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03-08-2013, 11:20 AM
  #27
Talks to Goalposts
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edmonton
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1. Markov's return. I think Subban has the edge on him as far as playing ability but having him back not only adds a top pairing d to the mix, it pushed defenders 3-7 into roles they could succeed at. Biggest difference from last year.

2. Plekanec is superb when playing with real teammates. Plekanec is the same as he always has been, but he's in a position to succeed this year. Plekanec-Gionta have been masterful as the main shutdown line.

3. Middle-six scoring talent. Eller, Desharnais, Pacioretty, Galcheynyuk and Gallagher are sustainably winning big in the offensive situations the rest of the team is setting them up for. The team is deep enough in scoring that they can count on at least one scoring line doing well in almost every game.

4. 4th line are real hockey players. Therrien's is making good use of the bottom line as support to the scoring units by having them mop up on defensive situations.

5. Emelin and Diaz took a step forward, are capable defensemen now after being over their heads in their rookie years.

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