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02-21-2013, 12:09 PM
Can't Beat Him
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2012-2013 Hartford Wolf Pack/Greenville Road Warriors Thread (AHL, ECHL) *Part III*

Originally Posted by Bluenote13 View Post
Ok, lay it on me, what have you seen that makes you say that.

Again, I don't disagree, but when you say for certain I have to ask why.
I think his mobility has improved leaps and bounds. He markedly better this season at turning his skating orientation from backwards to forwards. His footwork is better. He's not as prone to allowing guys to get around him on the outside now. I never saw straight-line skating as a big issue for him, but rather that he lacked the agility and quick bursts to contain speedier forwards. It's not so much of an issue for him now.

His gap control used to make it look like he was lost. He'd either leave way too much distance between he and his man, or get right up on him, which coupled with the aforementioned lack of lateral skating ability, made him look like a pylon to fleet-footed forwards. The latter was extremely annoying since he has such a long reach. There was no reason to keep such a small gap. I don't see that this year, particularly over the past few weeks. He's more consistent at maintaining proper gaps.

He has also learned to stop following the puck up the wall, or leaving his zone to attempt a big hit. It just seems to me that he has a greater understanding of positional defense in general. Rather than chasing the play, he's in better position to be dictating where the play moves. He doesn't look like he's playing catch-up.

McIlrath is actually beginning to resemble a guy whose play warranted a first round pick, rather than a guy who was drafted for no reason other than his imposing figure.

Originally Posted by Bluenote13
You said 'he kid is going to be a bigger, nastier Brooks Orpik. He'll be a player for us, for sure'

That's not a projection
Fair enough. The Orpik comparison is my projection. The last bit was just me feeling cocky.


It's just pain.
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