"It's hard for me to visualize how they'll play together," assessed Islander general manager Bill Torrey, who sees less magic in the Lemieux-Coffey pairing than the Gretzky-Coffey tandem that was the cornerstone of the Oilers' success. " Gretzky is a mover of the puck. Lemieux is a holder of the puck."
True, Coffey and Lemieux both like to carry the puck, and as a result do not naturally complement each other. Neither is apt to see the puck as much as he has been used to. But great players adapt. The problem, from Pittsburgh's perspective, is that the supporting cast is not in place to take advantage of two such extraordinary talents. Lemieux gained a playmaking rear guard in Coffey, but, just as important, he lost a line mate of tremendous potential in the 20-year-old Simpson, who already has 18 goals this season, including three in one game for the Oilers last week.
For his part, Coffey isn't harboring any delusions about the Cup. He knows from experience just how good a team has to be to win it. "I'm not looking for any miracles out there," he says. "I'm just trying to help the Penguins make the playoffs. That's what everyone in this organization is shooting for."
You can't shoot any lower than that.