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08-05-2013, 06:28 AM
Nac Mac Feegle
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Originally Posted by Ola View Post
Yeah, its a bit problematic.

Its not just the Leetch end-to-end rushes that we don't see today. Its -- talent -- on the blueline that have gone missing. Go back 20 years, and the most talented Ds were as talented as the most talented forwards's. There is just not a single D in this league the last 10 years who even remotely offensively have been as skilled as an Ilya Kovalchuk for example. Some will say that there isn't room in the game for puck rushing D's, but I am 100% convinced that a D as talented as Ilya Kovalchuk while being decent defensively would be able to do a helluva lot of damage from the blueline. Just look at Erik Karlsson who is closing in on a PPG, and he is a midget.

If we see more talent on the blueline down the road, coaches will get diffrent tools and can create diffrent products. I mean, for example, I like our D's. I like Staal, Girardi and McD. And MDZ and Strålman. But you often hear comments about how these guys supposedly have good first passes. How their offensive game is underrated and what not. But if you grew up watching hockey during most of the 90's, its more or less impossible to like be impressed by McD's "first pass". Why exactly are people impressed? Because they can deliver a pass blade to blade? Isn't that expected from any 13 y/o playing hockey? I can buy that these guys do not lack any fundamental ability to be decent offensive D's. But they certainly do not possess much offensive ability as of today. Or at least hasn't been allowed to displayed it under Torts. And passive assists they have picked up logging 20+ minutes a night doesn't change that.

In the end, I am fairly confident that the game will change to the better given time.
Economics. Status. Prestige. Coaching.

The guys playing the game now grew up on Roy, Brodeur, Lemieux, etc. Center and goalie is/were the glamor & big money positions, so more of the kids gravitated to them.

And like you mentioned in your post - coaching. No such thing as a 1-way pure player anymore. If you want to get icetime in the NHL, you'd better be a 200-foot player. We need a few coaches out there to allow elite skill level guys the ability to be pure offensive dynamos on the blueline again.

What the league needs, is to get a few more Karlssons, Subbans, or a modern era Orr to dazzle the kids and get them excited about playing on the blueline.

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