Marc Staal match-ups/TOI
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02-08-2012, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Originally Posted by
First off, I don't happen to be one of the people who thinks that Woywitka has been anything more than a stop-gap waiver wire pickup. And I really didn't want Eminger to be re-signed--I think he's at best a poor man's 6th defenseman who shouldn't being playing more than 30 or so games a year--although now that he's healthy, he should be in the lineup over Bickel (who I don't think is a NHL caliber defenseman).
That said, I also don't agree with your views of Staal or Girardi. Staal is still not back to the level he was before the concussion and I think Tortorella has used him properly since he's come back. There is a very good chance he won't be back at that level this year--he missed too much time on and off the ice. Who he's playing against and who his partner is, has not held him back.
Girardi, on the other hand, has earned every minute he's played this year. He's played at the highest level I've ever seen him play--and just as well as any 1st pair defensman in the league this year--and has been more consistant throughout the whole season than ever before as well. Without his play (and his ability to mesh with McD--who's been quite impressive as well for a rookie with less than 50 games of NHL experience at the beginning of the year), this team would have traded for another top 4 defenseman long ago, instead of having the luxury of plugging in players like Woywitka and Bickel.
I also think you're selling Strålman (who's been a very nice pick-up) and especially Del Zotto short. Del Zotto has proved that he is not only a NHL defenseman, but one who can play 20 and even 25 minutes a game. His defense has been solid and his puck moving/offensive abiility are improving as well. I had my doubts about him before this season, but he's done everything necessary in my mind to erase those doubts. He has been a big part of the success this team has had this season and I fully expect him to be a big part of whatever success the Rangers have going forward.
I never said Girardi shouldn't be on our top pairing, nor McD. But Staal regaining his fullblown bone crushing thoroughbred status would be a HUGE benefit to this team. I just want to see him in situations that make that come along. Girardi has been a bit exposed by MOntreal and Toronto though in matchups this season. He can bang with any top unit, but he fumbled a bit in those match-ups. Kovalchuk and Parise were buzzing in the offensive zone the passed two meetings. He's as solid as they get, and reminds me some of Suter, but he's not full-blown top tier talent. That's not a knock against him. He elevates his game like a champion, but there's some room in his game for him to get exposed.
There's no way I'm selling MDZ or Stralman short. I haven't even remotely disparaged either of them in this conversation. I'm a huge, jersey owning MDZ fan. Stralman is a great fit on our blueline, and even when we're 100% healthy, the guy's game puts him solidly in the line-up.
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