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ECQF: Game 4: Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals. 4/19/12. 7:30 PM. Verizon Center.

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04-20-2012, 08:52 AM
  #726
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Knubles legs are just done, if that's a product of him not getting game time and playing at that speed ... i'll cut him some slack (thought I don't think that's the case.) He'll be scratched and I would agree that Erskines presence in front of the net was solid, he'll improve the more he plays.

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04-20-2012, 08:58 AM
  #727
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Halpern > Knuble > Aucoin

And Aucoin will play.

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04-20-2012, 08:59 AM
  #728
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People often ask why don't Knuble or Halpern play. If Dale thinks they have lost a step, has a coach ever come out and flatly state that when asked about why they aren't the lineup? While I can probably see Knuble looking slower, I did not see that with Halpern. Halpern bumped seems to be about Beagle and MP improving a lot this year (including in the dot), more than Aucoin or his age. Coin spends most his time at wing anyways.

Aucoin is the bigger head scratcher. Was Dale secretly watching his AHL career from London all those years? Aucoin seems like a George guy to me. Being a good person off the ice seems a key to who George wants on his team. Maybe its Ted and a team image thing, who knows.

Aucoin does get the odd scoring chance but otherwise i have not seen enough to warrant all the PP time he gets. I almost laugh when I see his long twig every game, really. The anti-Adam Oates. He tries stuffs etc, he gets nothing on his shots, he and the puck seem easily knocked around.


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04-20-2012, 09:04 AM
  #729
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I don't get the Aucoin hate. He's the 12th forward on the roster - it's not like that spot on the roster is supposed to be a huge difference maker. And yet he was very much a positive contributor last night in a good way - getting the primary on the GWG (his positioning also probably helped influence Thomas to lean the wrong way).

His speed is helpful - his play with Knuble last night was good, and with Nicky out, he's one of the few good passers on the roster.

I'd sit Ward, Knuble or Halpern before I'd sit Aucoin, because I think making the Bruins D play against speed is one of the few match-up advantages we get.

But sure I can see the case for going w/Knuble or Halpern, I just don't get why people get so exercised over who our 12th forward is gonna be.

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04-20-2012, 09:11 AM
  #730
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I don't hate Aucoin, and I know he was George's big roster add at the trade deadline, but I just don't see him doing enough to near permanently knocked Knuble to the bench. Or Halpern, if you'd like.

I just see little space for him out there. To make my point, try and stick handle through Boston's D or play the puck near your feet in a board battle, with a 10 feet stick. There is a reason players use sticks proportional to their body size. With his oversize twig, he needs space. Its just not there at 5 on 5 in the playoffs. He cannot easily use his body to shield the puck with a long twig. He is a skill guy, the puck needs to be on his stick. Watch for him struggling to hold the puck.

So he has to excel when he has the space to do so, which includes obviously the PP. But before last night, sitting at -2, I really saw nothing at all that had impressed me.

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04-20-2012, 09:14 AM
  #731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
I don't get the Aucoin hate. He's the 12th forward on the roster - it's not like that spot on the roster is supposed to be a huge difference maker. And yet he was very much a positive contributor last night in a good way - getting the primary on the GWG (his positioning also probably helped influence Thomas to lean the wrong way).

His speed is helpful - his play with Knuble last night was good, and with Nicky out, he's one of the few good passers on the roster.

I'd sit Ward, Knuble or Halpern before I'd sit Aucoin, because I think making the Bruins D play against speed is one of the few match-up advantages we get.

But sure I can see the case for going w/Knuble or Halpern, I just don't get why people get so exercised over who our 12th forward is gonna be.
Agreed.

I'm much more interested to see if Erskine plays again. I sincerely hope he does. IMO he earned a spot with his play last game. I'd also play Orlov over Wideman. Wides looks like he plain doesn't care. Maybe that's not true but if it that's not the case then he's plain stupid. His play is hurting more than it's helping right now.

Is it possible the only reason Wideman is playing is because he is a RHS?

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04-20-2012, 09:26 AM
  #732
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Wideman is playing because of the chance he created that ended up with him hitting the cross-bar. His D can be OK and it can be frightening, but the pairing with Schultz was clearly not working. I think he's better paired w/Erskine.

People rag on Wides for the Bs goal last night, but that was completely OV's fault -- geezus pee wee players know not to make blind back-hand passes to the middle high in the zone; that those are turnovers and odd-man rushes the other way waiting to happen. I knew as soon as he passed it we were screwed - in a game like this, with a 1-0 lead, that puck has to get thrown down low behind the net.

That play was precisely the sort of high-risk dumb that Dale has been trying to vacuum out of this group -- let's hope it's the last time we see something like that.

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04-20-2012, 09:33 AM
  #733
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Do you two think Aucoin is a better checking line center or wing than Halpern? He is on a energy checking grinding line now. While Aucoin can chip in on the PP, I don't see a shortage of skill up front. Semin and his insane shots will score, he doesn't need Aucoin. While we need offense versus Boston, it just seems playoff goals from 4th lines will be ugly, favoring the big burly NHL vet types over small career AHL'ers.

