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12-05-2013, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by chosen View Post
Boston would be the team that had the luxury of having Bergeron on the second line and Seguin often on the third line. Their 4th line may have been the best in the league last year.

I would point to that as the primary reason for their success. You would point to Scott Thornton as the reason.

Rangers also had no equivalent players to Krejci and Lucic on the first line.

Team toughness matters. Fighting doesn't. Some people say it does but I never see any proof of it. The last time it was like that was in Philly, 40 or so years ago.
My point would be that it's not just one of the other, it's a mix of the two. And it's not an accident. It is something that Boston and several other teams work on as a primary focus: drafting, signing or acquiring players that will give them the best mix of Skill and Toughness.

People here (not you necessarily) make it seem like this is some miracle that teams stumble into. It's about the focus and mentality of your organization.

With these discussions I find myself thinking about Rick Middleton. He was a classic Rangers forward, skilled but on the small side. And he was traded to Boston and became a much more effective player.

NOT exclusively because he was surrounded by a much tougher team. He worked at it. Rounded out his game and became a much more complete player. But if we ignore the reality that his team mates played a role in his success, we're continuing to kid ourselves.

Middleton was a great example of a solid skill player surrounded by team mates who not only had his back, but also had the ability to punish opponents simply for being on the ice.

When was the last time the Rangers had that kind of team?

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