Team Toughness II
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12-10-2013, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Haven't read through the entire thread, so forgive me if I'm re-hashing what many others have said.. but people have different definitions of "toughness" and I think the type of toughness this team needs isn't a player/players who will wind up with 5 PIM a game. It would be nice if the team stood together and stood up for each other, but we need another type of player..
What our team needs is players in the bottom six who will be absolutely relentless after the puck. Players who will absolutely not give up on the battles in the corners and in the defensive zone. Defensively responsible forwards who do not slow down or stop battling no matter what. Hungry. Not shying away from the bumps and bruises. Forwards that actually have the physical tools to do so; good skating, strong forwards who can posses the puck. Players that opposing teams do not want to play against. There aren't any players who don't want to play against Taylor Pyatt, Benoit Pouliot, Derick Brassard, Brian Boyle on most days, etc.
Size would be nice, but if we're able to find resilient forwards to win the battles on both ends of the ice and set up our top forwards (Nash, Richards, Kreider, Stepan, Zucc) in the offensive zone it would do this team wonders.
I hate to bring up Brandon Prust, because yadda yadda yadda overpaid yadda yadda, but someone akin to him is what we should be looking for (for the record, I don't think he's worth that contract by a mile). He never gave up on the play; he had the motor and the tools to do so. Stood up for his teammates because when a player has that type of drive they're usually the ones to step in. Ryan Callahan (save for what he's showing us this year) is another player who hit everything he saw and helped grind out opportunities. We need the type of players to take away the oppositions time and space in both zones. Have to force mistakes. Be aggressive.
Hopefully the team wakes up. Hopefully the closed-door meeting lit a fire under these guys' *****. In 2012 this team was able to out-work and out-hustle the rest of the league and nailed down home ice advantage. This year's team is not cohesive. They don't have any drive. They need tough, resilient players to inject some life into them.
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