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It May Be Time To Re-Visit Kessel at Center

View Poll Results: Kessel to Center?
Yes, try him at C. 4 8.33%
No leave him on the wing, realign the top 9 another way. 26 54.17%
Trade him. 18 37.50%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
02-13-2013, 12:14 PM
  #51
Aplayaz2000
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i mean Kane played Center for a bit

just shows how dynamic players can be

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02-13-2013, 12:17 PM
  #52
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If things are clicking and leafs are doing well whats the point of moving kessel to center? I just dont get it. Its a terrible idea and it should not even be considered how this team is performing right now.

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02-13-2013, 12:18 PM
  #53
Interactif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aplayaz2000 View Post
i mean Kane played Center for a bit

just shows how dynamic players can be
There is some merit to try Kessel at Center, what had Leafs never tried Sundin at C and kept him on the wing, when he was traded here he was Gilmour's winger. Often Center's are put on the wing and returned to their natural postion when they are able to handle it. Kessel is not a 30 year old, he is still a very young player.

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02-13-2013, 12:27 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by BodaciousBeefBazooka View Post
If things are clicking and leafs are doing well whats the point of moving kessel to center? I just dont get it. Its a terrible idea and it should not even be considered how this team is performing right now.
Well this has more to do with Lupul coming back, do we move JVR away from Kessel on a win streak and them clicking. Or do we plug Lupul in with both and see what they can do?

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02-13-2013, 12:27 PM
  #55
Sergei Berezin
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In essence, it's not a terrible idea in the sense that Phil is a great playmaker, but here are some points to consider about him:

- you want your wingers to be the first ones to exit the defensive zone with speed, and to attack the offensive zone; I never want to see the centreman leave the zone before the winger... Kessel is much better suited to play winger simply because zone entry in phenomenal. He pushes back other teams defencemen so easily making zone entry flawless for his line on most nights. As a centreman, Kessel would have to be high guy, and he's simply not suited for the role, and we wouldn't be utilizing some of his best attributes.

- he wouldn't do well defensively. I'm not saying he's terrible in his own end, but he's not winning any puck battles behind our net, and to be honest, I'd prefer to not see him behind our net where it's a war zone. That's where a lot of injuries happen, especially to finesse guys like Kessel.

- he can still be a playmaker on the wing; I don't understand the stigma that you have to be a centreman to distribute the puck

- I don't Kessel having the strength to consistently win faceoffs

- I don't see his conditioning being up to par in terms of following a guy all shift in his own zone and then transitioning up the ice to make solid plays. He's better suited to sit and wait for the puck to come to the sidewall and then attack.

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02-13-2013, 12:31 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Igy View Post
No, we have an abundance of centres. If anything, it would be JVR.
Yeah. I came here to say the same thing. If anything we should try JVR there.

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02-13-2013, 12:32 PM
  #57
Interactif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei Berezin View Post
In essence, it's not a terrible idea in the sense that Phil is a great playmaker, but here are some points to consider about him:

- you want your wingers to be the first ones to exit the defensive zone with speed, and to attack the offensive zone; I never want to see the centreman leave the zone before the winger... Kessel is much better suited to play winger simply because zone entry in phenomenal. He pushes back other teams defencemen so easily making zone entry flawless for his line on most nights. As a centreman, Kessel would have to be high guy, and he's simply not suited for the role, and we wouldn't be utilizing some of his best attributes.

- he wouldn't do well defensively. I'm not saying he's terrible in his own end, but he's not winning any puck battles behind our net, and to be honest, I'd prefer to not see him behind our net where it's a war zone. That's where a lot of injuries happen, especially to finesse guys like Kessel.


- he can still be a playmaker on the wing; I don't understand the stigma that you have to be a centreman to distribute the puck

- I don't Kessel having the strength to consistently win faceoffs

- I don't see his conditioning being up to par in terms of following a guy all shift in his own zone and then transitioning up the ice to make solid plays. He's better suited to sit and wait for the puck to come to the sidewall and then attack.
Good points, thanks for being atleast open and thinking about the idea rather than just scoffing it off without review.

