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01-10-2010, 03:03 PM
  #47
wolfgaze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
McDonagh is much closer to Brad Stuart than he is Jeff Beukeboom. He's mobile and likes to throw the body, but he's not necessarily a crease-clearer like Beuke was.

I'll be shocked if he turns into a 1st pairing guy at this point. He was projected to be one when he was drafted, but he never developed his offensive game the way scouts had hoped he would.
Whenever I see the debate about 1st pairing defensemen on hfboards it seems to be discussed that playing a 2-way game and having offensive ability is a mandate for becoming a first pairing defenseman.... I never understood that.... What if the guy develops into a top notch defensive defenseman who moves the puck well through the defensive & neutral zone but just doesn't have the knack for the game in the offensive zone?

I would take two defensive-minded shut down defenseman on my first pairing any day if they were good at their jobs.... I can recall countless times where we played Ottawa and our announcers would (at times) label Phillips and Volchenkov (sp?) as one of the best shut-down defensive pairings in the game and I don't think anyone could argue they weren't first pairing material.... Phillips routinely only puts up points in the late teens to 20's.... Volchenkov puts up points in the teens.....

While having a d-man play a 2-way game is ideal, I don't think having above average offensive ability should be the mandate for becoming a first pairing d-man.... Their job should be to play defense first, and if a player is exceptional at that, that's good enough for a first pairing role for me.... The fact that other teams have 1st pairing d-men who do put up exceptional offensive numbers, that's just icing on the cake IMHO.... Offense can make you a first pairing d-man (see Mike Green) but it isn't a mandate in my eyes. If you would never see anyone argue that an elite forward isn't a first line guy because he doesn't play defense, by that logic we shouldn't see people say a d-man can't be a 1st pairing d-man because he's not good at offense.

If Ryan McD can play a similar game to Staal (when he's on his game) in a few years, that would be a very nasty/effective defensive pairing if those 2 played together and had chemistry.

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