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09-14-2011, 11:58 AM
  #121
NYR Sting
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkurtz View Post
What I have been looking at in these games is not so much results as tools. Though he has struggled, I have seen enough from DM to think that he will be, at least, a 3rd pair D man in five or so years. He is a true project and diamond in the rough. As much as I still long for Fowler and Gormley, I am feeling more and more comfortable with the gamble the Rangers took here.
That's what I see from him, too: a third pair defenseman. I, however, am hardly fine with that. It's what I expected when he was drafted, and that expectation hasn't changed, unfortunately. You don't take third pairing defensemen with the tenth pick in the draft.

You want to talk about looking for tools? These three games, he has simply reinforced what was already clear from his junior play. He's missing the most important tool of all: brainpower. The kid has no sense of gap control. Talented puckhandlers can blow by him or walk around him several times a game with ease because he doesn't understand where he needs to be located in relation to them in order to be able to successfully eliminate the possibility of their advancement. His physical gifts allow him to carry the puck in transition, but he has no idea what to do with it once he arrives in the zone. Several times in this tourney, he's gained the zone and lost the puck almost immediately. So not only is that an offensive zone turnover, a wasted offensive zone opportunity, but now the other team has an odd man rush against with one of your defensemen stuck up ice. Bonehead play.

These are the same issues that plagued his game 2 years ago. There has been hardly any progress on that front, and why would there be? He continues to rely heavily on his size advantage when playing junior hockey rather than developing a skillset.

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