FanPost

Erik Karlsson-Patrick Wiercioch: Ottawa's Next 1st Pairing Defencemen

And no, I'm not talking about just on the powerplay. I'm talking regular shifts, playing against other teams top lines, and generally being the beastliest first pairing of defense in the league. Can you imagine coaches trying to gameplan against a first line of Michalek-Spezza-Ryan, knowing that even if you can shut them down in the offensive zone, they could feed it back to either point, and you're still screwed defensively? What do you do, as a coach, knowing that at any moment, Erik Karlsson could steal the puck in his own end, feed it to Wiercioch so he can send a stretch pass all the up the ice to Spezza, who then passes it to either wing, where a sniper waits to pick his spot? Forget odd man rushes against Ottawa too- with that much speed on the ice at once, you've basically got to have a guy cherry pick to have any sort of chance at getting a shot off without a defensive stick poking the puck away. Who do you focus your forecheck on with those two back there? Send two guys at Karlsson and you leave yourself wide open for a stretch pass from Wiercioch. Want to stop him, instead? That's fine. Little Erik will just skate through the rest of your team. Think about it- if Karlsson can do this with Marc "No Offense" Methot, imagine what he can do with another offensive threat beside him. Say goodbye to your records, Paul Coffey. Bobby Orr will become a forgotten name in the NHL record books with those two moving the puck. Once Paul MacLean learns that scoring is everything, and forcing other teams to play from behind by scoring as much as you can as quick as you can, this will be a team that challenges for the Stanley Cup year in, and year out. Can you imagine Ottawa building 3 and 4 goal leads in the first period consistently? I can- as long as Patty W gets his shot at the coveted LD spot beside Karlsson.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Silver Seven community, and does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or opinions of the site managers, editors, or Sports Blogs Nation, Inc.

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