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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, 06:25 PM
  #76
Noble Peasant
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So.... We're 4th in the East.... Let's try some new stuff guys, since things clearly aren't going well...

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02-13-2013, 06:50 PM
  #77
New Liskeard
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It may be Time to re-try Kessel at Center.

As with Claude Giroux, Kessel came to the NHL as Center converted to a winger, last year Giroux was moved back to Center when Richards and Carter were moved out, last year he became one of the most dynamic players in the NHL when Flyers management thought he was ready to step into the role.

Phil Kessel was a Center that was converted to a winger in Boston, often young Centers are broken into the league on the wing until they are mature enough to handle the Center role, Tyler Seguin will be a center one day, Kessel has been so successful one the wing, teams just left him there. But he played Center in his formative years, and was very successful at it enough for scouts to call him the next Crosby.

As a winger there are times he still looks awkward clearing the puck on the around the boards breakout, however last season and this current year, Kessel has shown a maturity to his game that he didnít possess in the 10-11 season when he was briefly tried at Center with Armstrong and Versteeg as his wingers. A 200 ft game, more grit, and as shown by his 9 assists this year an excellent passer.

Reasons why I think he will succeed, Randy Carlyle has introduced a far more structured team game that will allow players to flourish, though Kessel is thought as just a sniper, he may be miscast as just a goal scorer, he shows a complete game that is better suited at Center. His puck handling and vision will open up holes for his wingers. He has better support now, when Lupul comes back, he and Lupul have a great chemistry together, JVR his current winger is now also showing this same chemistry. Instead of breaking up a Kessel/JVR or Kessel/Lupul combo, simply move Kessel to the middle of JVR and Lupul.

Tyler Bozak has done a good job as the #1C, however a Kessel, Lupul, JVR line may strike fear into the opposition, it has the makings of one of the best lines in hockey.
Kesselís speed, vision, and playmaking, JVRís power, speed, and goalscoring ability, and Lupulís board work, dirty area finishing all around play. This would provide the Leafs a legitimate #1 line they havenít had since Sundin(another winger turned Center)Roberts, and Mogilny.
Yes, the time may be ripe to try Kessel at Center, often good athletes can play anywhere, we saw it in Team Canada at the Olympics, we saw it in Giroux and Sundin.

A Kessel, JVR, Lupul line may be too logical or enticing to Randy Carlyle to atleast not entertain the thought next time he fills out the lineup card.

Itís a topic that is atleast worth discussing, a good problem to have with the maturity shown in Kesselís game. One thing we know, Randy Carlyle trusts his players, and he may trust Kessel has the game now to make it happen.

Agree or disagree.

Disclamer-Toronto Star or Sun sports writers, give cred where you got this idea
Creating a thread, just for the sake of it?? Kessel said he would play center if asked, and has played the position before, but is not suited for the role. The first line is fine, and putting Kessel in a position where he is not the most comfortable, and likely wouldnt succeed does no good for anyone. Unless you're worried about Steve Simmons i dont know what good your disclaimer will do.

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02-13-2013, 07:09 PM
  #78
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To OP...

Hell no!!!

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02-13-2013, 07:21 PM
  #79
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Keep him as winger, he's doing fine there.

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02-13-2013, 07:25 PM
  #80
Guy Boucher
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If you've actually watched Kessel play (and some of you make me wonder), then you would know that this is a completely dreadful idea.

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02-13-2013, 08:25 PM
  #81
Interactif
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Originally Posted by New Liskeard View Post
Creating a thread, just for the sake of it?? Kessel said he would play center if asked, and has played the position before, but is not suited for the role. The first line is fine, and putting Kessel in a position where he is not the most comfortable, and likely wouldnt succeed does no good for anyone. Unless you're worried about Steve Simmons i dont know what good your disclaimer will do.
I'm not in the habit of of creating a 10 paragraph OP just for the sake of creating a thread. Compare my threads to others, you think this was a haphazard coffee talk post?

Regardless if you read the OP, you would have noticed I alluded to Kessel not being ready to handle it when he was 23, is he still 23? Most of us are better with more experience. Further you said the first line is fine, which one do you mean? Kessel Lupul or Kessel JVR? And that is the dilemma? Who is the 2nd line player here Lupul or JVR, or are they both 1st liners that should play with Kessel to be most effective.