Ward has been ineffective. Maybe in part because he has a tiny career AHL center playing as an off side winger on his line. But we need our 4th line to help tire out Boston, do some cycling; our 4th line is a joke.

Anyone else think our 4th line has no identity and is contributing near nothing in this series? Thats where Aucoin lives. Nothing against the person or player Aucoin, but he is not my prototype 4th line NHL LW playing versus Boston.


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04-20-2012, 09:35 AM
  #734
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you guys are to hard on aucoin, if hes not taking faceoffs over halpern than he may be better

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04-20-2012, 09:41 AM
  #735
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Sabourin sent to hershey.

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04-20-2012, 09:44 AM
  #736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
Wideman is playing because of the chance he created that ended up with him hitting the cross-bar. His D can be OK and it can be frightening, but the pairing with Schultz was clearly not working. I think he's better paired w/Erskine.

People rag on Wides for the Bs goal last night, but that was completely OV's fault -- geezus pee wee players know not to make blind back-hand passes to the middle high in the zone; that those are turnovers and odd-man rushes the other way waiting to happen. I knew as soon as he passed it we were screwed - in a game like this, with a 1-0 lead, that puck has to get thrown down low behind the net.

That play was precisely the sort of high-risk dumb that Dale has been trying to vacuum out of this group -- let's hope it's the last time we see something like that.
No, it wasn't. Watching to replay, it seemed he was trying to turn at the boards and put the puck in the corner on the backhand, but just lost an edge. Laich was the high forward in the defensive zone, and was off the puck, so he was pretty clearly the guy responsible for covering Wideman's pinch. I don't know how the Caps communication works on pinches, but it was either Wideman's or Laich's fault. Considering that it was on the rush, I'd fault Wideman moreso than Laiich.

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04-20-2012, 09:46 AM
  #737
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
Wideman is playing because of the chance he created that ended up with him hitting the cross-bar. His D can be OK and it can be frightening, but the pairing with Schultz was clearly not working. I think he's better paired w/Erskine.

People rag on Wides for the Bs goal last night, but that was completely OV's fault -- geezus pee wee players know not to make blind back-hand passes to the middle high in the zone; that those are turnovers and odd-man rushes the other way waiting to happen. I knew as soon as he passed it we were screwed - in a game like this, with a 1-0 lead, that puck has to get thrown down low behind the net.

That play was precisely the sort of high-risk dumb that Dale has been trying to vacuum out of this group -- let's hope it's the last time we see something like that.
Agree again.

I'm not ragging on Wides because of that goal. In fact, I'm not ragging on him about any one play or his overall defensive ability. He's an offensive defenseman, I understand that comes with a reduced defensive skill set in many cases.

I am advocating for him to be replaced because he seems lost many times. He generally seems to not be hustling many times during games. He seems not to care as much as he should given the games they are playing in.

Maybe I'm completely wrong, but the impression I get from watching him is that he isn't trying as hard as he could half the time. To me that is unacceptable. Mistakes...everyone makes them, even the best of players.

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04-20-2012, 09:48 AM
  #738
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
Do you two think Aucoin is a better checking line center or wing than Halpern? He is on a energy checking grinding line now..
I think Aucoin's quickness enables him to create some space for himself that Halpern can't. Halpy's better on the face-offs and stronger - but I think Dale wants to have some quickness on the 4th line and Halpern can't provide it.

The other thing is that lack of foot-speed from forwards in the D-zone leads to reach penalties - you saw it with Knuble last night, and that was a problem with him all year; Halpern too to a lesser degree.

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04-20-2012, 09:49 AM
  #739
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I think Acoin is playing purely for PP2 and he was pretty good on PP1 last night. Like someone posted, Knuble's legs are shot and Halpy I just don't see being able to do much on the PP.

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04-20-2012, 09:50 AM
  #740
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Since when does Halpern lack foot speed? People keep posting that Aucoin is quicker. I don't see it. The quickest guy they could plug in, by far, was just sent to Hershey yesterday morning.

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04-20-2012, 09:51 AM
  #741
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
Knuble the only penalty, Aucoin the PP being run through him and his oak tree down low; I see Knuble benched. It's rare someone sits after a win but we have no choice. Pretty sure I saw Aucoin taking faceoffs last night from the wing.

I think Erskine stays IMO.

My changes; Nick in Knoobs out.
Aucoin centered the 4th line last night. Unless of course you consider Ward or Knuble a center.

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04-20-2012, 09:56 AM
  #742
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No, it wasn't. Watching to replay, it seemed he was trying to turn at the boards and put the puck in the corner on the backhand, but just lost an edge.
We saw it differently then - hey, that's what makes a market. IIRC, the puck was on the right-wing boards, so it couldn't have gone to the corner (at least not the near corner anyway) on his backhand.

But I tend to think that turnover is part of the reason why Ovy saw so little ice time in the 3rd period.

