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08-19-2013, 07:29 PM
Captain Catatomic
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Originally Posted by Panda Bear View Post
I agree that Smid has done a respectable job. His three biggest issues with being on the first pairing are: 1) handling the puck under pressure from great players forechecking him, which means that there is too much pressure on his partner to generate plays from the back; 2) reading the play on free-flowing breakouts; 3) stickwork against topnotch players.

The first issue is surprising given that Smid has very good technique with the puck, but he doesn't have good puck moving instincts to pair with that technique. He panics. I've always wondered if it's a confidence issue.

While that might be good for Smid, that would be bad for the team.

If you pair Smid with Schultz, then you're left with Ference and Petry. As much as I like Ference's game, I wouldn't trust him to face the toughs like I would with Smid. We need a pairing that can play against the other team's first line, and splitting Smid from Petry doesn't give us a pairing that can do that. We would need to see Schultz improve dramatically on the defensive side of things in order to even consider that.
Youre absolutely right about Smid last season but how do you explain it over the span of his entire career?

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