I agree. Neil isn't just an enforcer, he makes it very hard to play against as he also does deliver some really good hits and is good on a fourth line role. For now. The minute he can't keep up with the pace is when he'll be done.tim1_2 wrote:DefenceWinsChampionships wrote:Flo The Action wrote:Yeah personally I'd rather have Neil on the 4th than Boro on the blue line. At this point I'd rather have a forward deliver the hard checks than a dman. Less dangerous in terms of puck possessiontim1_2 wrote:DefenceWinsChampionships wrote:Nice to see Neil throw his body around but is his role ever unnecessary considering the pace of the game and size of the players now.
I get so sick of this dumb discussion every year. Neil knocked out on of their defensemen early in the game with a huge hit, and threw a few more good checks that get players (especially young defenders like Zaitsev) thinking twice. On top of that, he had a few decent scoring chances, and his line had a couple of the only sequences of actual pressure in the offensive zone. Neil has adapted his game over the years and is still quite valuable as a 4th liner. And you know that if anyone starts pushing around Karlsson or Turris or Stone or whoever that Neil will step the Diddle up and deal with it immediately. The only other guy that might do that is Boro, and his position on the blue line is tenuous at best.
I agree. Neil has a role and he plays it well. The point I am making is that his role is becoming less and less significant as fighting league-wide is on the decline. Yes he is there to protect the players on the team and make the opposing players react when they see him coming. But couldn't a Buddy Robinson do that? Max McCormick? Guys who can kill penalties and bring something else to the table... I am not arguing that Neil isn't good at doing his job. I am arguing the fact that the role of an enforcer is quickly disappearing.
And I'm saying that his role extends beyond the typical "enforcer" role. Toronto had to play the game with 5 D because of a big hit he delivered early on. And I'm not saying that he should be going around looking to injure opponents, but that kind of sustained physical play has more effects than just the odd injury. Plus, the 4th line actually generated some scoring opportunities and o-zone pressure.