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07-30-2012, 12:43 PM
STL fan in IA
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Originally Posted by bleedblue1223 View Post
Because I don't completely agree with the options. I think he is capable of playing on the first pairing, but I don't think he should play 20+ minutes. He should be getting 18-19 minutes just like Colaiacovo got. If he is with Pietrangelo, I think he will be just fine on the top pairing.

So you think it is ludicrous to think in July that Cole won't be ready for the top pairing in April? If Pietrangelo doesn't have a torn MCL, Cole will be just fine with him. You can't just gloss over the fact that Pietrangelo wasn't close to being his normal self.

If you are so against Cole, then what are you plans for the defense? I didn't see where it was said that Shattenkirk will be full-time with Pietrangelo, and I'm not saying your wrong, but I'm not buying it happening at all. That would make it a disaster for the other pairings. Jackman needs someone like Shattenkirk to be successful, and that means he would have to be with Russell. Russell shouldn't be in our top 4, and Russell or Jackman have not proven that they are capable of play on their off-side.
Pairings really only stay together at even strength so if you’re comfortable with Cole playing against the opposition’s best on the top pairing alongside Petro then you should probably select the 1st pairing option.

My whole point though is that I think the Blues should strive for much better than “just fine”. Why are you ok with “just fine” and/or why do you think that Cole will be a legit 1st pairing d-man by the playoffs? Given that he’s always been projected as a future #3-4 d-man in his prime, what makes you think that he’ll be at the level of a #2 d-man by the end of his first full regular season in the NHL? Would you really consider the Blues to be serious Cup contenders with Cole playing such a key role?? I’d say that the Blues defensive problems in the playoffs last season went way beyond Petro’s sprained MCL. If anything, it highlighted what a relatively average group of d-men the Blues have with a Petro not at 100%...all the more reason to get someone much better alternative than Cole as Petro’s partner.

I am not against Cole at all. I’m just being realistic. I would be comfortable with him getting decent 5 on 5 minutes against lower quality competition (on average) along with some PK time – ie. a 3rd pairing role. Regarding the pairings I’ve posted numerous times, I’m just going by what JR’s posted based off of his discussions with Hitch. I don’t really like those pairings either but I don’t really see any good solution no matter how you put the pairings together with the current 6 d-men. THAT is the problem. Inserting Cole onto the top pairing simply because he’s a lefty and the Blues lack a lefty on the top pairing in order to keep last year’s pairings together is convenient but not a viable solution IMO.

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