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What Happens If Fleury Fails And Strength Up The Middle Questions

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- A random thought: Should Marc-Andre Fleury not regain his form in Pittsburgh, do the Penguins look to trade for a goaltender sometime during the season, such as Tim Thomas, maybe?

- If strength up the middle is a Stanley Cup component, where would the Maple Leafs rank among teams in the Eastern Conference?

Certainly behind Pittsburgh and Boston, the Penguins having Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Bruins beginning with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Definitely behind Detroit, with Pavel Datsyuk and Stephen Weiss at centre and with the possibility of playing Henrik Zetterberg in the middle as well.

And then, let the arguments begin: Teams such as Philadelphia, Washington, Ottawa and the Islanders have excellent first centres in Claude Giroux, Nick Backstrom, Jason Spezza and John Tavares, but with a significant dropoff to the second line. If the Canes choose to go Eric Staal/Jordan Staal at centre, they too have an excellent 1-2 punch.

The Leafs will have one of hockey’s best third-line centres in David Bolland, but the combination of Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri ranks well behind most Eastern contenders.

For the record, though, Randy Carlyle did win a Stanley Cup with Andy McDonald as his No. 1 centre. But that Ducks team did have Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer on defence.

read on for a few more hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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