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02-17-2013, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by VinnyC View Post
Agreed, no reason he can't be at least serviceable in the D-zone after a few seasons. With that said, he doesn't skate fast for a guy of his size so that's troubling when he's trying to get back.
Yeah, his speed, or more specifically the lack of acceleration is always going to make things a bit more difficult for Hodgson. As is his 'compact frame' that gives him a relatively limited reach as well. When you think of a 'rangy' is the exact opposite of Hodgson.

That said, there's not reason Hodgson can't improve defensively to the point that he is very serviceable.

Originally Posted by mrmyheadhurts View Post
When you go from being a highly protected 3rd line center, to a top line center in one summer, there are going to be some growing pains. At least he's contributing offensively, the D will get better. Kassian looked a little lost on the game winning goal last game, he'll get better too.
This is also very true. In Vancouver he was very sheltered and didn't really end up with a ton of opportunity to even grow that aspect of his game. To suddenly parachute him into a top-line situation...there will be bumps in the road.

And again, Kassian as evidenced on that game winner against the Stars, is going to have bumps along the way as well, and that's with the comparatively straightforward task of playing strong defensively as a winger alonside other very good defensive players. It's part of being a young player. Just look at the Oilers forwards if you want a boatload more examples. A lot of these guys coast through Juniors without having to really focus on that side of the game because their offensive skillset means they're given a very long leash and often have the puck in the other end anyway. So there's adjustment there.

Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
I agree with this. Hodgson needs to learn that there is a fine line between reading the play and guessing. He ends up on the wrong side of the puck far too often. Obviously the Sabres have more time for this than we do. This is why AV makes everyone on the team play the right way and earn his trust. That's how it should be.

Kassian definitely has the easier go of it as a winger.
This too, is something that seems to be a particular issue with Hodgson. He does seem to get caught puckwatching and looking for opportunities to turn play up ice offensively a bit too often. But i think it's a carryover from his Junior days, and old habits die hard. Eventually he'll probably adapt the way he looks at the defensive zone, but he's had a pretty unusual path to where he's at now, and for his age...he's had an unusually limited amount of experience working on the defensive side of his game between the injuries, and things like the extreme zone-deployment scheme he was set up with in Vancouver.

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