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Old
10-03-2011, 11:34 AM
  #26
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My point is that winning is a popularity contest or a nice contest. Our scoring depth has resulted in a pk weakness. Cammy shouldn't be on the PK, DD gets owned 5 on 5 vs 1st liners. We could use someone like Cooke on the 3rd line who can put up 20-30 points and kill penalties. AK can't do it, not really Eller either.
Gauthier had the whole off season to shop for some muscle and grit for his bottom lines, and he didn't.

Well. Let's just shut up and endure the season now.

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10-03-2011, 11:40 AM
  #27
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we can just as easily remove the word intimidation, replacing it with: teams that assert themselves physically.
This sounds right to me. More important, it's backed up by evidence. Our last few playoffs saw us eliminated by teams who overtly threw bodies at us, ultimately wearing us down. Sure, there were individual games during the regular season that were defined by fights, but I think it's much more relevant to look at entire playoff series in terms of what works and what doesn't.

At no time would I accuse our players of being mentally intimidated (though it is possible), but there seems to be no question that as playoff series against the Flyers and Bruins wore on, the Habs' physical tanks were emptied. I don't believe responding with a fight here or sending a message there will help us during the ongoing grind of a physical series. Basically, the Habs need to exhaust the other team over 60 minutes of play before the other team exhausts them. Legal checks, just more of them. Some of our forwards have to punish their defensemen, and all of our defensemen have to punish their forwards. As the season wears on and the playoffs begin, it becomes more and more about attrition -- it would be nice to do a little more energy draining instead of being the ones getting drained.

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10-03-2011, 11:41 AM
  #28
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EVERYBODY agrees that toughness did not restrain Cooke to hit Savard and all.....My point about toughness is that if you have a little bit of this in every line, when tempers flair, you have someone to do something about it.....Not have to deal with a Downie jumping on AKost. Not have a Gorges having to stand up and be killed. But moreso, and as far as I'm concerned you can also INITIATE things and not just defend yourself, if you have some guys that can do the work, you can try to create something when you're trailing. Or at worst, if Downie goes against Kostitsyn, I could send my guy go after Stamkos the next shift...Clearly not Martin,s style but there has to be a point where you can't be the laughingstock of the league. This jersey has to come with pride. I will never get use to being pounded game after game just because we have that suppose team toughness.

Just that in the end, people need to be consequent. You can't be happy to see guys like Tinordi, Conboy, Schultz or whoever in a lineup and explain in the same token why it's not important. 'Cause to me it sounds more like your analysis of the situation goes accordingly to what's presented to you instead of having an opinion of your own.

And for a million times, personnally, it was never about having a McGrattan in the lineup instead of a Desharnais....But it's all about being the aggressors physically instead of being always at the wrong end of things which in the end, might be tiresome for a lot of our players as the season and as the playoffs moves along.

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10-03-2011, 12:16 PM
  #29
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for me it's simple:
'toughness' (however you want to interpret it) <<<<<< skills.

combine both and we have a winner. sadly, not many posters here can recognize skills or just get blinded by 'omghessotoughmusthavehim' that they can't see that guys like konopka, are really awful hockey players.

guys like lucic, rupp, cooke, neil, ott are very, very useful and much, much rarer than everyone assumes. ****, moen fits this mold even

oh, and just because somebody is UFA doesn't mean they will sign where you want.

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Old
10-03-2011, 12:32 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
This sounds right to me. More important, it's backed up by evidence. Our last few playoffs saw us eliminated by teams who overtly threw bodies at us, ultimately wearing us down. Sure, there were individual games during the regular season that were defined by fights, but I think it's much more relevant to look at entire playoff series in terms of what works and what doesn't.

