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Key additions to Bolts blue line should help out at both ends of the ice


Guest HockeyLady82
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Here is the link to the article since for some reason I couldn't copy & paste it atm:

http://lightning.nhl...vid=DL|TBL|home

Interesting article, but one point kind of stuck in my crawl: "For Carle and Salo, however, the solution to that just might rely on an aspect that head coach Guy Boucher already relies heavily on: speed."

That's why against teams with superior speed (ie. the Flyers), the Lightning deployed a 4-1 "trap" style of play with extremely limited to no puck pursuit.

Then this gem:

"Since defensemen are no longer able to use the clutch and grab technique that proved both useful and popular prior to the 2004-05 lockout season to slow down forechecking opponents, today’s game dictates, if not requires, that blue-liners be mobile in order to efficiently play the position."

The significant reduction of clutch and grab that occurred after the LAST post-lock out has significantly crept back in the game as it seems that annually, the officials are given a new or altered directive of what they should focus on and seem to lose all the prior focus on other things. For example, last year was head shots. While the clutch and grab is not as predominant as it was in the 90's, it is still very alive and well in 2011-2012.

That said, I do think that Salo and Carle improve Tampa's blue line. In addition to Salo and Carle you have Brewer and Hedman in your top 4. Outside of that, not much. Brewer has nice size, but throughout his career had never been a defensive stalwart (with limited to no offensive skills). He brings size / hitting mostly. Hedman, a 21 y/o playing big minutes and still learning the game. After that, it is extremely thin from 5-7.

While I think Carle and Salo can be top 4 dmen, I don't think either one is a 1-2 dman (anymore at least for Salo). I think Tampa is still in trouble on the d-side because while the additions are nice for Tampa, they are 9.250 worth of additions. Brewer is what he is and Hedman is the intangible. One significant injury to any of those 4 and Tampa is back to playing the 4-1.

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If Salo plays 60 games I'll eat my shorts....literally. It will not happen. This guy has some brutal luck.

I was thinking the same thing. But he did post 69 last year (+ the 5 and out in the playoffs) and 68 two years prior to that. So, aside from his write off season two seasons ago (27games), he is averaging 65 games a season for 5 years running. Truthfully, that is higher than I thought and was going to comment similar to you before looking it up. Still, 3.75m for 80% games played is high for a 38 year old. That said, when healthy, he has a BOOMING RH slap shot from the point on the PP.

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If he could stay healthy, I 50 pts with that lethal TB pp could be possible...but Salo and healthy do not mix...lol.

Yeah, and back to my point that if one of those guys goes down, Tampa is changing there play style again. 3.75 for two years for Salo is allot- even for a viking at 38. That article was a nice in introducing the new players and "feel good", but it did not discuss the remaining deficiencies and still made some ill statements. In this electronic age, the beat writers get trumped all the time. I am not sure if I should feel bad for that or not.

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