: Larry Brooks:
Strong play signals Bickel sticking with Rangers
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01-12-2012, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
I'm kind of torn on what to do with the D pairings once we are completely healthy. Woywitka obviously is the first man sent down. I don't see too many people arguing that. However, there appears to be only 2 spots for 3 players, none of whom have done anything to be waived. Those 3 would be Stralman, Eminger, and Bickel. Our Top-5 would be set with Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, Sauer, and DelZotto. That leaves the other 3 fighting for the 6/7 spots. Each have their strengths and drawbacks. Stralman adds offense and puck-moving ability from the back line, but is a softer defender and weaker skater. Eminger is a good skater, solid defender, and has a bit of snarl to his game, but has very little offense, and is prone to brain farts. Bickel is hard-nosed, strong on the boards, and excellent positionally, but a very slow skater and non-existent offense.
I think the Rangers put off this decision as long as possible by making sure Eminger and Sauer are 100% ready to play before inserting them back into the lineup. In the end, though, I think Bickel is the odd man out, which is a shame, because I think he gets claimed on waivers.
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