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01-16-2013, 08:21 PM
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Between the two I think Hodgson has to solidify himself as a capable #1 C. I think he carries more responsibility overall than Ennis, so I think the team loses out in more situations if Hodgson struggles. For overall team success though, I will take it one step further than "ummm...both". For improved scoring they need a 3rd line that can ultimately provide for a mismatch during any given game, depending on which line is playing the best or which line the other team gives the easiest match-up.

You need two capable scoring lines just to compete, but three puts you in a rare place to win games even when your defense or goalie has an off night, or injuries slow the team down. Just as important as a 3rd line is having a physically tough team that can withstand a hard checking team/game and not get worn down and/or injured by playoff time. This is where Buffalo has been for a few years now, but I think Foligno, Ott, and to a lesser degree Scott can change that. Even Grigorenko (if he makes it) can change that as a player that is big enough to be hard on the puck regardless of his lack of physicality/hitting.

To take the target off your back you have to show teams that there will be a price to pay. After a while it's not so much fun to hit away at a team when the hits come back. You start getting hit less and you start getting hurt less, and your skill guys might just get an extra foot and an extra second to make a play.

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