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01-14-2004, 04:46 AM
  #28
Mike8
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McPhee, it's interesting that you mention Ribeiro has a knack for body position with the puck to shield off defenders. I was just thinking the same, but that he might get himself in some serious injury trouble by doing this. I've noticed he has a tendency to turn his back to shield off defensemen down low and often gets tossed head first into the boards. This can draw penalties, but if he doesn't cut it out he risks some serious injury.

Ward is such an interesting case. This is a player who's got one of the ugliest skating styles in the NHL, someone who handles the puck like a hot potato, falls if he turns too quickly, and has such poor control of his own stick that he accidentally got his stick up on four or five occasions against the Leafs in a game earlier this season... There's no individual skill that he has that would indicate he could even be an AHL player.

But somehow when Ward's on the ice he makes things happen. I can understand why Guy! sees him as a minor league talent but, the guy forces plays and does the unexpected on every shift. He gets the puck deep and creates some offense. He's not particularly gritty, but he is fearless.

I think this makes him an NHL player, even if none of his skills would indicate these capabilities. You can plug him on any line and be assured he'll create some offense and drive the net, even if it's in the most awkward, and ugly hockey you've seen. Stick him next to Langdon and Perreault, two players that have no business being on the same line, and that line will have some success because Ward is able to do his thing regardless of linemates. He's a player that can create chemistry on a line because he's not a complementary player, as most every Hab is. He'll do the same job and moves with Koivu and Zednik as he would with Langdon and Kilger.


On another note, did anyone notice Souray taking shots at Pronger? Did I miss something here?

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