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07-14-2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HockeySensible View Post
I don't necessarily think he'll, "overtake" Shaw as the 3rd line centre, but I think Shaw will be moved to wing at some point next year and Kruger given the role as the 3rd line centre. Shaw didn't do a bad job at centre by any means, but Kruger's much more refined defensively, understands his positioning better, and with Shaw's energy/grit, you'd like him to be involved more on the forecheck and along the walls.

The thing is, the 3rd line last year was not used as the shutdown line at all last year. That line consistently played against the easiest competition, and it's easy to see why as Shaw/Bickell/Stalberg are not great defensively.

See here: Fancy Stats

As an aside, that just shows you how ridiculously good Toews/Kane/Sharp/Hossa were last year, putting up ridiculous numbers while playing against other top lines (and the main board thinks Toews is overrated?? )

I could see the same thing happening this year but different linemates for Shaw. Morin & Saad? That line's speed & skill & trouble-making would wreak havoc on other teams who are trying to match up with the Toews & Kane lines.

But just as it's stupid to say that Kruger has no offensive game and sucks in the offensive zone, it's also disingenuous to say that he is some defensive whiz. And to me there is no obvious reason to move Shaw to 3rd line wing and Kruger to 3C.

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