Obvious reading some of the replies, some of you guys don't read the thread before responding.

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02-13-2013, 08:32 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Interactif View Post
I'm not in the habit of of creating a 10 paragraph OP just for the sake of creating a thread. Compare my threads to others, you think this was a haphazard coffee talk post?
Regardless if you read the OP, you would have noticed I alluded to Kessel not being ready to handle it when he was 23, is he still 23? Most of us are better with more experience. Further you said the first line is fine, which one do you mean? Kessel Lupul or Kessel JVR? And that is the dilemma? Who is the 2nd line player here Lupul or JVR, or are they both 1st liners that should play with Kessel to be most effective.

Obvious reading some of the replies, some of you guys don't read the thread before responding.
Yes, I do believe this was a post to stir the pot.
So I guess several posters are wrong for calling you out on a few things, and you are correct? It's the old saying, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck...

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02-13-2013, 08:34 PM
  #83
Interactif
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Originally Posted by New Liskeard View Post
Yes, I do believe this was a post to stir the pot.
So I guess several posters are wrong for calling you out on a few things, and you are correct? It's the old saying, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck...
This thread is not about me, but what was I called out on, perhaps you can PM me, so you cannot derail this thread.

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02-13-2013, 08:36 PM
  #84
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Kessel is a winger, dont mess with a 35 goal guy.

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02-13-2013, 08:38 PM
  #85
Interactif
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Originally Posted by mapleleaf979 View Post
Kessel is a winger, dont mess with a 35 goal guy.
If Kessel is indeed terrible at Center, then who is the number 1 C and who gets to stay on the first line, do you take Lupul or JVR off?

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02-13-2013, 08:41 PM
  #86
Patty Lee
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Originally Posted by Interactif View Post
If Kessel is indeed terrible at Center, then who is the number 1 C and who gets to stay on the first line, do you take Lupul or JVR off?
yes, you take either Lupul or JVR off. spread it around. Lupul and Kessel were point a game players last year with Bozak. JVR is filling holding that spot and will make another line better when he moves there

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02-13-2013, 08:41 PM
  #87
mapleleaf979
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If Kessel is indeed terrible at Center, then who is the number 1 C and who gets to stay on the first line, do you take Lupul or JVR off?
Lupul comes back mid march correct? Thats 2 months. Plus he should have rust on his game. How long for him to shake off the rust another few weeks? It could be playoffs.

If those 2 months prove that Bozak, Kessel and JVR are playing incredibly well, dont mess with it. Moving JVR off that line creates another change on line #2 or #3. So thats 2 changes for inserting Lupul back on the #1. If we arent in a playoff race, than put him anywhere because it wont matter.

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02-13-2013, 08:46 PM
  #88
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Or Keep both Lupul and JVR with Kessel, there is nothing wrong with the other 2 lines, didn't some of you guys say why change things when they are working. Why disrupt 2 lines? Can't play it both sides folks.

Infact some posters here wanted JVR to be with Kessel and Lupul at the beginning of the year before the the strike.

Funny how a few wins changes people's outlook around here or until the next loss.

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02-13-2013, 08:52 PM
  #89
Patty Lee
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until there is a better center to play with PK, and there isn't any on the team right now, Bozak will be with him. only question is if when Lupul comes back he resumes his spot there or JVR stays. I would put Lupul back there once he is game ready. and I will bet RC will too

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02-13-2013, 08:52 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Interactif View Post
Or Keep both Lupul and JVR with Kessel, there is nothing wrong with the other 2 lines, didn't some of you guys say why change things when they are working. Why disrupt 2 lines? Can't play it both sides folks.

Infact some posters here wanted JVR to be with Kessel and Lupul at the beginning of the year before the the strike.

Funny how a few wins changes people's outlook around here or until the next loss.
One of the best looking seasons in 8 years , I wouldnt tinker with changing Kessels position unless we are free falling down the playoff race, moving Kessel to center is a move that seems desparate. Id leave Kessel at winger for his whole career. Center brings a ton of other duties on the ice, things Kessel isnt strong at. Go hard after Getzlaf. I think we have a chance for him. Perry Id pass on.

