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-   -   I still find myself in awe... (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=549591)

Inferno 09-07-2008 06:04 PM

I still find myself in awe...
 
Last year I think we all witnessed something really special. It's the sort of thing you are almost afraid of talking about because of how rare it seems to be in this day and age, and you just don't want to jinx it (did i just screw that up? meh...)

Last year we witnessed a 20 year old, play his first year of professional hockey, and after about 15 games, become the Rangers best defenseman. Probably the best defenseman I've seen on this team in....well....a good long time, that's for sure. What Marc Staal was able to do last year is nothing short of incredible. I know a lot of teams have some special talent on the back end, but how many of them are as good as Marc is defensively, at such a young age? You have Komisarek who was 23 before he played his first full NHL season, and you have Dion Phaneuf and Erik Johnson, who are both freaks of nature.

Honestly, I find myself shocked at how little notoriety Staal has received. Probably because he doesnt make gigantic open ice hits, or put up a ton of points, but defensively, positionally, skating, poke check, intelligence, and poise, the kid could go toe to toe with any defenseman in the league last year imho, and still have a crap load of room to grow. Sure, he had some rough spots, in the beginning of the season, and a little down the stretch before he got his second wind, but by and large, he was SUPERB. I think people forget just how difficult it is to make the jump from the junior ranks to the top pairing on an NHL playoff team for a defenseman.

I think the interesting thing is, you really can tell the kid was trying to just play it safe last year, not fully taking advantage of his entire skill set. You hardly ever saw him skate the puck up end to end, because he wanted to be responsible defensively, but the few times he did, he made stuff happen. You hardly ever saw him throw a giant hit, but the few times he did, you saw guys absolutely laid out. You hardly ever saw him unleash his shot from the point, but the few times he did, they were hard, heavy, and low.

In short, I think the kid is going to be the backbone of this franchise for years to come. Yes, I know Henrik Lundqvist is going to be the guy we win and lose with, but with him in net, coupled with a guy who can shut down any player in the league on our blueline, I find myself really excited about the future of this franchise.

Maybe i am a sunshiner, maybe not, but that's really what i believe.

NYRSinceBirth 09-07-2008 06:11 PM

And yet, HFBoard posters that aren't Ranger fans call him overrated. He had a great year, especially in the position he was in, but he's only played one year. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

HeaveHo94 09-07-2008 06:22 PM

Cant wait! LETS GO RANGERS!!!

hlundqvist30* 09-07-2008 06:29 PM

It's because poke-checks and burying the guy in front of the net don't show up on ESPNEWS or the statsheets. There was rarely a time last year where the other team scored and you could say, "That was Staal's fault."

This year I expect to see more offensively. Not that the 2 are at all comparable in terms of their situations, but Girardi was similar to Staal in his first year in that he didn't completely stand out but did everything right, and then followed that with a flashy sophomore campaign. Just because Staal was conservative his rookie year does not at all mean he won't produce offensively throughout his career.

Speedtrials 09-07-2008 06:31 PM

The kid is going to be an absolute beast in his prime. What was so encouraging about his play this year, was you could see the glimpses of other great elements that will develop. Whether, it was a big shot, a nice rush up the ice, or a solid hit, you could see that there is going to more to his game in a few years. The Rangers are very lucky he dropped to them, as he is going to be a integral part of the organization for a long time.

NYR Viper 09-07-2008 06:36 PM

the thing i like to see is the comfort level the younger kids have the more they play...it seems like renney does a great job with making sure they know their roles and putting them where he thinks they will succeed

Sm0otHocKeySPeeD 09-07-2008 06:38 PM

Best hit he did have imho...




Was the one against his brother in the playoffs against the Pens lol

Cant wait to see our boys take the ice again and Marc can only get better from here on out...

Great write by the way Inferno.

-Brian

mhurley 09-07-2008 06:42 PM

I thought Staal was ready in 2005 when I saw him in preseason. The fact that it took two seasons to get him up to the show is unfortunate. Had they brought him up in 2006, he would have been that much more NHL seasoned for this year's playoff run.

I don't buy into all the bs that a defenseman always takes longer to develop. Greschner spent 9 days in the minors before making the team at age 18. Staal, as a physical specimen, is an ox. Look at his whole family. They'll at least 6ft and 200lbs.