Anywhere here is one of my favorite moments from a Leafs game in the last 3 years. Look who took the faceoff against a very good Bruins team.


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02-13-2013, 12:38 PM
  #58
Sergei Berezin
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Originally Posted by Interactif View Post
Good points, thanks for being atleast open and thinking about the idea rather than just scoffing it off without review.

Anywhere here is one of my favorite moments from a Leafs game in the last 3 years. Look who took the faceoff against a very good Bruins team.

haha I remember that, and that's why I specifically said consistently. It's not hard to win a faceoff when there's book on you. Once teams find out the strategies, they'll know how to beat Kessel. Spoiler Alert: just push him off the draw.

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02-13-2013, 01:00 PM
  #59
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Here is a an interesting exerpt from Kessel's draft year when he played Center.

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Just hours after he slipped to second in the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau midseason rankings last Friday, Phil Kessel-the most ballyhooed U.S. forward since Mike Modano-returned to No. 1 form. The 5'11", 190-pound Minnesota Gophers freshman earned two power-play assists on tic-tac-toe passes, gave three defenders whiplash with his dipsy-doodling, won 61% of his face-offs, skated at Mach 4 and put a game-high eight shots on net. Later, the 18-year-old Kessel, all sincerity and startling blue eyes, said he doesn't care about his ranking. "It doesn't matter where you go [in the draft]," he added. "You have to prove yourself no matter what."

In 2005, after a four-goal coming-out party at the World Juniors (in one game he hurdled a defender before sniping a goal) and while carrying the U.S. Under-18 team to the IIHF title, Kessel became one of the main figures in hockey's favorite let's pretend game: If Kessel and Sidney Crosby, who is two months older, were in the same draft class, whom would be picked No. 1? Now, extrapolating from his drab performance at the '06 World Juniors earlier this month-the first blemish on a dazzling resume, despite a tournament-high 11 points-several NHL scouts merely have Kessel in the No. 1 mix with Central Scouting's new favorite, Gophers-bound defenseman Erik Johnson, and with North Dakota freshman Jonathan Toews.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...5707/index.htm

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02-13-2013, 01:01 PM
  #60
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It seems like a pretty silly idea but then you think about it and realize it is a silly idea.

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02-13-2013, 01:47 PM
  #61
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Kessel is not a centre.

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02-13-2013, 01:49 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Interactif View Post
He's not a physical player I will grant you this, but history has shown there have been many Center's that use speed and skill to counteract this. Datysuk for one that comes off the top of my head, and I am by no means comparing anyone to Pavel. But strength is not a prerequisite to play Center, if we have a big physical Center in the top 9, it may be a good alternative to finding a big #1 center, The Gezlaf dreams are just that, you play the cards you are dealt. Not many 6'5 skilled elite Center's available to realistically have one in a Leafs uniform.
Are you kidding me? Datsyuk despite being small is almost impossible to knock off the puck, he has insane core strength Crosby is also in this club. To even think that Datsyuk doesn't use strength shows your complete lack of knowledge about pretty much any player and destroys any credibility that you might have had.

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02-13-2013, 01:53 PM
  #63
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I had wondered about this. Though Kessel is a perimeter guy.

As a center you're basically the guy who has the responsibility to join in the battles in all zones (joining in a defender in a scrum to win the puck, etc.)

I mean I think he could be better utilized in his own zone by keeping tabs on the other team's center rather than being the guy getting the outlet pass, but I'm not sure this is an experiment he'd be good for

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02-13-2013, 01:57 PM
  #64
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Vehemently disagree. You leave you're most productive forward where he's most comfortable and build around that.

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02-13-2013, 02:02 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by The Blue Devil View Post
Are you kidding me? Datsyuk despite being small is almost impossible to knock off the puck, he has insane core strength Crosby is also in this club. To even think that Datsyuk doesn't use strength shows your complete lack of knowledge about pretty much any player and destroys any credibility that you might have had.
he had any?