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02-13-2013, 09:13 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by mapleleaf979 View Post
One of the best looking seasons in 8 years , I wouldnt tinker with changing Kessels position unless we are free falling down the playoff race, moving Kessel to center is a move that seems desparate. Id leave Kessel at winger for his whole career. Center brings a ton of other duties on the ice, things Kessel isnt strong at. Go hard after Getzlaf. I think we have a chance for him. Perry Id pass on.
Mark this down, if Lupul makes it back in time, and he can play at a high level, if the Leafs are down a goal and they need a goal, RC will put all 3 on a line in an effort to score a goal. It's just a question who will be the Center, Kessel or JVR. I happen to think Kessel is better down the middle but these 3 will see some time together as long as Lupul is healthy.

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02-13-2013, 09:40 PM
  #92
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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.
Yikes... did you just use Datsyuk as an example of a centre who lacks strength?

I guess you don't watch him play much except for the odd shootout highlights huh?

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02-13-2013, 09:41 PM
  #93
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Bad idea, we already have way to many centers.

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02-13-2013, 09:54 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by Interactif View Post
Mark this down, if Lupul makes it back in time, and he can play at a high level, if the Leafs are down a goal and they need a goal, RC will put all 3 on a line in an effort to score a goal. It's just a question who will be the Center, Kessel or JVR. I happen to think Kessel is better down the middle but these 3 will see some time together as long as Lupul is healthy.
wow are you going out on a limb there. at some point the 3 will be on the ice together.

mark this down, Kessel won't play a game at center. watch closely next game and see who takes the draw when Bozak gets tossed.... let me give you a hint, he wears # 21

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02-13-2013, 10:09 PM
  #95
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This is a good question, he's doing well on the wing, anyone will notice Phil and JVR are striking up a good chemistry, why would we want to break them up? This is not so much penalyzing Bozak but maxing out our assets and talent base.

Kessel and Lupul already are very good together, again it's nothing new with other players in the NHL, Sundin was a RW until moved to Center, Giroux also, when a player is ready as Kessel this season is, for those that notice, he is buying into RC's defence first approach. Why not put our most elite player back to his natural position.

Who knows, we may have not seen the best of Kessel yet.
Most players who make the NHL have played tons of Center their whole life growing up as they were the focal point of every team they've ever played on. Seems like the "HF Boards" mentality is that players can ONLY play a set position and that is that. Probably the mentality that would have shot down Lupul moving to LW also

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02-13-2013, 10:27 PM
  #96
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Originally Posted by Around in 67 View Post
until there is a better center to play with PK, and there isn't any on the team right now, Bozak will be with him. only question is if when Lupul comes back he resumes his spot there or JVR stays. I would put Lupul back there once he is game ready. and I will bet RC will too
Absolutely, 100%.

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02-13-2013, 10:39 PM
  #97
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I couldn't possibly disagree more about this.

This is just a horrible idea. Why try to force this? We're playing great hockey.

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02-14-2013, 12:57 PM
  #98
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Kessel at centre once Lupul returns, Maybe.
Does this mean you take Bozak off that line and put him on the 3rd line or send him somewhere else?

JVR - Kessel - Lupul

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02-14-2013, 01:12 PM
  #99
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Lupul - Bozak - Kessel
Kulemin - Grabo - Komarov
Frattin - Kadri - JVR (if he can play the other wing?)

If he can't....

Lupul - Bozak - Kessel
JVR - Grabo - Komarov
Frattin - Kadri - Kulemin
McLaren - McClement - McOrr

MacA in press box for now.

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02-14-2013, 01:34 PM
  #100
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Kessel's defensive game is growing under RC, but it is absolutely RIDICULOUS to suggest shaking up lines at this point. We're playing our best hockey in years, it seems, and we're suggesting moving our star RW to C.

It makes you wonder if people understand the defensive responsibilities of a center. If Phil is still having trouble with the defensive responsibilities on the wing (let's not get it switched, he has a ways to go still), why would anyonethink he's ready to assume those of a center?

And Datsyuk comparison? It seems like there must be. Blockade on watching other teams... Pavel is one of the strongest players on the puck in the entire league, despite not being that big.

Message board equivalent to enjoying the sound of your own voice. Awful idea.

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