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01-06-2004, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by scosar
Remember we are looking for a center to step in and shut down the offensive centers of the other teams in our conference. Begin has the quickness and is reasonably tough. But if you ask me is he good enough to shut down Mats Sundin or any of Philly's big centers in the play-offs, I don't think so. Juneau's line has, and will continue to do a great job shutting down the other teams scoring line. If you want them to score too then you are just being unrealistic. How many teams have a scoring third line. Hell even Jarvis one of the best checking centers ever never banged in much more than 10-15 goals a season.
1. I wouldn't say Begin's "reasonably" tough. I'd say he's fearless. As tough as they come. He'll throw down the gloves, deliver hits on any player that's vulnerable for one, and check his man with as much intensity as anyone. Did you not see the effect Begin had on not only his line, but the entire team when he had an increased role? I saw Sundstrom and Dackell drop the gloves when playing with Begin even!

2. Juneau has NOT shut down the opposition for the last two seasons. Theodore has. Juneau's line is more often than not hemmed in their own zone because that line contains three players in the same mold. Unfortunately that mold is soft, perimeter players. As hard as Dackell works, he's still soft, and he's still a perimeter player who is at his best when paired with players that offer different attributes than he does. Same goes for Sundstrom, minus the hard working part, but he adds more offensive flair.

3. When in the offensive zone, not only does Juneau's line fail to get scoring chances, but they endlessly cycle the puck along the boards, manage to get themselves all hemmed in deep, then the opposition has enough of their cycling and they move the puck quickly up ice. This wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that Juneau and Sundstrom are awfully slow, and Dackell's usually the man down low.

In other words, Montreal's 'defensive' line has problems with transition defense.

4. How many teams have scoring from their checking lines? Take a look within Montreal's division alone:

Boston - Rolston/Axelson is a big offensive threat; Bergeron has played much of the season with them. Rolston is a consistent 25+ goal scorer the past few seasons, on pace for 25 this year

Buffalo - Curtis Brown, regularly scores 15-20 goals

Ottawa - no real 'checking' line; Bonk is the main defensive center usually, but you could say Fisher or Smolinski are 'checking' line centers for them. Smolinski is fairly consistent at putting 20+ goals up, and Fisher's still developing but has already put up 20 goals I believe as a 22 year old.

Toronto - top three centers are Sundin, Antropov, Nieuwendyk. All provide offense.

You can look around the rest of the league at checking line centers providing offense.

The fact remains that Juneau with Sundstrom and Dackell doesn't work. They have chemistry on the PK, but even strength they're too similar and as such, too easy to play against.

Mike8 is offline