Thread: Prospect Info: Morgan Rielly discussion thread.
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12-15-2012, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 4evaBlue View Post
So if you don't think it's beneficial to pair up either Gardiner, or Liles with Phaneuf, what makes you think a Reilly - Phaneuf pairing would work out well? As you yourself said, Reilly plays a very similar style as Liles/Gardiner.

On a side note, Liles and Gardiner were paired together at the start of the season fairly often IIRC, and that was the stretch when Liles was the most productive.
I'm definitely not SURE that a Rielly/Phaneuf pair would work, but for me it's about the hockey IQ. Phaneuf and Gardiner both have terrific skill sets, but they both make their share of poor decisions. I don't think they're great at reading the play, at evaluating when to take risks and when to stay back. Put them on the same pair, and I think there will be too many mistakes, both need someone who can cover for them. Rielly is absolutely an offensive dman as well, and needs plenty of work defensively, but I also think he has a really high hockey IQ. I the WHL he's very aggressive offensively, because he's just too talented relative to the competition NOT to try to make things happen constantly, but with his hockey sense I think that in the NHL he'll be good at reading the play and knowing when not to attack.

As for Liles/Gards of Liles/Phaneuf, I do think those are somewhat decent pairs, Liles is a bit more of a cerebral player. The problem is that even though Liles makes decent decisions, he's undersized and just not that effective defensively, so he's not the greatest guy to cover for Phaneuf or Gards when they get risky. Ultimately I think Gunnarsson/Phaneuf is a better pair than Liles/Phaneuf, and I also prefer Gardiner/Franson to Gardiner/Liles, especially since Gards and Liles both prefer to play the left side.

Who knows, maybe Rielly won't be great at covering for Phaneuf either, but I think he has the potential to mature into a decent defensive player (with a high hockey IQ and dynamic offensive ability).

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