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02-15-2012, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Inferno272 View Post
Staal missed all of training camp. He's getting better every game. His subtle little plays on the board to take the pucks away from the opposition has been coming slowly. His outlet passes are getting back to where they used to be, and weve seen him throw some big hits of late as well.

id say hes about 80% right now of where he was last year, and its been getting better every single game.

he's also being sheltered a bit playing 2nd and 3rd pairing minutes rather than the huge horse minutes he was played last season.

Staal wears an A too, for a reason. Guy is a huge part of this team. I wouldnt be too eager to move him.
80% might be generous for Staal. We all read about his off-season training regime last season, STaal likes to come into camp with a fair amount of extra muscle, because there's not much strength training at all between games. Staal's game is physical for the most part, and there's just no way he's going to get stronger playing in games.

His contribution for us during this season is going to be smart play, a good stick, and hard work. I can't seem him being the Staal of last season at all this year. There's just no way he's going to have the chance to get his strength up to the levels of his normal vigorous off-season training regime.

I think this really sets him up for a monster season next year. He's learned the hard way how much of a benefit his strength training has been for him, and this season not having that hopefully he'll develop a seriously smart game. Those two ideas together might really take him to the next level next season.

Moving him at all should not be in the cards for this franchise. The thought of a full blown Staal, who looked poised for a breakout season, on top of Girardi, McDonagh, and a VASTLY improved Del Zotto is scary. Throw in a Stralman that has way more game than any of us imagined, and this team has a blue-line and goaltender that should make us perennial Cup contenders.

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