotte playing that role.

Neither of those teams stressed defense from scoring lines, and they were built in fact with the opposite in mind (NYR was "Edmonton East") so the idea that Messier had heavy defensive responsibilities is silly. Maybe in the late 90s in the DPE I could buy that argument. But not when New York was trying to re-build the Oilers to win a Cup.
plenty of quotes from the 1988-1994 range talk about him as exellent defensively or even the best two-way player in the game. You don't get that reputation by not getting defensive matchups.

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