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04-12-2012, 11:14 AM
  #274
squidz*
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
This is the problem with Minnesota's defense: they are soft.

Gilbert, Scandella, Brodin, Spurgeron, Kampfer are not known for their toughness. Stoner and Falk are depth at best. There is no size and no strength on that defense. Getting another offensive defenseman or two-way defenseman, it seems like a waste.
I disagree on the Scandella (and very slightly the Spurgeon) front. Scandella has been rather physical, and certainly not soft in his play this year. I don't think it can really be argued he lacks that aspect. Spurgeon is small, but he's also very physical. Because of his size, he can be bumped off the puck more easily than we'd like, but he's not particularly soft by any measure. Neither Brodin nor Kampfer are big hitters either, but from what I've seen, Brodin's not soft on the puck. Also, Gilbert hasn't been particularly soft.

We have had issues with "crease clearing" but that seems more a style issue than a softness one. Anyway, I wouldn't mind bringing in Dumba for the physical element we are somewhat lacking on the back end. However, the only other highly ranked d-man who's known for having a physical edge to his game is Trouba. Reinhart's got the size, but he's about as non-physical as you can get. Ceci's also big, but must be afraid the other team has cooties. After that, the next physical kind of guy is Koekkoek, whom some think could slip out of the first round entirely.

So, the focus on offensive defensemen is partially a lack of agreement about the need for more physicality on the back end, but also a lack of genuine options. If Dumba's not available, Trouba is the only defense option with a physical edge to his game. Personally, I'd rather have the potentially elite play from Rielly instead. We can take a risk on a more physical defenseman with our 2nd rounder, or try to find one via free agency or trade. Not every team needs a Kronwall, and the "lesser" physical guys are some of the more commonly available in free agency and trade.

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