At no time would I accuse our players of being mentally intimidated (though it is possible), but there seems to be no question that as playoff series against the Flyers and Bruins wore on, the Habs' physical tanks were emptied. I don't believe responding with a fight here or sending a message there will help us during the ongoing grind of a physical series. Basically, the Habs need to exhaust the other team over 60 minutes of play before the other team exhausts them. Legal checks, just more of them. Some of our forwards have to punish their defensemen, and all of our defensemen have to punish their forwards. As the season wears on and the playoffs begin, it becomes more and more about attrition -- it would be nice to do a little more energy draining instead of being the ones getting drained.
But one could turn that around and say that speed drains the other teams energy. The Habs were banged up going into the series, and it wasn't an overly physical one, just a long series (game 7,3 OT's). The Bruins 5v5 were probably better, with the Habs being better on the special teams. Maybe this year with Cole and a healthy Pacioretty will give the Habs the size and toughness, without sacrificing the speed and skill. Also, Moen and White are also players that bring a physical style to the bottom 2 lines.

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Old
10-03-2011, 12:34 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
This sounds right to me. More important, it's backed up by evidence. Our last few playoffs saw us eliminated by teams who overtly threw bodies at us, ultimately wearing us down.
Uh... no. That is certainly not why the Habs lost their "last few playoff losses".

That was the narrative, but that's pretty much always the narrative when the Habs lose. The real reasons for the losses are different:

2010-2011: Thomas's goaltending + bad luck, especially in overtime
2009-2010: Halak no longer standing on their head, Habs no longer able to beat teams despite being dominated
2008-2009: Injuries sustained prior to the series (when you're reduced to using Laraque as a first-liner, you're down to the dregs).
2007-2008: Bad shooting luck -- 7 posts! (this one is especially egregious given how much the Habs dominated play in that series).


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Old
10-03-2011, 12:48 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Uh... no. That is certainly not why the Habs lost their "last few playoff losses".

That was the narrative, but that's pretty much always the narrative when the Habs lose. The real reasons for the losses are different:

2010-2011: Thomas's goaltending + bad luck, especially in overtime
2009-2010: Halak no longer standing on their head, Habs no longer able to beat teams despite being dominated
2008-2009: Injuries sustained prior to the series (when you're reduced to using Laraque as a first-liner, you're down to the dregs).
2007-2008: Bad shooting luck -- 7 posts! (this one is especially egregious given how much the Habs dominated play in that series).
I agree about last year against Boston, but the year before we were clearly out muscled by Philly, and that was the reason we were "dominated" and lost the series....

But I think PG knows what he's doing. Trading up to select Tinordi in the first round, as well as acquiring Schultz in the Halak/Eller deal show PG knows we need to get tougher. Once Schultz and Tinordi are regulars, the habs will have one of the tougher teams in the league. We just have to be patient.

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Old
10-03-2011, 12:59 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by hogtownhabsfan View Post
I agree about last year against Boston, but the year before we were clearly out muscled by Philly, and that was the reason we were "dominated" and lost the series....
No it wasn't. Montreal lost that series because they were a terrible club that year, and you can't ride goaltending and good shooting luck forever (Boston notwithstanding). Their luck simply ran out. They had no business being in the ECF in the first place; the Flyers dominated them the least of all three teams they faced.

The Flyers didn't outmuscle the Habs. A large part of what happens was the Flyers going to a left wing lock as soon as they had a lead and the Habs being unable to penetrate it -- which is not a factor of size nor strength, but one of tactics.

The 2009-2010 Habs were a work in progress, but except for goaltending, it really wasn't pretty.

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Old
10-03-2011, 01:03 PM
  #34
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After the Chara-Pacioretty incident last year many Canadiens fans soured on the idea of having a tough lineup. Almost as if to say "being tough is how the Bruins play, let's not bring in any tough guys because we will start to resemble them."

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Old
10-03-2011, 01:46 PM
  #35
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Uh... no. That is certainly not why the Habs lost their "last few playoff losses".

That was the narrative, but that's pretty much always the narrative when the Habs lose. The real reasons for the losses are different:

2010-2011: Thomas's goaltending + bad luck, especially in overtime
2009-2010: Halak no longer standing on their head, Habs no longer able to beat teams despite being dominated
2008-2009: Injuries sustained prior to the series (when you're reduced to using Laraque as a first-liner, you're down to the dregs).
2007-2008: Bad shooting luck -- 7 posts! (this one is especially egregious given how much the Habs dominated play in that series).
Sorry, this explanation doesn't cut it. I don't buy that the Habs keep suffering from a a different strain of bad luck, year-in and year-out. Bad luck facing an ultra-hot Thomas, bad luck hitting the posts, bad luck with injuries and unusual good luck with Halak that finally runs out.

