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01-09-2012, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ola View Post
I wouldn't say that for sure at this point, but you could end up right of course.

In the broad picture, and with the purpose of analysing Anton Strålmans game, I think you can split a D's game into 3 parts; i) defense, ii) moving the puck up ice, and iii) offense from the attacking blueline and in.

On i) I think he has done a good job given my expectations on him. This is the first time the kid is playing in a half-decent environment and so far he has done a good job and, as people has covered above, he should be able to improve too by adding some muscle (for christ sake).

On ii) I think he has done a good job. This is why he is still playing, and his and MDZ's job with moving the puck up ice has definitely helped AA-Step-Gabby alot. That line is getting some good passes to work with, and you cannot underrated that importance of that (Gabby struggled last season when MDZ struggled, to a extent that is not a coincidence. I posted about that last season too. MDZ and Gabby had great chemistry MDZ rookie season).

And bank on that MDZ and Strålman will become better and better at this the more they play together. You cannot have enough chemistry on a D-pairing, and in this perspective, these guys have basically never seen each other before.

On iii), this is what could kill his NHL dream. As a offensive D in the game today, you have room in the attacking zone. These guys can be a constant threat. Look at Erik Karlsson in Ottawa, he is what a 6-7 pts behind Giroux, Sedins and Kessel in scoring, and ranked top 15, and there is a ton of D's on pace for 40+ pts. And while we have some D's who get pts of passes up ice -- we are definitely near the bottom in the league when it comes to D's making a quality play in the attacking zone and creating a goal with it.

Like AS gets some shots through (while many misses the net) and so on. But it is not much. If a forward comes at him when he got the puck at the blueline, it would be worth so much to us and for his value for us, if he could just step around him once in a while to open things up.

And when I think back of the 18-21 y/o Strålman I saw in Sweden, there is no reason for why he should have that ability today in the NHL. But he was screwed over when he turned pro. Kind of like Bobby Sanguinetti. Go back and read everything said about Sanguinetti the first 24 months after getting drafted. It was all defense, defense, defense and then some more talk about how he needed to learn to play defense. This was a offensiveminded D, who never even remotely hinted that he had any offense in him once he got a sniff in NY. Like a ton of offensive skill but very little offensive game.

If Strålman is going to stay in the NY for the long future, I think we need to see more plays were like Strålman fake's a slapper, gets a forward go down to block a shot, and then Strålman steps around him and creates opening and a goal. Where we afterwards can say that like that goal was 100% scored by Strålman. Its not much to ask for from a offensive D in the NHL these days. It feels like Erik Karlsson has made 30 plays like that this season that has resulted in a goal and probably another 60 that came close to a goal. MDZ has 1 that I can think of (and I would guess at like 4-5 all season) and Strålman like zero.
Your post are very thorough, and I agree that Stralsie were supposed to do the numbers Erik Karlsson are doing today, somewhere along the way he lost his offensive mojo (although, still a greater threat offensively than all of our D-men except MDZ) and that's due to CBJ being crap. Still, Erik K is so overrated I worry for his future. He's always been sloppy with the puck and previous seasons he had massive turnover #'s etc. I'm not saying Strålman is better, he's not, but he's got potential to become even better as a hockey player. Torts has ALREADY raised his defensive plays, just give Anton this season and you might see him deliver a 10 G + 25 A next year, he has got another level in him, and this is coming from one whom watched AS since he was a little brat in Skovde!

Pro-Eminger guys, I respect your opinion, I honestly do. But please explain what Eminger offers that AS can't? Hits and penalties? I've never liked Eminger, but maybe I'm missing some of his qualities?

All in all, we have great depth on our blueline!

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