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11-07-2011, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Elmira NY
Originally Posted by
Del Zotto was only 20 years old last year.
He grew up a lot from the experiences he had last year, and progressed, as he will continue to do, as he's only 21 years old.
Those who were calling him a bust and trying to run him out of town, couldn't grasp the concept that it takes time for young defensemen, longer then forwards, to develop.
I also recall how some proclaimed that Valentenko was going to blow Del Zotto out of the water.
Or that McDonagh and Erixon make Del Zotto expendable.
Which is far from reality.
Fact is, when Staal comes back, if he comes back, Erixon is going to have a hard time finding himself a spot on the left side, its locked up. Has been. He will have to find a spot on the right. But with Girardi and Sauer there, that will be hard to do, that's locked up. McIlrath is right behind him.
It's a good problem to have. When Staal does come back--it might bite into MDZ's ice time more than anyone else's but nonetheless he looks to be taking a big step forward in his overall play this year. Erixon IMO had a bit of deer in the headlights and needs AHL development time. It's not that the talent is not there but I think his compete level has to go up a notch. MDZ has another advantage over him in that he's the most creative player on our D.
And it's interesting that even with Marc out that our D so far this year are not only playing well in their own end but have helped out on offense better than I would have expected. 8 goals from our defense in 13 games is not bad at all.
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