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04-20-2012, 09:57 AM
  #743
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Do you two think Aucoin is a better checking line center or wing than Halpern? He is on a energy checking grinding line now. While Aucoin can chip in on the PP, I don't see a shortage of skill up front. Semin and his insane shots will score, he doesn't need Aucoin. While we need offense versus Boston, it just seems playoff goals from 4th lines will be ugly, favoring the big burly NHL vet types over small career AHL'ers.

Ward has been ineffective. Maybe in part because he has a tiny career AHL center playing as an off side winger on his line. But we need our 4th line to help tire out Boston, do some cycling; our 4th line is a joke.

Anyone else think our 4th line has no identity and is contributing near nothing in this series? Thats where Aucoin lives. Nothing against the person or player Aucoin, but he is not my prototype 4th line NHL LW playing versus Boston.
I thought Ward has been solid in his limited minutes. I think he's been strong on the forecheck and has been able to clear the zone with more consistency than most. He and Knuble seemed to be cycling well but ol' Long Stick gets knocked off the puck too easily to sustain pressure.

Putting Halpern out there gives that line a 3rd solid cycler and much more of an identity and defined role. Big bodies that have as good or slightly better chance as any line of getting some sustained zone time.

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04-20-2012, 10:00 AM
  #744
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
I think Aucoin's quickness enables him to create some space for himself that Halpern can't. Halpy's better on the face-offs and stronger - but I think Dale wants to have some quickness on the 4th line and Halpern can't provide it.

The other thing is that lack of foot-speed from forwards in the D-zone leads to reach penalties - you saw it with Knuble last night, and that was a problem with him all year; Halpern too to a lesser degree.
I do think Aucoin is in the lineup for more speed, but really our 4th line does not impress me one bit. It's just a poorly constructed line that despite the speed/offense Aucoin brings to it, remains ineffective. While its obvious Dale doesn't want slower bigger more experienced players, I don't see a lack of team speed as a problem in this series. We can't even break out, complete simple passes. Nothing new

I don't know if he was at fault in any way, but suspect his line collectively may have been, but in a tight low scoring series, sitting at -2 deserves a closer look. Especially someone with so little NHL playoff experience, in a new position, non scoring roll, on his off wing no less.

Lets look at the bigger picture, is our 4th line ineffective, and if so, why?

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04-20-2012, 10:05 AM
  #745
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
We saw it differently then - hey, that's what makes a market. IIRC, the puck was on the right-wing boards, so it couldn't have gone to the corner (at least not the near corner anyway) on his backhand.

But I tend to think that turnover is part of the reason why Ovy saw so little ice time in the 3rd period.
Yes, it could have gone to the corner. He was stopping and pivoting around to put it in the corner. He lost an edge. Watching again, I have no clue why Wideman decided to pinch. He had three teammates below him in the zone, and a Boston forward right on his shoulder.

Watch it again:
http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/con...24&event=WSH50

I'd wager that turnover has nothing to do with Ovechkin's benching in the third. It was more due to his defensive ineptitude.

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04-20-2012, 10:09 AM
  #746
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Not that anyone cares, but I blamed Wides at the time.

Agree on AO's limited time in the third.

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04-20-2012, 10:11 AM
  #747
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Ovi was brutally bad last night, I don't care he was benched. But I doubt his benching had to do with his bad play. It has more to do with Hunter wanting his defensive guys to hold on to the lead.

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04-20-2012, 10:11 AM
  #748
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Aucoin centered the 4th line last night. Unless of course you consider Ward or Knuble a center.
Do you think that will last?

I do consider Halpern a center.

We have been moving centers to wing from day 1. MP Beagle Halpern MJ and now Aucoin. I think we can go 7 deep at C now. Unless of course you consider most of them wingers.

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04-20-2012, 10:13 AM
  #749
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Lets look at the bigger picture, is our 4th line ineffective, and if so, why?
Our bangers are too slow (Knuble, Halpern), our non-slow guys can't bang (Aucoin, Matty), and our board work/net presence guy (Ward) has no hands and can't work the boards. Hendy and Beagle are great 4th line guys, but they play on the 3rd line now.

I thought Knuble cycled pretty decently last night, and Halpern is very good on the cycle. But Dale is clearly spooked about playing both those guys together against the Bs.

Nicky coming back probably means MattyP goes back to the 4th line, assuming they stay with Hendy-Beagle-Brouwer. I can see keeping Knuble in, and choosing one of MattyP or Aucoin for the 4th line.

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04-20-2012, 10:14 AM
  #750
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yeah i don't understand the hate for Aucoin, maybe its because hes labeled a career ahl'er, makes people hard to see past that, regardless how he plays. Boston hates playing people like Aucoin, fast speedy, avoids checks, skilled.

However, I really think its important to have Knuble in the lineup, halpern on the other hand, while a good player, just isnt needed in our lineup.

And as far as the ahte for Ward, it seems very unjust. People are expecting him to score like he did in NSH, while getting fourth line minutes the entire season and playoffs. If you watched NSh last year, you would see what a big part of the team he was to them, thats not the case here. If I were dale, I would have tried him on the top line this year, but its too late now, so leave him where he is.

Let aucoin and erskine stay.

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