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Do we have a new #1 D pairing?

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Old
10-06-2008, 06:50 PM
  #26
Hutz
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Originally Posted by The Mars Volchenkov View Post
Picard hasn't been shaky at all. He's gotten better with every shift, IMO.

I also don't understand where people are thinking Lee is making mistakes. I haven't really noticed any. He's been calm as can be when he's gotten the puck, and has moved it real well.
I didn't see it either... he didn't stand out to me, either in a good or bad way. As for Picard I think he did look a little shaky in the first 5 minutes of game 1, but really tightened it up after that, and has looked fine.

I wouldn't be opposed to splitting them up, though to get each some time with a vet. Just throwing it out there, but instead of splitting Smith-Kuba, what about Phillips-Lee, Picard-Volchenkov?

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10-06-2008, 06:57 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Hutz View Post
I didn't see it either... he didn't stand out to me, either in a good or bad way. As for Picard I think he did look a little shaky in the first 5 minutes of game 1, but really tightened it up after that, and has looked fine.

I wouldn't be opposed to splitting them up, though to get each some time with a vet. Just throwing it out there, but instead of splitting Smith-Kuba, what about Phillips-Lee, Picard-Volchenkov?
I expect when we start to face some weaker teams we will see just that. Many posters predicted a Phillipsly pairing preivously.

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10-06-2008, 06:59 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Harf48 View Post
Kuba plays on the 1st PP unit, so he will get more ice time.

Smith and Kuba were given the Crosby line while Philchenkov had the Malkin line.
Crosby played a bit more, so, Smith & Kuba got a bit more ice time.

I think it is more of a 1A 1B system that we have now.
This, I could care less if Smith and & Kuba are the new #1, Phillips and Volchenkov have served us well for a long time and continue to do so, after all it doesn't hurt to have 2 exceptional D pairings.

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10-06-2008, 07:25 PM
  #29
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The thing for me is that Picard-Lee is not a god pairing against physical guys.....Not even third line. They're the kind of defenders that can play against other teams' soft second line.

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10-06-2008, 07:46 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutz View Post
I wouldn't be opposed to splitting them up, though to get each some time with a vet. Just throwing it out there, but instead of splitting Smith-Kuba, what about Phillips-Lee, Picard-Volchenkov?
I think the more likely thing would be Phillips with Lee and Picard with Volchenkov. Volchenkov and Lee both play the right side, so if you put Picard and Phillips together, someone has to play the side they aren't used to.

I'm not opposed to it. It gives the two young guys veteran defensive guys to fall back on. At the same time, I think Lee and Picard have improved with every shift together.

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10-06-2008, 07:51 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mars Volchenkov View Post
I think the more likely thing would be Phillips with Lee and Picard with Volchenkov. Volchenkov and Lee both play the right side, so if you put Picard and Phillips together, someone has to play the side they aren't used to.

I'm not opposed to it. It gives the two young guys veteran defensive guys to fall back on. At the same time, I think Lee and Picard have improved with every shift together.
I can see that happening closer to the mid-point of the season. For now Hartsburg seems to be happy with easing Lee into the line-up but once he seems comfortable enough it should be a fairly easy move to make.

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10-06-2008, 08:47 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by The Mars Volchenkov View Post
I like Smith, and he's looked good so far, as has Kuba, but there's no way we can depend on them that much throughout the year. The ice time has got to be spread out more evenly. It'll help the team a lot more down the stretch.
I was discussing this with Vendetta, who never actually posts here, and we had an interesting thought. Maybe the coach is deliberately playing Smith & Kuba to get them integrated into the team. Especially with Smith, his leadership potential is probably enhanced if he's given the opportunity to establish that he's a very solid D-man. It's a lot easier to do that with 23-24 minutes than it is with 17 or 18.

If that's the case, then I'd expect the minutes to settle back into something more even among the top two pairs, and for the third pair to get a little more ice time as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mars Volchenkov View Post
I thought Phillips and Volchenkov looked like the P+V of the 06-07 run this weekend. They were playing nasty, and nothing was getting by them.
It's such a nice feeling to know that we have 2 pairs that are solid defensively. That's one more than we've had for a few years now. It's like we can finally exhale.

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10-06-2008, 11:54 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by RTWAP View Post
It's such a nice feeling to know that we have 2 pairs that are solid defensively. That's one more than we've had for a few years now. It's like we can finally exhale.
Agree with this thoroughly - and I would add that I think a lot of people drastically underestimated both Kuba and Smith, particularly Kuba. You don't lead two different teams in TOI for no reason, and it's also the reality of him now playing in a contract year on a contending team, which has to be considered a great opportunity for him to really turn it on. And being paired with a defenceman as defensively capable as Smith means that this is at least a 1a/1b scenario now. Arguably, it actually frees up Phillips/Volchenkov to be used more demonstrably as a true shut-down pairing, while Kuba/Smith can add more punch to the offensive lines.

In any case, I think it's a very pleasant surprise to see the Kuba/Smith pairing establish themselves right off the mark as a very capable all-round duo. It's more than a welcome sight for a team that had to witness a slow, and somewhat demoralizing decline of its star defenceman over two years, which left the team scrambling on defence.

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Old
10-07-2008, 10:57 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Comely View Post
I think it has alot to do with the fact that Kuba moves the puck better then most of our other defencemen. On top of that the chemistry he was able to find with Smith so quickly is outstanding. I really hope Murray signs him soon even if its only for one more year so that while we have Smith we have Kuba as they have done well together on the ice.
Easy there buddy!

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Old
10-07-2008, 12:06 PM
  #35
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Bebop and Rocksteady have always had less minutes than the second line. But they remain our first line because they are the two most important defensemen on this team.

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Old
10-07-2008, 12:19 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by freakin View Post
Bebop and Rocksteady have always had less minutes than the second line. But they remain our first line because they are the two most important defensemen on this team.
Keeping with the TMNT theme, since we have a fairly compariable top 4, I'd go:

Leonardo=Phillips
Rafael=Kuba
Donatello=Smith
Michelangelo=Volchenkov

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Old
10-07-2008, 12:20 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Masterplan View Post
Keeping with the TMNT theme, since we have a fairly compariable top 4, I'd go:

Leonardo=Phillips
Rafael=Kuba
Donatello=Smith
Michelangelo=Volchenkov
Hartsburg, of course, is Splinter.

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Old
10-07-2008, 12:33 PM
  #38
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For now things should be left the way they are. The D has been doing great so why change something thats great?? Lee and Picard will gain more skill and experience as time progresses and they serve their purpose so for now its solid.

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