With this line of logic, no change is necessary except to passively wait for our luck to realign.

The objective hard-evidence is that we have lost to the two toughest, most physical teams in the league, who have both played according to type and beaten us in that aggressive style. I'm NOT suggesting we revert to a size-based roster, but I AM suggesting we accept that there is a missing piece to this puzzle and attempt to address it.

And as a personal aside, while I respect the depth and thinking behind your analysis, and genuinely enjoy reading your posts, trying to reduce this very subjective topic to a list of certainties is inaccurate, and a bit off-putting.

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Old
10-03-2011, 01:48 PM
  #36
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if this isn't tough. I don't know what is.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa...veau-walk.html

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Old
10-03-2011, 01:50 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
EVERYBODY agrees that toughness did not restrain Cooke to hit Savard and all......
But you don't see people making dirty hits on Malkin & Crosby. Having a dirty SOB on your team is the trick imo.

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10-03-2011, 01:57 PM
  #38
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But you don't see people making dirty hits on Malkin & Crosby. Having a dirty SOB on your team is the trick imo.
Who took care of Steckel or Hedman ?

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10-03-2011, 01:59 PM
  #39
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Sorry, this explanation doesn't cut it. I don't buy that the Habs keep suffering from a a different strain of bad luck, year-in and year-out.
Heh. You missed the part in 2009-2010 when they were actually lucky to get there in the first place and just reverted to normal?

The Flyers just were outright better than the Habs in the series. In some ways, that was also the case in 2008-2009.

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With this line of logic, no change is necessary except to passively wait for our luck to realign.
There's really only one way to win a Cup. Build as good a team as you can to tilt the odds in your favor, then hope things go your way -- revel when they do, but accept that they probably won't. After all, even the hands-down best team in the league is always a massive underdog to win the Cup against the rest of the field: http://objectivenhl.blogspot.com/201...-team-win.html .

That doesn't mean you don't keep upgrading your team. But at some point, people who follow hockey are going to have to stop saying "anything could happen in the playoffs" then act shocked when it does.

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The objective hard-evidence is that we have lost to the two toughest, most physical teams in the league, who have both played according to type and beaten us in that aggressive style.
I would question whether Philly -- a team largely built around small, skilled forwards -- would classify as one of the "toughest, most physical teams in the league" other than by reputation.

In any case, it is simply not the case that size and physicality has been the primary or even secondary cause of the Habs losing any playoff series. That's purely a narrative based on the reputation of the teams involved and it simply does not survive scrutiny.

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Old
10-03-2011, 02:12 PM
  #40
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I'd rather have a John Erskine type on D then Hal Gill. Heck I'd even rather Paul Mara. While some see Gill as a "protector" I just see him delaying the inevitable.

It happened with Chara and now Malone. Two players and / or teams become frustrated with Subban. Whether or not Subban's antics are right or wrong is immaterial but he's clearly getting under the skin of the opposition. Problem is instead of having someone who can pound someone and play hockey the Habs have a guy who hugs and can marginally play hockey. Bear hugs have proven to me to be no deterrent.

To date and using the above examples it's cost the Habs one definite serious injury in Pacioretty; a dirty play on Plekanec by Ferrence; a near concussion for Campoli; and numerous other guys being beaten to a pulp in Gorges, Spacek and Pyatt.

I pick on Hal Gill because his skills and potential are the most limited on D. Skilled players and non-fighters should not be fighting these battles.

I'm somewhat okay with Moen and realize he's become a little timid probably because he feels like the lone ranger. Not his fault but it seems to be what the organization wants right now. The season has not begun and the Habs just as easliy could have lost two critical parts on D with Campoli being whacked and Gorges trying to fight.

I'm not blaming Gill but in no way, shape or form to his hugs resolve the situation. They maybe protect Subban but not other players and Markov will become one of those "other" players.