NYR Viper 09-07-2008 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhurley (Post 15377114)
I thought Staal was ready in 2005 when I saw him in preseason. The fact that it took two seasons to get him up to the show is unfortunate. Had they brought him up in 2006, he would have been that much more NHL seasoned for this year's playoff run.

I don't buy into all the bs that a defenseman always takes longer to develop. Greschner spent 9 days in the minors before making the team at age 18. Staal, as a physical specimen, is an ox. Look at his whole family. They'll at least 6ft and 200lbs.

its not that he wasnt semi-ready...its that it is a fine line you have to walk with a young player....if you throw him in too early and he is overwhelmed it could set him back....or he could get seriously injured going against 30 y/o men......he finished his career in juniors and went straight to the nhl....

plus, the fact that defenseman take longer to develop is because their mistakes are more noticeable....if they screw up, most of the time it results in either a good scoring chance or a goal....a forward you can teach as he goes because he has defensemen behind him, but a defenseman needs that extra seasoning most of the time

Inferno 09-07-2008 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hockeyviper87 (Post 15377288)
its not that he wasnt semi-ready...its that it is a fine line you have to walk with a young player....if you throw him in too early and he is overwhelmed it could set him back....or he could get seriously injured going against 30 y/o men......he finished his career in juniors and went straight to the nhl....

plus, the fact that defenseman take longer to develop is because their mistakes are more noticeable....if they screw up, most of the time it results in either a good scoring chance or a goal....a forward you can teach as he goes because he has defensemen behind him, but a defenseman needs that extra seasoning most of the time

I agree, not to mention the positive experience of leading your club to the finals as the captain of that sudsbury team, and being named mvp of the playoffs despite being on the losing team. Those are things that build character, that build confidence, that help players take the next step.

Inferno 09-07-2008 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sm0otHocKeySPeeD (Post 15377076)
Best hit he did have imho...




Was the one against his brother in the playoffs against the Pens lol

Cant wait to see our boys take the ice again and Marc can only get better from here on out...

Great write by the way Inferno.

-Brian



Remember, Jordan Staal, 6'4, 220lbs. This was no Petr Prucha he laid out.



Heres one on Ponikarovsky, yet another 6'4 220lb power forward...

ThirdEye 09-07-2008 07:27 PM

I agree with you about mostly everything. You can tell he was playing it safe last season, and that's fine. He was basically testing the waters and getting accustomed.

I don't expect him to break out offensively and put up 50 points or something, but I do expect him to improve even more. He'll probably be on the first pair as long as he's healthy, and if things go as expected, I think he will put up about 30 points this season.

I also like his attitude, and his composure is unreal for someone his age. I never saw him get intimidated by anyone. Why should he be though... he's huge

So glad we have him now and not some other team

Burlington Bomb 26 09-07-2008 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThirdEye (Post 15377595)
I agree with you about mostly everything. You can tell he was playing it safe last season, and that's fine. He was basically testing the waters and getting accustomed.

I don't expect him to break out offensively and put up 50 points or something, but I do expect him to improve even more. He'll probably be on the first pair as long as he's healthy, and if things go as expected, I think he will put up about 30 points this season.

I also like his attitude, and his composure is unreal for someone his age. I never saw him get intimidated by anyone. Why should he be though... he's huge

So glad we have him now and not some other team

i think carrying his team on his back in the playoffs and end up winning it for Juniors really helps his composure.

n8 09-07-2008 07:46 PM

No doubt he is really good but it was just one good season. It can still go either way. Still the magnitude of calm and poise he showed has me believing it will just get better. If you look at his junoir stats, he had 14 points his first season, then 26, then 49, then 34 (but put up 20 points in 21 games in the playoffs!). I'm gonna say 20-25 points for Marc this season.

Inferno 09-07-2008 08:09 PM

im not even thinking about offense. That is not his job. If Marc Staal is going to lead this defense in terms of offensive production, this franchise is so effed its not even funny.

What im looking for him in terms of this year, is physicality. I want him to throw that body around substantially more. To feel confident in his positioning, and his defensive partner, enough to absolutely smash people out there. If he can do that, he will have taken another monumental step forward.

RMcDonagh 09-07-2008 09:18 PM

Him and Dubinsky make me like watching this team.

