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02-14-2013, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by GFORCE View Post
And people wonder why Plekanec always starts the season hot and ends up going cold as it advances. In a few years, I bet people will also wonder why Gallagher is less visible as the season advances

The only one who doesn't look like he's affected by this is Subban. It's quite surprising to be honest, but really understandable, since the kid was always known for having a real, real strong character. But then again, as he gets hit and punched after plays, he'll also lose some of his "umph".
And the answer to all these problems is an enforcer? An enforcer on the bench ('cause that's where he'll be for 55 minutes of every game) will shift our smurf dynamic, change the other team's game strategy and ensure our roster plays better and wins more?

Look, to be clear, I'm enjoying reading your arguments. You make some solid points and I agree with you that we need more physical presence on the team. But where you and I disagree is that you want a single enforcer, whereas I want a wider distribution of toughness. The way I see it, one enforcer will not affect the outcome of the game, no matter how big and scary he is. He won't be producing on the ice, he won't be hovering around our skilled players acting as a linebacker, he won't change the other team's game strategy. If the game is close (as it usually is with Boston) he probably won't even get on the ice. His only role will be as a vague deterrent and to be our designated fighter against their designated fighter. And when we're being blown out of a game once or twice a season, he'll be there to give us the famous 'moral victory'.

Your point in favour of this kind of guy is that bullying tactics have become standard practice and we've allowed ourselves to become the league's biggest victim. I think you overstate, based on our pretty decent record so far. But yes, you're right in general, we are vulnerable to bullying when it's used as a strategy, as it is with the Flyers, Sens and now the Leafs. So what's the best response to this? IMO, it has nothing to do with a guy who can punch harder for 30 seconds a game; but it does have everything to do with more guys who can check and hit harder 45 minutes a game. THAT'S how we're bullied. We're out-hit and out-checked. So let's hit and check them back with a couple more big, punishing defensemen and another thundering forward. How often has one of our games been decided or influenced by one of their enforcers? Not even the Toronto game, which was decided six goals before Dolton Orr ever threw a punch. Orr wasn't any kind of deterrent for us; having our own enforcer won't be a deterrent for them.

You want the Habs to stand up for themselves? Me too. You want other teams to respect us? Me too. But I think that cultural shift will happen when more guys on our team are delivering the big hits during the 60 minutes of play, not because one guy is throwing punches while the play is stopped.

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