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07-30-2012, 04:15 PM
  #93
PocketNines
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I really don't see the conflict on this point. The pairings will get shuffled around until there's an optimal fit. Colaiacovo had the 5th most minutes last year but he was on the "first pairing." I agree that the definitions here are a little ambiguous.

Cole will and should get a chance to settle in. Armstrong is clearly aware of the issues back there, and there's time before any trigger has to be pulled. You don't have to do it before the season starts. It's nice for fan impatience to get everything done in the summer but it really doesn't HAVE to be that way. Give Cole a chance to be in the lineup every night. Whether he's paired with Russell, Shattenkirk or Pietrangelo that's the job of coaches to evaluate the best fit. I wouldn't be surprised to see him with any of those partners.

As for playoffs, the word "trust" is messing up this debate. How do you "trust" someone who really hasn't seen playoff time? (Of course he's seen more than Bouwmeester ... "trust" him in the playoffs?). I think really all this boils down to is bleedblue has cautious optimism and IA has cautious pessimism. Each is defensible, honestly. Part of the joy of sports is getting to watch these debates play out on the ice. Even if IA is pessimistic on trusting Cole, there's no way he wouldn't be ecstatic if Cole made a big developmental leap. Even if bleedblue is optimistic on Cole, there's no way if he sees that Cole's development isn't on pace with the team's competitive window he wouldn't support an upgrade.

For me, I like that Cole's going to get a chance. I'm cautiously optimistic and I like the Cole option better than a number of outside options, and I like a few outside options better than the Cole option, though those are lessened with Garrison in Vancouver and Suter in Minnesota. I think we can all agree Armstrong is fully aware of the need for one bigger impact defenseman back there. And besides, there is always bound to be an injury so Cole will get time either way.

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