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02-13-2013, 02:03 PM
  #66
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Vehemently disagree. You leave you're most productive forward where he's most comfortable and build around that.
exactly. RC wouldn't have the long coaching life he has had if he was into nonsense like this

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02-13-2013, 02:33 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by johnny_rudeboy View Post
Am I the only one who does not see this new defensive side of Kessel? He is buying in to the system in some regards and that is a positive but he just dont have that awareness of the defensive game that is required of a center. He even struggle with the easier task of being a winger, defensively speaking.
He, and this is not meant as being negative, will always look for a loose puck with out having to win it by him self, so that he can go on the attack. The same way as he is not a playmaker since his first options will always be to find room for his shot. He is not using his line mates enough to be become a center and even less so to be called a playmaker. That does not mean that he cant make a nice pass, probably one of the best behind Kadri in that department on the team. But hockey is a very fast game and player will always be forced to make quick decisions and Kessels decisions will most likely always be to skate up with the puck and take a shot. And he does not have that ability that good playmakers have either when it comes to slowing the game down.

Giroux might not have a bigger toolbox then Kessel but he is better at using his tools.
No, I don't either. I see an improvement but nothing that would warrant calling Kessel a good defensive player; he's gone from being horrible to being borderline-acceptable. He still bails on plays all the time when he might get hit; he still sucks at clearing the puck out; and he still doesn't battle for pucks nearly as much as he should.

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02-13-2013, 02:41 PM
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Really? Randy Carlyle not turning RW's into Centers?

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It’s pretty well documented that 23-year-old Anaheim right winger Bobby Ryan can score goals. Now Ducks coach Randy Carlyle is determined to find out whether he can set them up, as well.

Ryan has been moved to center and Carlyle has made it clear he will have to fail miserably in preseason play to nix the experiment. Carlyle told the Orange County Register his young star, who has scored 66 goals in his first two full NHL seasons, has the hands, vision and overall skills to be an outstanding center — maybe even Gretzkyesque.

Bobby Ryan has scored 66 goals in his first two full NHL seasons.

Carlyle has separated Ryan from top-line partners Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and envisions a three-line center core of Getzlaf, Ryan and Saku Koivu. Teams that go that deep up the middle usually thrive and Ryan so far has embraced the idea.
Another so called theory debunked.

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02-13-2013, 02:46 PM
  #69
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he had any?
I did say might.

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02-13-2013, 04:02 PM
  #70
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Really? Randy Carlyle not turning RW's into Centers?



Another so called theory debunked.
I'm not totally against the idea of Kessel being tried at center, but I'm pretty sure the Ryan experiment failed, so you can't really use that as evidence of anything...

Anyways, I agree that offensively Kessel would probably do well enough at C, but there's so much going against him that it's hard to think he'd really have as much success as he has at W. Besides the obvious lack of strength and willingness to consistently go into dirty areas (he does sometimes and I personally think he has his best games when he shows a bit of grit, albeit only a bit lol), there's also a flaw in your theory of flanking him with JVR and Lupul...they're both LW and aren't comfortable on the right, so you'd have to put either Frattin or Kulemin on that wing, which disrupts the other lines quite a bit.

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02-13-2013, 04:35 PM
  #71
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I'm not totally against the idea of Kessel being tried at center, but I'm pretty sure the Ryan experiment failed, so you can't really use that as evidence of anything...

Anyways, I agree that offensively Kessel would probably do well enough at C, but there's so much going against him that it's hard to think he'd really have as much success as he has at W. Besides the obvious lack of strength and willingness to consistently go into dirty areas (he does sometimes and I personally think he has his best games when he shows a bit of grit, albeit only a bit lol), there's also a flaw in your theory of flanking him with JVR and Lupul...they're both LW and aren't comfortable on the right, so you'd have to put either Frattin or Kulemin on that wing, which disrupts the other lines quite a bit.
It does show Randy Carlyle is not restricted to one dimensional thinking as a Coach, who would have said he would give Mike Kostka 27 mins a game, or Orr be a NHL player again, or Fraser, Holzer would be so effective and valuable this year.

