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carcanes67

Skill or Toughness?

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Well...this is hockey, and you need both. Having an enforcer that plays 3 minutes a game and sits in the penalty box for 5 isn't exactly "toughness," though sometimes it's a necessary evil. Having a fourth line comprised of tough, smart players who can get the crowd on their feet with a big hit and keep the opposing defenseman on their toes with their forechecking is important, too. Having those kinds of players on your top lines is great, too--like Tuomo Ruutu.

It's not a question of dressing 12 Wade Brookbanks or 12 Sergei Samsonovs. It's a matter of finding the right balance.

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Well...this is hockey, and you need both. Having an enforcer that plays 3 minutes a game and sits in the penalty box for 5 isn't exactly "toughness," though sometimes it's a necessary evil. Having a fourth line comprised of tough, smart players who can get the crowd on their feet with a big hit and keep the opposing defenseman on their toes with their forechecking is important, too. Having those kinds of players on your top lines is great, too--like Tuomo Ruutu.

It's not a question of dressing 12 Wade Brookbanks or 12 Sergei Samsonovs. It's a matter of finding the right balance.

indeed

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Well, that'd be ideal, but for some reason, many here don't want that. They'd rather keep Brookbank or Conboy.

funny... who'd you trade away to get that sort of talent/toughness combo? Staal? Cole? 'cause that's the kind of skill you have to give up to get that "best of both worlds" player (GM's and coaches love 'em and don't easily part with 'em)... and Rutuu fits that bill nicely, so why bother?

Plus, I'd rather see the "toughness" on the D (but then again I despise whimpy east euro offensive defensemen - if they're gonna be an "offensive defenseman" then be like Corvo or Seidenberg, ie. offensive minded but not weak in their own end)

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Why not a super defenseman, like what Pronger is, who is big, tough, skilled, and can score. I don't know who that is, but it would be a combo guy. I liked Conboy and Brookbank on the team, so we at least need what they bring.

Honorable mention to Scott Walker; I still remember that head-butt that got him tossed. He is a cool dude!

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I like the balance idea. Have top 6 forwards that are superskilled. Have a third line that checks and cycles and have a 4th line that checks and HITS and has at least one enforcer.

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I agree there has to be a balance between a teams skill and their toughness, to much of one or the other is not going to work. As for reading the other posts in this thread and others there are people that think the canes possess the type of toughness that is needed. However this is not the case at all lavi builds his team around fast skilled players that have very little toughness. I watch cane players all the time that rush their passes and clears because they want to get rid of the puck as fast as possible to jump out of the way of an incoming player instead of finishing the play and this leads to all kinds of turnovers. Sometimes you have to pay the price to make the play. It is a known fact that an easy way to beat the canes is to play a physical game since they play one style of hockey which is speed and skill. When in reality if there was more toughness by the canes that could match the other team it would allow them to capitalize with speed and skill. I think some of the problem is there is too many chiefs and not enough indians.

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If we go into next season with the same forwards we have this year, we are going to be 4 lines deep with top 9 forwards. Some are not going to be getting the minutes they need to produce and there is going to be trouble in the locker room. The guys that stepped up this season and played more minutes are not going to be content to slide back into the crowd. Ideally, the fourth line would be role players who can hold their own on the 4th line. PP guys, PK guys, tough guys, etc. That kind of balance is what this team is lacking.

Brookbank and Conboy aren't the second coming of Gordie Howe, but they did bring something to the table that this team was lacking. Yes, we have some other guys that will step up, but it certainly appeared that this stuff was contagious. If we can bring somebody in that is better skills wise, I'm all for it. Problem is, that is going to cost a lot on the free agency market.

This morning on the radio, J.R. was talking about how they found out some things about a lot of players due to the injuries, especially the Albany guys. I also think that part of what they found out was that this team was incomplete as it was composed. At the time, the Corvo/Eaves trade had to be looked at as more of building for the future move than for this year. The Ruutu move was after the team had righted the ship somewhat, and this is a guy that does bring a physical presence.

This team goes into the offseason needing to shore up the defense and general toughness on the 4th line. I know that everyone doesn't see it that way, but we can't skate 12 forwards on the ice at the same time.

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If we go into next season with the same forwards we have this year, we are going to be 4 lines deep with top 9 forwards. Some are not going to be getting the minutes they need to produce and there is going to be trouble in the locker room. The guys that stepped up this season and played more minutes are not going to be content to slide back into the crowd. Ideally, the fourth line would be role players who can hold their own on the 4th line. PP guys, PK guys, tough guys, etc. That kind of balance is what this team is lacking.

This won't happen. At best we will keep 9 top forwards. I can't help but wonder if Hamilton's supposidly questionable work ethic came from thinking he was coming here to be the third line center. Then the team went and got Cullen and he was suddenly on the 4th line. Not a happy camper no doubt. I don't see us making that kind of mistake again. If (please, please, please) we keep Sampsonov, that will signal a major trade coming. Hopefully for blue line help.

What I am kicking around is this. What if we trade TWO top forwards for TWO top defenseman. We would still have 2 pure skilled lines and enough for another third cycle line and an energy/hitting line, by keeping Bayda for instance.

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Well, I'm assuming the qualities are OFFENSIVE skill or toughtness, eh?

I can't believe I'm saying this but:

The 2 aren't mutually exclusive.

Look at, cough Sean Avery cough. He's an agitator, a scrapper, physical guy who just happened to score 15 goals, 18 assists. He's a LaRose type, but with double the skill, IMO.

Cole is another skill AND toughness kind of player. Albeit he doesn't bring this dual dimension every game, but he is capable of it. Ladd was also of this mold.

The way the tide is turning in this league at this time, I'm more prone to think that JR got it right when he added Ruutu. However, more is needed. There is a reason that Brashear and Laraque are on teams with big name players (Ovie and Crosby, respectively). You run our guy, we'll cream you. That the league has called this "instigating" is horrific and very short sided. Oops, I'm off topic.

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