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01-04-2013, 12:11 PM
Zemgus Da Gawd
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Yeah, the Sharks series he was fine - playing against physically slow players, of course. But otherwise, the pace was too quick for him and I don't mean as a result of his skating. He's a mentally slow player and very poor in transition if he can't just lug the puck straight through it without asking for directions. His lack of hockey sense was exposed throughout the playoffs as he just wasn't sure what to do. I'm not sure what the stat sheet says or whatever, but he wasn't one of the five best Blackhawks in the playoffs certainly...I remember when some of the clueless Joe Jackson's (Eddie Olczyk, maybe the king of them all) started talking about the anticipated Byfuglien vs. Pronger matchup...that provided a wealth of giggles for me, I remember saying that if Pronger was somehow pre-occupied with wasting his time with a player like Byfuglien, the series would be over in three games...besides one big hit by Byfuglien that battle simply didn't materialize to any degree...Pronger's too smart to get bogged down with such nincompoopery, he had way bigger fish to fry and a goalie to babysit...
Okay, so Byfuglien was instrumental in winning two series, not just one, and played one of the other two away from his usual (at the time, anyway) position.

And Pronger very much "wasted his time" with Byfuglien. He was the only person on the Flyers capable of dealing with Buffy's net-front presence and the shaft of his stick was affixed to Byfuglien's numbers any time the big winger tried to set up shop. Pronger won the battle and Byfuglien wasn't much of a factor (until the Hawks scattered their top line across their top 9 and when Pronger was in the box), but to say that the Flyers' defenseman's game plan for that series was to "ignore Byfuglien because his hockey sense is bad" is just flat out wrong. They went head to head. A lot. And Pronger won out.

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