Ryan has had 71 and 57 point seasons as a Center, he's done fine without Getzlaf and Perry.

Lupul would slip back to the RW, he's played there before, it's not a dramatic change. Not a big deal.

Whether it happens or not, there is certainly a thought why you want 3 of your best players on one line against say a Bergeron and Chara, since Kessel hasn't been able to break through on them with the status quo, why are we naysaying it when we know Kessel plays well with both players? This could be a legit premiere line, if it doesn't work then we can go back to Bozak. But Lupul coming back there will be a decision to be made at some point.

RC does not do the obvious as most coach's may do.

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02-13-2013, 05:50 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by Interactif View Post
It does show Randy Carlyle is not restricted to one dimensional thinking as a Coach, who would have said he would give Mike Kostka 27 mins a game, or Orr be a NHL player again, or Fraser, Holzer would be so effective and valuable this year.

Ryan has had 71 and 57 point seasons as a Center, he's done fine without Getzlaf and Perry.

Lupul would slip back to the RW, he's played there before, it's not a dramatic change. Not a big deal.

Whether it happens or not, there is certainly a thought why you want 3 of your best players on one line against say a Bergeron and Chara, since Kessel hasn't been able to break through on them with the status quo, why are we naysaying it when we know Kessel plays well with both players? This could be a legit premiere line, if it doesn't work then we can go back to Bozak. But Lupul coming back there will be a decision to be made at some point.

RC does not do the obvious as most coach's may do.
2 points...Ryan hasn't played a full season at center in the NHL, so while he might be doing fine w/o Getzlaf and Perry, it's not as a center. Also, Lupul is a LW, he's said it himself he hates playing RW, and it was a key sticking point between him and Carlyle in Anaheim.

Also, that decision isn't as close as you make it seem, at best he's still 4 weeks away, and with the news of his setback, it might be even longer.

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02-13-2013, 05:54 PM
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quik View Post
2 points...Ryan hasn't played a full season at center in the NHL, so while he might be doing fine w/o Getzlaf and Perry, it's not as a center. Also, Lupul is a LW, he's said it himself he hates playing RW, and it was a key sticking point between him and Carlyle in Anaheim.

Also, that decision isn't as close as you make it seem, at best he's still 4 weeks away, and with the news of his setback, it might be even longer.
That´s not exactly what he said. He said his natural position is RW but he realized he would not get infront either Perry or Selänne so he wanted to play left wing to get higher up the depth chart. But Carlyle did not believe he was defensively strong enough to play on his weak side. Carlyle have since then admitted that he made a mistake and that Lupol can play left wing.

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02-13-2013, 06:14 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by Quik View Post
2 points...Ryan hasn't played a full season at center in the NHL, so while he might be doing fine w/o Getzlaf and Perry, it's not as a center. Also, Lupul is a LW, he's said it himself he hates playing RW, and it was a key sticking point between him and Carlyle in Anaheim.

Also, that decision isn't as close as you make it seem, at best he's still 4 weeks away, and with the news of his setback, it might be even longer.
The Bobby Ryan example was made because a poster said Carlyle would never move a winger (Kessel) to Center, think this point pretty much made that moot, since he did it already.

And Johnny Rudeboy saved me an additional point, because Lupul never said he preferred playing the left side over the right side, only that if RC gave him a chance, he could have, RC later admitted he was wrong.

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02-13-2013, 06:18 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by johnny_rudeboy View Post
That´s not exactly what he said. He said his natural position is RW but he realized he would not get infront either Perry or Selänne so he wanted to play left wing to get higher up the depth chart. But Carlyle did not believe he was defensively strong enough to play on his weak side. Carlyle have since then admitted that he made a mistake and that Lupol can play left wing.
RC admitting he was wrong with Lupes, in my mind he is now even more open as a coach than before, even Cup winning coach's evolve. Hitchcock did in St. Louis, he learned to adapt to the players of today and is a better coach for it. RC is adapting too. All the good one's do it, one dimensional thinking will lead to a GM being a coach killer.

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