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10-18-2006, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
Souray is like Jovanovski and McCabe IMO. If you get too caught up in picking apart his play, sure you find faults that basically boil down to poor defensive decision-making. It's not that he's abominably slow or a poor skater... he's actually decent enough compared to the truly abominable skaters on D in the league... it's just that he makes mistakes and doesn't have ways to recover for himself. But if he gets on the right roll with the right partner, he can really start to look special, which basically is what has happened to McCabe and landed him such a fat contract and 30+ minutes per night.

We've already had the debate about who the best partner for Souray is... and the partnership with Rivet might have come out of that debate as the best overall option for us from a set of non-ideal alternatives... but the bottom line is that we simply haven't found a truly top-notch complementary guy for him. I bet if we had one, a lot of the Souray bashing would go away as some number of his miscues became masked. And if that happened, then suddenly a guy who is already renowned for his PP and physical/character attributes might actually price himself right off our team! I don't pay enough attention to opposing players anymore to have any perfect solutions to suggest, but some names I'd toss around are Willie Mitchell, Mattias Ohlund on the more mobile side, or even some really smart no-nonsense pure stay-at-homers like Jay McKee or Rhett Warrener. (Mitchell and McKee got scary contracts this summer, alas). Ok, now probably the people who do pay attention will tell me they all play LD too. On the other hand, how much does it matter which side *Souray* himself plays on? He's confused enough on LD... would it make much difference if you put him on the right side? Then of course, you could even pair him with Markov. Ok, now I'm digging myself too much of a hole from what started as a relatively simple premise. But the bottom line is that I think Souray is indeed an extremely valuable asset for our team.
You know, I agree with what you said somewhat. I found his game improved dramatically when not paired with Rivet - they just don't seem to work well together. I just find that when those two play together, they always seem to be on the ice when the other team scores and they have just made a mistake. Watch for it and you will be surprised.

Split them up, and it might be better for everyone.

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