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10-03-2011, 02:13 PM
  #41
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Who took care of Steckel or Hedman ?
They weren't dirty hits imo. They were flukes.

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10-03-2011, 02:32 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
for me it's simple:
'toughness' (however you want to interpret it) <<<<<< skills.

combine both and we have a winner. sadly, not many posters here can recognize skills or just get blinded by 'omghessotoughmusthavehim' that they can't see that guys like konopka, are really awful hockey players.
Let me say you something. The Habs line-up overflow of skills. That's not the problem right now. We have 16+ skilled players and 2 tough players (and the 2 are injured right now). You need different kind of players in a team. Do you really think that Konopka can't do Engqvist's job ?

We are going to play Toronto whitout Moen, White and JM doensn't put Blunden on the fourth line ???? Tampa intimidate us last game, imagine the Leafs.

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10-03-2011, 02:37 PM
  #43
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I'm fine with the Habs being so intimidated that they paste the Leafs by four goals.

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10-03-2011, 02:39 PM
  #44
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It happened with Chara and now Malone. Two players and / or teams become frustrated with Subban. Whether or not Subban's antics are right or wrong is immaterial but he's clearly getting under the skin of the opposition. Problem is instead of having someone who can pound someone and play hockey the Habs have a guy who hugs and can marginally play hockey. Bear hugs have proven to me to be no deterrent.

To date and using the above examples it's cost the Habs one definite serious injury in Pacioretty
Just so we can be clear here, can you specify who exactly the Habs could employ who would have 'pounded' Chara in advance and hence apparantly prevented the injury to Pacioretty by deterring Chara? Or are we expecting the deterrent to Chara to be [insert name of person who can pound someone and play hockey] fighting an appointment fight with Thornton?

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10-03-2011, 02:39 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by Aurel Joliat View Post
Let me say you something. The Habs line-up overflow of skills. That's not the problem right now. We have 16+ skilled players and 2 tough players (and the 2 are injured right now). You need different kind of players in a team. Do you really think that Konopka can't do Engqvist's job ?

We are going to play Toronto whitout Moen, White and JM doensn't put Blunden on the fourth line ???? Tampa intimidate us last game, imagine the Leafs.
there's a reason he always plays for bad teams...

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10-03-2011, 02:43 PM
  #46
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They weren't dirty hits imo. They were flukes.
Surely the relevant thing for your arguement wouldn't be what you think, it would be what the person receiving the hits and his team mates thought of them:

"When I look at those two hits and we talk about blindside - that's a big word - and unsuspecting player ... there's no puck there on both of them," Crosby said. "It was a direct hit to the head on both of them. When you go through the criteria, I think they fit all those"

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10-03-2011, 02:44 PM
  #47
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Tampa intimidate us last game, imagine the Leafs.
seriously?

well if us being intimidated means we pot 5 each time, sign me up

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Old
10-03-2011, 02:49 PM
  #48
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Heh. You missed the part in 2009-2010 when they were actually lucky to get there in the first place and just reverted to normal?

The Flyers just were outright better than the Habs in the series. In some ways, that was also the case in 2008-2009.



There's really only one way to win a Cup. Build as good a team as you can to tilt the odds in your favor, then hope things go your way -- revel when they do, but accept that they probably won't. After all, even the hands-down best team in the league is always a massive underdog to win the Cup against the rest of the field: http://objectivenhl.blogspot.com/201...-team-win.html .

That doesn't mean you don't keep upgrading your team. But at some point, people who follow hockey are going to have to stop saying "anything could happen in the playoffs" then act shocked when it does.



I would question whether Philly -- a team largely built around small, skilled forwards -- would classify as one of the "toughest, most physical teams in the league" other than by reputation.

In any case, it is simply not the case that size and physicality has been the primary or even secondary cause of the Habs losing any playoff series. That's purely a narrative based on the reputation of the teams involved and it simply does not survive scrutiny.
I agree more with Lshaps here than you, you seem to think these are absolutes, I think you're partially right, but rely a little too much on these.

