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12-22-2003, 05:00 AM
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Location: Brooklyn
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Today's Brooks article is interesting....

and I gotta say I disagree with Mr. Brooks. First, he wants Big E on Holik's right so they can cycle and dominate, yeah, yeah, yeah. With Nedved sucking, that really weakens this team down the middle.

Second, while I agree that while Barnaby does not deserve to have less ice time than Hlavac (and he mentioned Simon and Carter (and I think, aside from a game or two, Carter's been a gamer over the last 7 or 8)), I'm not sure that Simon and Barnaby are the horses I ride (which he suggests). Meaning, they're good for 12-13 minutes, but 18?

Third, he suggests moving Barnaby and Simon back with Messier. I don't mind that too much, but who centers the fourth line? Nedved? I'd bench Nedved before I give him 10-12 minutes with Ortmeyer (and I'd bench Hlavac before that too); and I'm not against either benching.

And basically Brooks states that Kovalev and Carter really don't fit in. While Kovalev hasn't scored a ton of goals and ain't the player he was in PITT, he still has set up a ton, many of which have been converted, most of which were blown, and leads this team in scoring - and has still somehow been mediocre.

I'll go back to this once more: Kovalev on Lindros' right should happen, and put Rucinsky on the left. Barnaby and Simon with Mess in the middle. Holik centering Carter and Lacouture - a checking unit that goes against top lines. Lacouture's not the ideal guy there, but that's the way this team was structured. Hlavac waived - Nedved sat - and a fourth line of Scott-Rheaume-Ortmeyer (a true fourth line). When Lundmark returns, he's to Holik's or Lindros' left, with Rucinsky playing with Holik again or DLac dropping down to the fourth line. What to do with Nedved - if it doesn't work, he can replace Mess and Mess goes to the fourth line.

Enough of a shake-up? I think so. I think with the personnel this team has, that may be ideal. A real top line. A real checking unit. A real fourth line. The second line's OK. Unfortunately the ckecking unit needs to make up for goals not scored by the second unit, but both Holik and Carter are capable.

OK, now that gets this team to compete better on the forecheck, etc. What about defense? Should Nedved be moved? Should Nedved and Poti be sent to fetch a decent defensive defenseman, and, say, a pick or b-level prospect? That's a tough one given this team's center situation - Mess and Messier, err, Lindros. But how long do you keep an ineffective second line center who may be moveable? He's not effective as a fourth liner. He shouldn't sit on the bench. What should be done?

Fletch is offline