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05-20-2013, 02:39 AM
  #46
Sturminator
I voted for Kodos
 
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Strategy:

Gorman will seek to get the Luce line out there against the Beliveau line whenever possible. When this matchup occurs, Joe Klukay will skate on the 3rd line in order to check Andy Bathgate. This is a very good matchup for the Habs: Klukay and Luce are a strong checking duo to go up against Pittsburgh's big top-2, and Tony Amonte's ability in the counterattack will be of great value here. Bert Olmstead was a good checker, but his weakness is that he was a plodding skater. Olmstead simply cannot keep up with Amonte, who is a real threat to score off of turnovers in front of a defense that will move the puck very effectively.

This is, I think, where drafting Tony Amonte to round out the 3rd line will pay off for Montreal. With Klukay and Luce already in place, I think most GMs would have taken a pure checker to complete the unit as a troll line. Jafar took something of a risk in deciding to draft a strong (and underrated) counterattacker to the RW, and as TDMM pointed out, it could have backfired had Montreal come up against a team with an elite LW. But this has been avoided, and Amonte in this series is in exactly the situation for which he was drafted.

Nobody can execute linematching on every shift, but Gorman is the better coach here; this matchup will occur pretty often in the series, and I think it is clearly to Montreal's advantage. It is not possible to "shut down" a unit like the Beliveau line, but the Luce line, as it is so constituted, is an ideal unit to check them effectively and then mount a dangerous counterattack when they are able to create turnovers. Montreal's ability to impose this matchup a good chunk of the time is, beyond goaltending and special teams, the Habs' other important edge in this series.

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