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01-05-2013, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
So...let me get this straight...because Byfuglien caused "chaos" in the series against Vancouver in the second round (which he did, Vancouver was by far his most effective series), more than halfway through the Finals HCJQ decided to blow up his lineup? Seems odd...but sure why not...
I really wish you didn't play the "don't paraphrase me" card, then lead off with this paragraph. I don't even understand your point here, I was illustrating that Chicago's first line had extended success up until the Finals, which it did, with Byfuglien playing a large role in that.

I'm not sure why you're putting such an emphasis on being able to physically handle Byfuglien? That sounds like something you'd say for a legitimate power forward, not some net-front dummy. "The Penguins needed Ulf Samuelsson to take on Cam Neely because he's the only blueliner that could handle him physically" that works. But having Byfuglien in front of the net on the #1 PP merely matched up with the Flyers #1 PK that contained Pronger. It's not like anyone was panicked if Byfuglien got out there without Pronger being out there...he can't really do much, especially at forward, to dictate the tempo of the game. Even Pronger said after his only meaningful game (mostly stat-wise) of the serires, "I guess he was well rested" or something like that because everyone knew that he just wasn't as advertised...
You'd think somebody besides Chris Pronger would have success at shutting down someone that limited, then? Because this happened in four of his six penalty minutes.

Byfuglien managed to find soft spots in coverage consistently against anybody not named Chris Pronger for three series. His offensive output was instrumental in two of Chicago's series wins. You said his "lack of hockey sense" was "exposed throughout the playoffs," but really he had one series outside of his normal position, one phenomenal series by your own admission, one series where he succeeded against "slower players" and one series where his entire line was neutralized by one of the best defensemen of his generation. So as a scoring winger his lack of hockey sense only was an issue in one series, where he was frequently matched up against a HHOF defenseman. Keep in mind, his center's performance, a player with much better mobility + hockey sense, against that same matchup is the entire reason we're even having this thread.

In fact, the only two ES points he got in that game (which were mischaracterized as "four points the first game he was away from seeing Pronger on every shift." with OMG implications) were two secondary assists where he had very little to do with the goals. The weird bounce off the end wall that Bolland banked in off of a sieve goalie and the other was an individual rush by Versteeg who beat him with a mid-range jumper. Byfuglien got a PP goal and an empty net goal, both with Pronger out there I, really, it just doesn't have much to do with that at all...Byfuglien at even strength continued to traipse around relatively aimlessly versus the expectations put on him...
Well, he was on the ice for one goal against in two games while playing on the checking line, and again, those PP goals came without Pronger on the ice. Obviously Bolland was the driving defensive presence of that line, but you keep acting like Byfuglien couldn't tie his shoes. He wouldn't be playing on Chicago's most important defensive line if that was the case.

He was good against the Canucks, for whatever reason, he brings his game for them. He scored some timely goals against the Sharks, which is good, but in terms of being an impact player all throughout that series, well, that just wasn't the case. He was an impact player on those particular moments where those particular shots went in...if you want? But, no, he was just not a noteworthy force in these playoffs like he's made out to be. It just didn't happen that way. Maybe on paper, I'm not sure, but not on the ice certainly...
I guess I value being a consistent slot and net front presence more than you. Being a bigger, faster, more productive Ryan Smyth type certainly isn't a bad thing.

As for your last point, I don't really want you to paraphrase anything of mine...especially if you're going to do it with such vitriol...haste makes waste clearly, so, I implore you to understand it and get it right or if you can't, just don't do it...
It's not really vitriol, I just found your post to be excessive and loaded with hyperbole such as:
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 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...
And selectively remembering that only Byfuglien was removed from the top line, when in reality Chicago shuffled their entire top nine.
(until his ineffectiveness saw him removed from the line and replaced with Tomas Kopecky)

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