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01-22-2013, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ref9 View Post
"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.
What you refer to as blind squirrel syndrome is what I refer to as shadowing the puck carrier. It may seem like leeching but it's very effective when your offense doesn't go as planned (broken plays), which is the norm in the playoffs. And no one else here does it well. Ward has pretty much made a career of getting to the puck in a scramble and putting it in somehow.

He's not a physical presence in the sense that he's not a big hitter. But he plays a reliable defensive game and consistently tires opposing players out. His boardwork is very good, up there with Zubrus, pre-crappy Hecht and beast mode Penner. If he wants to keep the puck near the boards he can keep it pretty much as long as he wants. He needs to be put with an agile quick on his feet guy who can stickhandle some to snatch the puck away while Ward is dominating the boards, who he can in turn shadow to feast on more broken plays. Perreault + Ward may play much better than the sum of its parts.

There's a reason Vancouver bid so heavy on him. Not just because he lit them up, but because he'd have done tons of damage with the Sedins' cycle game. We just paid him 3 million without a care of how he'd fit on our roster, lol

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