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  • Thursday, September 16, 2021 3:16 PM
    Reply # 11094674 on 10939878

    Let's see if he grows into the role or gets swept away to the healthy scratches of history. I am excited with the new talent added, hoping it shows up on the ice. I would love to see the team gel early based on the roots grown in previous years. 

  • Friday, September 17, 2021 10:00 AM
    Reply # 11096801 on 10939878

    All of a sudden I've got line combinations running through my head. And believe it or not, a lot revolves around where you put Abate.

    As I mentioned before, I think his play is better suited for the wing. He loses too many faceoffs to be a center -- especially on a scoring line, where you need possession off the draw. But he's also high energy, which makes him a force along the wall.

    I've been down on Joey a lot -- for the ineffectiveness at the dot, for discipline, and for tailing off offensively. Or was last year a sophomore slump?

    Let's say both Abate and Ward both rebound this year. You could put just about any center on the roster between them and have a line that can score and play a very physical game. It would be intriguing to see Berg slot in as that center. A freshman between two veteran players, and loads of offensive potential at all three spots.

    But you can also ask Abate to do less as a scorer, and play more physical (if he can keep it under control). What kind of fear does Abate - Primeau - Sundberg instill in opponents. It's a line that can physically run a team out the end of the building. But with Abate and Sundberg on the flanks, that's quite a bit of speed for a checking line.

    If everyone is healthy... if everyone plays to their potential... this is a scary lineup. This could be a defining year for Gabinet. Can he establish himself as a tactician and use the depth and versatility strategically to offset our opponents or exploit them? Or will he hold to known combinations from the past? (At least it won't be the Dean Blais Random Line Generator.)

  • Friday, September 17, 2021 10:52 PM
    Reply # 11098504 on 10939878

    It will certainly be interesting. Building lines, and staying with them once adjustments are made, will be the key to success. The talent is there, as is the depth. No superstars to be sure, but a fine stable of workmen. Now, the strategy, and better yet, the tactics to be employed. Puck movement, taking advantage of strength, minimizing weaknesses. Stay out of the box. Capitalize on opportunities. I’ve played with the lines as well and come up with interchangeable parts. I like Ward and Berg, less enthusiastic about Abate. Sophomore slump? Maybe, or maybe just a big head over his freshman awards. A very negative impact based on silly penalties that need not be tolerated with the depth this year. The line-up can be SCARY, let’s hope it achieves it!

  • Saturday, September 18, 2021 8:24 AM
    Reply # 11099128 on 11098504
    Jim wrote:

    Stay out of the box.

    ...less enthusiastic about Abate. Sophomore slump? Maybe, or maybe just a big head over his freshman awards. A very negative impact based on silly penalties that need not be tolerated with the depth this year.


    Optimism?

    Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was frustrated with the falloff in production and that led to the discipline problems. It's a new season.

    If he repeats the offensive struggles and stupid penalties this year -- then it's a trend.


  • Monday, September 20, 2021 12:06 PM
    Reply # 11104213 on 11099128
    Chris wrote:

    Optimism?

    Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was frustrated with the falloff in production and that led to the discipline problems. It's a new season.

    If he repeats the offensive struggles and stupid penalties this year -- then it's a trend.


    I thought it was a trend after game 4 or 5 of last year. I've been wrong before, but that is my one watch out for this year. Making Abate 'pivotal' to the alignment seems a stretch based on my feelings about it. I would hate to think it was a leadership issue.

    I am optimistic, if only based on the level of talent across the board. With so many knowns and so few "unknowns", I don't believe that the incoming crop will be less productive that the outgoing  players.

    The only one I will really miss is Prokop because he showed potential but never really got there. He was a factor in several games, so even off the scoresheet his presence was felt.



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