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01-24-2013, 08:12 AM
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Islanders' Hamonic wants to take on best
TORONTO -- The Islanders have lacked a true shutdown defense pairing for a few years now -- as long as it's been since the last lockout, at the least. Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald formed a solid tandem last season, but this year they are both determined to be the 25-27 minute per night pair that takes on opposing top lines and provides a punch on offense.

It's a lot to ask, but the 22-year-old Hamonic and the 26-year-old MacDonald know what being a true top pair could do for an Islanders defense that's thin at best and described with derogatory language by commentators.

"I feel like it's time," Hamonic said. "If it was up to me, I'd play 60 minutes a night. But you want that responsibility, to be the guys that go out there and face the other team's best every night. I want to be that guy."

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