Sauer vs McIlrath
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04-07-2011, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Originally Posted by
The question for me is, What's the difference? I have never seen McIlrath play on any level but from what I read about him it seems that Sauer provides what everyone talks about him being able to provide. In no way is this a snide bashing thread, it's an honest question.
Is it that Sauer is just McIlrath lite or will there be a bit of redundancy in the future with these two players (not that it's a bad thing)?
Sauer - 6'3" 213 lbs, shoots right
McIlrath - 6'4 214 lbs, shoots right
Sauer is a physical defenseman in the sense that he's all over the puck carrier making contact and has an active stick and gets in opposing forwards faces around the net. He hits, but he's not necessarily a physical force in his own end and doesn't deliver open ice or devastating hits with any frequency (similar to how you see Volchenkov or Kronwall play the game).
I think McIlrath has the potential to add that physical dimension to the blueline where forwards will have to be cognizant (thanks Renney) of where he is on the ice and will have to adjust their route to the net with the puck based on his positioning on the ice in relation to the play. He also has the potential to add that intimidation factor around the net and drop the gloves to defend his teammates and his goaltender. Sure Sauer drops the gloves and fights, but I think he's an average fighter. McIlrath is pretty damn good at throwing 'em. Right now I really like Sauer's ability to read the play in the offensive zone and know when the pinch, and when to sneak down low and look for a pass or rebound. I haven't seen McIlrath in action to get any read on him as far as that goes.
I think you are accurate in that both may play a similar game in terms of being stronger in the defensive end without much offensive accumen. I think both could be valuable on the blueline if they are strong in their own end, block a lot of shots, and play physical along the boards and in front of the net and make opposing forwards' jobs more difficult and make it harder for them to operate in our own zone.
That being said, Sauer is what, 23? McIlrath is going on 19.... It could very well be another 2-4 years before you see McIlrath break into the NHL, so I really don't think there's any cause for concern at the moment regarding the redundancy factor. You could have trades in that time, or players leaving via free agency to open up spots. So right now it's too difficult to speculate on whether or not there will be room for similar style defenders at this time.
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