Playoffs - Who To Keep
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01-22-2007, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Heading towards the trade deadline this year, we are in the exact same position as last - desperately in need of a #1/2 centre.
We need this for two reasons:
1. To force teams to key on two offensive lines - not just one.
Koivu, to me, seems very worn down. His play has dropped as of late, and he desperately needs this week off. I guess the All-Star game is good for something.
So much of the offensive workload is placed on his shoulders (not to mention he kills penalties as well). Teams continually key primarily on his line and we have no other 3 man unit to consistently provide an offensive threat and force opposoing teams to make choices in their tactics. Come playoff time, this situation is only magnified.
2. Knock on wood - Koivu has not gone down this year, but if he does, at any time, we do not have the players to replace him.
We saw it last year in the playoffs and if he goes down again, we'll see it again.
I believe that Gainey is working on this and will do whatever he can to make it happen. It would be a shame not to learn from that experience last year. We do not have a single player who can step into the #1 centre role without our team taking a huge step backwards. Take him out and look what happens:
Higgins - Plekanec - Ryder
Latendresse - Bonk - Kovalev
Samsanov - Lapierre - Johnson
Perezhogin - Murray - Streit
Hardly looks like a team that will win a best of seven series without their captain.
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