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12-04-2006, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Melnyk View Post
I really hate using the "blame it on linemates" rationale....No doubt, Prucha would benefit from a better center and a better passer on his line.Unfortuantley, we don't have that player..That still doesn't excuse the lack of attention and effort Prucha has put iinto defense and backcheking.And it doesn't excuse the fact that when he does get the puck in good situations, he does nothing with it...DOn't get me wrong, I think this is only a tempoary thing because the kid can score, but the coaches job is to find the best combos on the team and there was nothing wrong with putting Prucha on the 3rd line to see what effect it might have....Doesn't look like much, I must admit...I honestly like Hall with Shanny and Cullen better but Prucha is totally wasted with Hossa and bets...What is the lesson learned? We never should have signed Cullen! ...before too long, this team is going to have to find a 2nd C by trade..
Understandable but the coaches job is also to put people in situations where they can provide something. Prucha on the third line doesn't do that.

If the second line is having a hard time generating offense outside of Shanahan and Prucha's having difficulties with defense, than it really doesn't make a lot of sense to put him on the third line where he'll provide even less offense and his defensive shortcomings will be further exploited.

Betts simply does not generate offense and frankly he looks outmatched against third line centers. Yeah in theory Prucha is only down on the third line, the problem is that 2/3 of the third line consists of 4th line players.

When it gets to that it becomes a non-point, we could put Prucha on a first line and it wouldn't matter if the linemates are really 4th liners.

And when all is said and done Prucha doesn't look nearly as terrible to me as is being made out.

If anything the guy whose replacing him as shown me far less and the move doesn't exactly scream of a potential big payoff.

At the end of the day this team can tinker all it wants, but it doesn't have the right parts. Until Cullen is playing on a third line where he belongs (and in turn Betts the 4th line) it won't particularly matter who plays with who because it's just not going to work.

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