Anything can happen in the playoffs isn't necessarily true either. I don't remember a 8th seed ever winning a cup, can't really remember a 7th either, feel free to correct me if i'm wrong.

I also think something is missing in your analysis of the Bruin's, although I can't pinpoint what it is. The idea that they were outplayed and out shot often should lead to a worse record type of thinking. How much of the Bruins poster about playing with the lead was taking into account here?

I also expect the habs goal scoring 5vs5 to increase this year, but don't believe it's based solely on regressing to the mean, it will have more to do with adding 2 power forwards for entire year creating a net presence we've never really had in previous years. Small skillzy types have a more difficult time getting to the dirty areas of the ice and winning the grinding battles down low and in front of the net. I would think the opposite would be true with the bruins, their big forwards win more battles down low and score a higher % of goals from the dirty areas of the ice. Being able to win battles in the corners and sustaining pressure down low. It's just a theory, so don't shoot me if you've already seen this studied somewhere, but it's a theory I think holds some merit.


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10-03-2011, 02:55 PM
  #49
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Heh. You missed the part in 2009-2010 when they were actually lucky to get there in the first place and just reverted to normal?

The Flyers just were outright better than the Habs in the series. In some ways, that was also the case in 2008-2009.
2010 wasn't just a string of good luck that finally ran out. From the moment the puck dropped against Philly the entire tone of the playoffs changed. We were hit, pummeled and bashed relentlessly for the first half of the period. This isn't just my fuzzy, half-remembered perception, this was as noticeable as a neon sign, and I remember my eyebrows going up and saying, "Uh-oh". The Flyers were sending a dramatically clear message that they had watched us beat two top skill-based teams and decided to derail our train with an element other than skill. It worked. They shut us out for the first two games with a heavy physical style of play. That wasn't us reverting back to normal, that was us being pounded down two floors beneath normal.


Quote:
There's really only one way to win a Cup. Build as good a team as you can to tilt the odds in your favor, then hope things go your way -- revel when they do, but accept that they probably won't. After all, even the hands-down best team in the league is always a massive underdog to win the Cup against the rest of the field: http://objectivenhl.blogspot.com/201...-team-win.html .

That doesn't mean you don't keep upgrading your team. But at some point, people who follow hockey are going to have to stop saying "anything could happen in the playoffs" then act shocked when it does.
I agree with this. But since we haven't won a Cup in awhile and are not considered among the elite teams, it stands to reason we should be aiming to improve in some direction. This thread is about whether 'toughness' -- however you define it -- is that direction. I think it is, although my definition of toughness is more of the energy-draining, long-term variety. More TKO than knockout.

Quote:
In any case, it is simply not the case that size and physicality has been the primary or even secondary cause of the Habs losing any playoff series. That's purely a narrative based on the reputation of the teams involved and it simply does not survive scrutiny.
We continue to disagree. Yes, physicality isn't the only area we need to work on. But it has been a major factor in wearing down our skilled players and making us vulnerable. I don't consider it a coincidence that our achilles tendons in the playoffs have been Boston and Philly.

And you? You've stated what you think the Habs issue ISN'T. What do you think it IS? With the understanding, of course, that this whole game of "Assemble the perfect team" is totally subjective.

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10-03-2011, 03:06 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Habtacular View Post
Just so we can be clear here, can you specify who exactly the Habs could employ who would have 'pounded' Chara in advance and hence apparantly prevented the injury to Pacioretty by deterring Chara? Or are we expecting the deterrent to Chara to be [insert name of person who can pound someone and play hockey] fighting an appointment fight with Thornton?
Josh Gorges

Look you and I both know that not many are going to pound Chara but I don't like the trend that's developing. So to summarize I wouldn't mind having Malone on this team or a d-man in that mould. The Habs seemingly have no interest whatsoever in that type of player.

I gave examples of those players already and while nobody would be able to pound Chara they possible could be a deterrent for these other guys. I seriously would rather Mara then Hal Gill but hey.............Gill knows how to Tweet and that's all that's needed right? Marketability and something for the fans to latch onto?

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