The End Of Small Talk
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02-15-2013, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
For me, it's important about being tough to play against, and that comes from:
1. Speed... it's a pain in the butt to play with a team that you can't keep up with.
2. Size... it's hard playing against guys that you can't push around, especially when they can push YOU around.
3. Skill and Smarts... You're easy to play against if you don't have the skill and smarts to execute your plays and generate offense.
4. Grit and work ethic... it's all for nothing if you're not going to try.
I think that we have a pretty decent combination of these qualities, but there are two BIG things that worry me about our current lineup.
1. Our defence is not big enough. They're certainly skilled enough, and they're probably fast enough and gritty enough. But we've got to have one of the smallest defence corps in the league. Our defence pretty much folds when we play against teams with big strong forechecking forwards, because we just don't have the size to match on the back end.
2. Our small forwards are not fast enough. Most small players who are successful in this league have usually been effective because they have an excess of the other three qualities (speed, skill, grit/work ethic). Desharnais is an average skater at best, and Gionta, at his age, is not much faster. Gallagher seems to skate well, but I don't know if it's because he's playing against lower pairing defenceman often or not.
Mind you, Gallagher's work ethic is top notch, I wouldn't want him out of the lineup right now. He's becoming one of my favourites very quickly!
IMO, if Eller proves he can produce enough to be a top-6 center then Desharnais can be traded and we solve problem #2.
Problem #1 is going to be more difficult to solve. We need a top-4 d-man with size, skill, and who can play strong positionally.
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