Put Me In, Coach: Francois Beauchemin Flourishing As Shut-Down Defender

November 26th, 2009 by Jon Neely Leave a reply »
The stage doesn't get much bigger than CBC's Hockey Night in Canada in Toronto on Saturday night. Add in a matchup against the game's most explosive player, Alexander Ovechkin, and you've got yourself a recipe for a nationally viewed disaster for a struggling team.

It's one thing to be the player a coach asks to have the dubious duty of attempting to shut down Ovechkin.

It's another thing to tell the coach you want to be on the ice every time Ovechkin is; to tell him that you can shut down the league's best player.

A strong statement, indeed, and one that Francois Beauchemin of the Toronto Maple Leafs made last Saturday night prior to their game against the Washington Capitals.

The Leafs were struggling mightily, last place in the Eastern Conference and coming home after a heart-wrenching shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Not exactly a perfect start coming into a game against the best team in the East.

Before the puck dropped, before the cameras were ro ...

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