I have heard and read a lot of criticism of Laraque in the last year or so, mostly because of his supposed unwillingness to mix it up on a regular basis. I don't know how much he deserves that rap since he is regarded in most quarters as being the reigning heavyweight champ, but that is not what I wanted to concentrate on this time.
What got me thinking about Georges and the new rules were a couple of things. First was "what's his name" claiming Georges would be obsolete under the new rules. The second was all the oohing and ahhing over how Bertuzzi would be unstoppable with obstruction rules being enforced this year.
There have been times in the past when Big Georges could dominate the opposition with his mucking around behind the net. At his best BG took two or three guys to get the puck off him and he could draw penalties out of it. He will never be a dangler but he can skate a little and I was wondering if he could possibly become a more effective legitimate hockey player without carrying a couple of guys around on his back.
I am not predicting that will happen, but if Georges comes around and has a career year it would be nice to see. Anyone else think that BG could be a comeback player type of story?
Now if he could only figure out what to do with the puck after he has it...
Last edited by Heavy Fuel: 09-18-2005 at 01:18 AM.
I felt he played pretty good in the preseason game against Calgary.
He's definitely moving his legs well and back checking effectively.
He didn't do anything overwhelming fighting it out in the corners, but I think the new rules could help him as he's a very big guy to stop, and I believe he weighed in at 249 lbs this camp, and seems to be in very good shape.
MacT was definitely giving him a good amount of icetime, albeit against weaker opposition. I was surprised to see him on the 4-on-4 though. I don't think I've ever seen him on the ice in that situation.
Looks like he and Harvey play decently together as a tough line.
A guy with the size & strength of BG should seize the opportunity the new rules provide. Not just in scoring points, I am not that optimistic, but in keeping the puck away from the opposition.
I'm not a hockey expert but as a small heads-up, "Georges" with an 's' at the end is Laraque's first name. Big Georges is such a fan favourite and I'm hoping he has a great year. These new rules should reward those who skate well. BG seems to have been making progress to improve his skating. I do think you are right about how BG could be the Oilers comeback player story of the year.