I Am Chariot 09-07-2008 09:40 PM

He showed maturity beyond his years. Very poised and, like his brothers, has that innate hockey sense. He's probably easy to coach. Does many thing right just because he has that great feel for the ice and the game.

He adjusted to the speed of the NHL very well. I know the 2nd round exit was disappointing but it is so valuable to a player like Staal.

It will be interesting to see who his partner will be this season

HockeyBasedNYC 09-07-2008 10:14 PM

When outside fans look at the Rangers defense they instantly think about Redden, his contract and Rozsival.

Staal and Girardi are afterthoughts. Very quietly Staal is coming into this season and its just they way we should want it. I couldnt agree with Inferno more. This kid had a ton of potential and the pressure to go along with his pedigree, position and last name - and he came through. The most important thing Inferno touched on was Marc's mental makeup and how he eased himself into his role. You hit it right on the head, and that is exactly the reason why he is underrated, even though people think hes overrated. He's made his entrance into the league so seamless and quiet that he almost looks to the untrained eye as nothing special.

But he is just the opposite.

I feel very strongly about Girardi as well. He's done the same type of thing. He may not have the absolute talent as Stall or some of the other solid young defensman in the league, but he impresses me on nightly basis. Girardi does a lot of little things that work extremely well for how the Rangers defense and transition game works, and he adapts it well to the new NHL. He makes quick decisions and is a crafty player. He isnt a huge threat to the greater forwards, and thats his weakness - but he has shown on a consistent basis that he makes up for it with his ability to spring a rush or score himself.

If Redden and Rozsival can perform up to their abilities and these two continue to play well i think the Rangers will do a good job of limiting top quality chances against Henrik, and if you do that - the chances of getting 2 points goes way up.

My concern with the defense doesnt really lie with Mara and Kalinin, because i think they are both slightly above average for a 3rd pair (if they indeed are paired together) but the lack of depth as a whole for the defense. If 1 or 2 guys go down in any combination, its like pulling the wrong wood block out of a jenga castle - its going to come crumbling down,

With that said, going into camp im more concerned about the Rangers finding another depth defenseman instead of being concerned with the Shannys or the Sundins... It could materialize itself in the form of a Corey Potter or a Thomas Pock, and we should all be watching that closely, because it could turn out to be a very important cog in this upcoming season.

GarretJoseph* 09-07-2008 10:18 PM

I really feel that the Rangers are the best well run team in the league when it comes to treating the players right. I believe that Marc goes back and tells all sorts to his brothers and I hope one day that we will see Eric Staal beside Cherpanov & Drury with Marc & Bobby S. with Lundqvist in net starting a Rangers game. What a line that would be.

MugatuNYR 09-07-2008 10:19 PM

I agree. Staal is gonna be a stud on this blueline for a loooong time.

broadwayblue 09-07-2008 10:20 PM

I agree. I think he can take it to another level...or more. I'd like to see a bit more offensive production and a bit more physical play out of him...but I think both can and will come eventually. I'm excited to see what he looks like the second half of this season.

nyrmessier011 09-07-2008 10:24 PM

No matter what sport, defense wins championships, not so much during the regular season, but always in the playoffs. Always. Staal is nowhere near his peak and hopefully Henrik isn't either. No matter what junk Sather pulls in the offseason, we will have him and Henrik and always have a shot. He's a team guy, and one of our own, and what has seemed like a rare thing for us the last ten years, we drafted and developed him the right way. He's one of the few things I'm looking forward to this season (because as I've said a bunch of times, I don't think the moves from this off season are going to turn out well)

we want cup 09-07-2008 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inferno272 (Post 15377927)
im not even thinking about offense. That is not his job. If Marc Staal is going to lead this defense in terms of offensive production, this franchise is so effed its not even funny.

right, that's what sanguinetti and del zotto are for. and think about how exceptionally dangerous our guys like that can be knowing they have guys like staal and girardi behind them. that will allow their offensive games to flourish because they're able to take more chances than a lot of other dmen in the league.

BklyNYR4Life 09-08-2008 12:11 AM

needs more vids of staal laying people out

MugatuNYR 09-08-2008 03:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BklyNYR4Life (Post 15380074)
needs more vids of staal laying people out





He has future captain written all over him.


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