Thomas Vanek isn't the dominant force we expected him to be. (Update: sick/hurt?)
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04-06-2014, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Originally Posted by
I'm very much a supporter of this philosophy as well (especially in the playoffs where the ability to crash wave after wave pays off big time), but this is all playing out even better than I expected, honestly. We know that Tom and Max are among the best at what they do, but I've already noticed them attempting plays that show they're not just learning how the other guy ticks, they're seeing the chances to exploit each others' strength(s) with just quick, almost "blind" reads (Vanek still has the odd disconnect when it comes to reading whether/how any of our defensemen are committed to supporting the rush). As long as they're building on that level of chemistry/understanding, and the line as a whole doesn't lose a presence down the middle of
zone, might as well leave DD there as far as I'm concerned now; certainly doesn't hurt Pacioretty, who certainly doesn't hurt Vanek, as it turns out.
I have enough faith in Plekanec and the Gallys to let that play out, and still believe in the ablity to slide Eller (or maybe even "playoff Bourque", if such a beast really exists) in there instead for shifts/roles that need more "presence" if it means creating an exploitation line of sorts with Galchenyuk centering the next line. I'm pretty insistent on keeping all of Briere, Gionta, "normal Bourque", Moen, Prust, White, and Weise in the bottom 6/special teams rotation, but hate the idea of seeing Galchenyuk get to play centre only to have one arm tied behind his back playing beside most of those guys.
At this point in the season with the team winning and that line clicking then yes there's no point in breaking them up. You dance with who brought you. But if a team finds a way to shutdown that line, or is able to shut down the other 3 lines then we can't be afraid to split the top line up.
For the same reason Galchenyuk should stay wing for the rest of this season/playoffs even though it's a shame he hasn't played center more this/last year.
I'm probably alone in this but I think we'll see the "good" Bourque in the playoffs. His problem is he can't motivate himself. Playing in front of 21K screaming fans in an electric atmosphere should get the adrenaline flowing for him.
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