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06-30-2011, 10:58 AM
NYR Sting
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Originally Posted by Kel Varnsen View Post
So how much should we have been willing to play Blair Betts? How bad have we even missed him?

Very good defensive forwards are easier to find than you're pretending. A guy who carries his line offensively, brings that edge physically and plays as great in his own end is more valuable than an elite defensive forward. The former being Dubi, he's way more valuable.

And I don't know where you live, what you read or what Rangers fans you interact with but there is no way in hell Callahan is underrated by Rangers fans. He's way overrated.
The comparison to Blair Betts is so drastically absurd that I don't even know how to respond to it. Good defensive forward is not an apt description for Callahan. Blair Betts is a good defensive forward. Callahan is a near-perfect player, and not just defensively. Away from the puck, he's as flawless offensively as he is defensively. He's always in the right place. If you ever ask anyone who coaches hockey at any kind of significant level and to talk about Callahan, they won't stop raving. He's the type of guy you tell a kid to watch and try to model himself after. He's one of the smartest players in the league today. That cannot be overstated. His hockey sense or whatever you want to call it, is off the charts.

The reason Callahan is criminally underrated is because, unfortunately, some people don't know what to look for, so they can never spot it. There's a marked difference between the way a guy like Callahan plays the game and the way most players. Believe it or not, he's up there with some of the best all-around players in the game. What makes guys like that so good is fundamentals. These players have perfect positioning, and perfect timing. Most players do not. If anyone on the Rangers comes close in that regard, it is Anisimov. Sauer is also close. Dubinsky certainly does not. That doesn't make him a bad player, or to say that he's not a smart player or poorly positioned, because that isn't the case, but it diminishes his value in comparison to players like Callahan, how few of them there are. Callahan isn't as talented as a guy like Kesler, but he plays the game away from the puck almost as well, and Kesler is a top-3 player in this regard.

Dubinsky benefited more from Callahan last season, than the other way around. Callahan can work with any player and in any role. IMO, Dubinsky cannot carry a line offensively (I guess it depends on your definition of carry), his physicality manifests itself just as frequently as Callahan's, and his defensive play and play away from the puck is not the equal of Callahan's. Offensively, Dubinsky is more ambitious than Callahan, but that tends to make him less efficient. You see Dubinsky make flashier plays, and you interpret that as him being better offensively. I interpret that as him being more talented and more skilled, but not the better offensive player. Offensive play on a multi-player rush is probably Callahan's biggest weakness. But in the more frequent and more important zone-based offensive plays, Callahan is more likely to make the simpler, smarter, more efficient play, and he's more likely to execute it.

I like Dubinsky. I like him a lot. He's a very solid young player who brings a lot of good things to the table. However, he's no Callahan. The gap in value between them is significant.

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