Jets @ Capitals . 1.22.13. 7PM
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01-22-2013, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
So what convinced you otherwise? His 20 point regular season playing a 3rd/4th line role on an offensively dysfunctional team? What, you thought we brought him in to be a 40 point winger?
The things he does well, and the things he did well before you even knew who he was convinced me about his worth. A smart coach can use him to tilt the ice against superior players without them knowing what's coming. Trotz did it 3 years running. Ward is possibly the best board cycler in the league. He's great at anticipating broken plays and capitalizing on them (which is what his game 7 winner was all about). He's also the only one who has demonstrated a desire to go to the net this year (Wolski's odd forays aside). He also has pretty much no hesitation in playing his admittedly limited game, which is something we desperately need more of. Look at his goals from the last game. He went to the net and drove the puck in without hesitating while everyone else on our team was too busy meditating on whether John Lyly was more underrated than Nathaniel Hawthorne. I'm worried that Brouwer is gonna become a primadonna who thinks he's a skill player (since he's now paid like one) and stop driving the net/playing a trollish game (much like Laich since getting his contract). Chimera is great at doing things at top speed but useless otherwise. Put him with Hendricks and Beagle/Perreault (whoever's hot) and give them 13-14 minutes a game you'll see an incredibly effective line.
If we eschew Ward and go with a pure rushing, lower effort game we might coast more through the regular season but the smackdown we'd face in the playoffs will make the Tampa series seem even.
Just look at the sample lineup you posted. If that doesn't scream "please be gentle before you push it all the way in" for the playoffs, I don't know what does.
"He's great at anticipating broken plays and capitalizing on them" - I think its more of the blind squirrel syndrome at work than Ward's ancticipation. The goal he scored against Boston was courtesy of Knuble's efforts and crashing the net. Ward's first goal on Saturday night had both him and Wolski swinging at the puck at the same time, it was just that Ward's stick got to the puck before Wolski. I agree Ward is good along the boards, but lets not get carried away here and suggest that he's a physical presence on the ice. He's got a long way to go to prove to me that he's worth 3 million dollars a year for two more years after this season.
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