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03-13-2013, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Spawn View Post
Yes and no.

The role that Horcoff plays is more important than many of us think. Matching up against other teams best players when he has to, while also producing some offense, key faceoffs etc.

Problem is that Shawn Horcoff is actually quite poor in the role. He has been eaten alive the past few seasons against other teams top players. I've said this before, but anyone can go out there against a teams top players and perform poorly. That is what Shawn Horcoff has done. Now that has been important in that it has allowed some of our other centers to not have to be matched up against other top lines, but that doesn't mean Horcoff has done his job well. He's just taking all the abuse so someone else doesn't have to.

You look at a player like Martin Hanzal who can play the type of minutes Horcoff does and put up a similar level of offense. But he doesn't get absolutely destroyed at 5v5 doing it.
How much of that has to do with playing in front of one of worst goaltending groups and most shallow defence depth charts in the NHL in the past several season? Would Datsyuk have faired that much better in preventing goals with this group?

The problem with trying to evaluate Horcoff is that he is constantly in arguably the single most difficult position in the NHL--play the best with the least support and the worst available teammates in the NHL.

Maybe if he was in a better organization like Boston or New Jersey, he would still not look very good. But frankly, nobody is going to have a good plus minus in front of the 2009-2013 version of Khabibulin.

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