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03-20-2012, 11:53 AM
  #134
Ola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German Way of War View Post
I completely understand, but you're not factoring the nature of the business. If you stack up all of our dmen in a row, to include the prospects, you'd see that Staal is the guy who draws the most concern, for the following reasons:

1) His health
2) His play
3) His salary
4) His term

I like Staal. I think he can get back to his pre-concussion form. The problem is that we dont know when it's going to happen, and when if it does return, we wont know what the value of all our other d-men will be.

You're sugarcoating Staal's play, IMO. Perron, for example, missed way more time than Staal and having the best season of his career. Staal, IMO, has been afforded enough time to regain his strength, timing and hand-eye coordination. Four months post-recovery, he's getting outworked, outmuscled, blowing assignments, making horrible decisions with the puck, and quite frankly is a liability on the ice.

Can he turn it around? I sure friggin hope so. But what happens to this team in the offseason will be dicatated by the postseason. If Staal becomes the pre-concussion Staal in the playoffs, then it might change the strategy for the offseason.

It's hockey. Hell, it's a pro sport. It's always been "What have you done for me lately". Dubinsky was as good as gone a month ago. I wonder why. You think Sather would have felt the same if Dubinsky was having a 30-30 season?

Bottom line -- if Staal continues to trend downward, it makes moving him all the more justifiable. What he did before his play turned south wont mean anything if he's slumping and Macdonagh and MDZ are up for contract renewal.
Part of this is due to Staal's style of play.

Staal's strength is that he is a tremendous winner in combination of being a very good 1 on 1 player. You can tell that he has fought it out with two brothers for a long time, when he goes into a battle for the puck you don't often see anyone match his determination quite frankly. This results in Staal being able, when on top of this game, to play defense by his instincts and when a opertunity arise, engage and come away with the puck. Staal played 40 minutes a night for long parts of his junior career and have for most of his NHL career been a 25 minute player.

Staal got cross checked in the back by some 3rd line scrub a couple of weeks ago, I don't remember who it was, but I remember Staal's reaction. He got pissed and instantly turned around and cross checked the other player in the chest. Then he realized what he did and that he was standing there with his head unprotected and his two arms and stick planted in the chest of the other player -- and he immidiately half-turtled to protect his head and moved away from the scrub.

He is obviously just not comfortable right now. Its kind of a catch-22 situation. He won't become comfortable before he starts really getting into the heat again playing a ton of minutes a night, and Torts won't play him untill he is back to 100%, since he quite frankly aren't better than McD before that. He's tried for short stints, but it has not really worked out.

I think its a luxury that we can afford to "ease" him in like we are. He'll get back eventually.

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