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04-19-2007, 05:55 PM
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Ola's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sweden
Country: Sweden
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The unsong hero...

...every successful PO team got one. I haven't really noticed it before, but there is one player that haven't been talked about at all, who have gotten no credit for his tremendous work against Atlanta.

Martin Straka.

I truely belives that he have been one of the biggest factors for us. Right up there in the top 6-7 with Jagr, Lundqvist, Nyls, Roszival and Avery.

His positioning have been perfect. He have almost alone managed to lift the 2nd line. He is all over the ice, always with his stick on the ice prepaired to unload whoever got the puck.

He doesn't stand out much. But Matt Cullen wouldn't come close to get the same results as Straka have with the 2nd line. I doubt Nyls would either, and I am a big fan of him.

Avery and Shanny are two great player, role players. But after game 1 that line managed to push back every line they faced.

Allot of players have played well for us. Allot of players have gotten allot of credit. The reason everyone have played in positions where they can concentrate on what they do best. Thats the big accomplishment.

We haven't had a 2nd line where the players have gotten that opertunity in a long time. We do now, thanks to the work Straka have put in.

Avery and Shanny have been fantastic, in their roles. Though Avery haven't been forced to stick handle against a collected defense. Shanahan haven't been forced to try to create anything in speed battles of the rush. When that line have lost the puck Shanny have been able to dropp back right away but they still have been able to pressure the puck hard with Avery and Straka and have created allot of turnovers, when they haven't created turnovers Straka have still been the first player back helping out the D. Straka have found perfect routes on the transition game and have effectivly been able to set up controlled transition games. Thats gives them a opertunity to attack as a unit, and create pressure right away, as opposed to maybe sending off two guys on a rush with no back up to win battles for rebounds ect. Thats so important for that line, and something Cullen never where able to do. Cullen gets away with that on the line he is now since all 3 covers so much ice so fast, but that can't be done playing with Shanahan. He will be caught inbetween far to often.

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