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01-15-2004, 06:55 PM
Kirk Muller
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Originally Posted by Breenger
Why would he have to line up against these lines if he was on a contending team? I think the coach would probably do the same thing with him. Plus, on a contending team, he would have better linemates who would either be able to break through the opposing team's checking line, or be good enough defensively to line up against opposition's top line, if need be.

Maybe I worded it wrong, but therein lies the proverbial catch. If he is a "good" second liner on a contender, why does he have to be matched up against weaker lines. If you are a good second line centre, you should be able to match up against opposing top lines as well as a teams best checking line. Also a contender means playoffs, opposing contenders such as Colorado, Detroit, Dallas(traditionally) have a great one-punch, or a supreme checking centre like NJ. Forsberg or Sakic (1a and 1b) whatever way you feel, Modano and Arnott.

Also take into the factor in Playoffs that powerplays are usually down. What we will see is Ribeiro having 13 minutes of ice time because of less PP time, and take into consideration the weaker lines don't play as much come playoff time so either Ribeiro plays less or faces other teams top lines which he has proven he can't handle. This also puts added pressure on your checking lines because they are no forced to play 20 minutes a night.

To me there is no way Ribeiro can be seen as more than an average second line centre (period)AT THIS POINT (note - if he adds strength/ consistency in effort and intensity, applies himself to defense, he could become a bonafide top centre) if he is only successful when facing fourth lines or second tier players.

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