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02-26-2013, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Beacon View Post
His hitting is what you'd expect him to be. He's physical and intimidating, and unlike before, he rushes to get back in position. He doesn't kill people like Chelios and Stevens used to, but he hits decently hard. We aren't talking about Boyle-style gentle hits. He hits like a man.
Yeah, and this is one of his biggest strengths.

He is a natural hitter. It's very hard to hit people. In hockey, it's fun to hit, and any player on the ice who can hit will hit. The problem for many big guys are that they just can't catch people, and if you miss a hit, you are completely out of play.

It's of course hard to rank, but I would say that this is the one area McI probably is better than McD, Staal, Girardi and co. Not because he is bigger and stronger, but because he just got a better feel for it.

I also definitely think you are right re McIs vision and overall play with the puck. We expect McI to be a 6th D "+", or I don't know how to put it, like Beuke II (nr 2 D on paper and icetime, but played a game of like a 6th D). But McI doesn't play that style naturally really. He takes bigger initiatives with the puck and I would compare him in style to at least Sauer, if not McI has even bigger ambitious. He is also quit heady with the puck. That's great.

In the NHL, Torts put huge emphasize on gap controll. And we play a style that puts alot of pressure on our Ds in terms of being able to handle that. We all love Staal, McD, Sauer and Girardi, but it's not like a D with 75% their ability to stay in position and keep the gap between them and the forwards would still get by well. It's more the opposite. Hence I think this is the area McI really needs to improve.

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