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05-15-2012, 02:41 AM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by UniverStalinGraduate View Post
Staal played 20:03 a night and 1:59 PP time for the season. As well as 15:25 at ES (22nd in the league for centers) He was not, and is not a 3rd line player with Pittsburgh. Yes he plays with weaker offensive players on his wings but that goes both ways as he also on a team with a star like Malkin never faces opposing teams top defensive guys.

Eller also played with weak linemates this year, with good wingers maybe he scores 25 goals and 55 points. Is Staal going to be worth the 4 or so more million per year after next season he will cost?

Would we be having this conversation if Staal was 6 feet instead of 6 foot 3?

Yes he COULD hit 30 goals and 70 assists or maybe he's never going to be more than a 55 point player. I'm sure there have been many times when a guy was playing behind other more offesnive guys and putting up what seemed to be very impressive numbers and then upon moving into a new situation with better linemates and minutes didn't really advance his numbers that greatly.

Staal really doesn't strike me as a guy who makes his linemates better or anything either. To me, while it's possible he could be a 30+ goal 70+ point guy I think he's far more suited to be a 2nd liner in the NHL. Perhaps the best 2nd line centerman in the league.
then again, he was on pace for 33 goals & 66pts this year (and with 62 games, i'd say it's a large enough amount of games to suggest he'd have stayed close to that pace with 20 additional games... heck, if you add the 6 playoff games, he was at a 37goal/71pt pace over 68 games).

as MM pointed out, he did this despite being the Pens go-to defensive zone start C, and with pretty average top-9 wingers...

all this at 23.

also, to the "doesn't make his linemates better point".

Dupuis had a career year (11 & 21 points better than his 2 previous career bests)... guess who his primary centre was?

Cooke, 2nd best year of his career... Staal his primary C
Kennedy's 2 best seasons (this year and last)... Staal at C

yeah, I'd say a guy who, at 23 years old no less, can get the best out of Dupuis/Kennedy/Cooke, AND who can put up 30 goal/70pt pace with those 3 guys as his primary wingers, does both things you are skeptical about.

He makes his linemates better AND is likely to up his production when given actual top-6 wingers and more offensive zone starts.

Unless of course you think it was Dupuis having a "break out" season at 33 that led to Staal's career best gpg/ppg...

MM would be proud, using stats to make a point

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