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08-26-2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by do0glas View Post
I think vlasics biggest attribute is that you can pair him with an offensive dman against top comp. they will likely succeed at both ends on ES.

yes i can pair him with braun and make him look like a second pairing, but i think a top two way pair is more valuable. braun/demers/stuart do not NEED to face top comp. vlasic in a purely defensive role against top comp is nice in some instances, but id rather have a pairing that can score and be at least reliable in their own zone.

in his year with boyle he was close to 20 min/g at ES. boyle was pushing 30 due to PP time. he was essentially a # 3 on the team behind boyle/burns. with no burns, i think you make sure boyle/vlasic take those two top spots.

this year he was #2 in TOI, and unfortunately that bumped stuart up to #3.

so id rather see

vlasic/boyle [top comp vlasic-pk boyle-pp]
stuart/braun [second tier both on pk]
irwin/demers. [easiest comp-second unit pp-demers split time on pk]

i think we get the best out of everyone in this situation.
He's been #2 in TOI for several years and for the past couple of seasons he has consistently taken on the tough minutes and succeeded - he's a top pairing d-man. I very rarely agree with Easy's "criteria" for top line / top pairing, 2nd line / 2nd pairing, etc.

The one thing that's really improved over the past 3 seasons is that he's made whatever partner they've skated with him better.

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