#3C to Vancouver
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02-16-2013, 06:34 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Here's Vans issue:
The sedins are not good defensive zone players as they lack aggressiveness, work rate and skating ability. It is a bad matchup to have them taking Dzone face offs as it isn't their forte and it detracts from their ozone starts. Kesler, as the Canucks other top center, is the teams best two way force and heaping defensive responsibility on him detracts from his offensive game. Lappierre is hovering at 50% on the dot (not bad for his competition and zone starts but not great either) and it is still a little unclear whether he can evolve from a checking role into a shutdown role. Schroeder is at 43% on face offs and, in spite of his disruptive active defense, he is a size mismatch.
Malhotra was originally signed to ensure the Twins offensive zone starts. Now he is gone and they are left with Henrik, and 3 right handed faceoff men - 2 of which maybe can't handle high defensive zone starts, while the other is capable of being a much needed all around player as long as he isn't pigeonholed into playing a shutdown role.
The short term solution is to shift more dzone responsibilities to Kesler and Lappierre while keeping Schroeder in open ice where his speed makes him a defensive plus. That does not leave a lot of defensive flexibility for when injuries occur. In the playoffs injuries are frequent and defensive play is paramount. It seems foolish to risk the teams title hopes on shallow defensive center depth.
Considering Gillis' deadline moves to bring in centers like Lappierre and Pahlson, I'd be surprised if he wasnt looking to add another center. Higgins, Lappierre, Pahlson were all acquired with mid round picks near the trade deadline. I think the pattern will continue and a faceoff/defensive specialist is added in a deal not involving a roster player.
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