Free Agent Talk (Part XV): The Non-Frenzy Edition
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08-11-2012, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Originally Posted by
I'd disagree, and I think Tortarella disagrees too.
Bickel played 5 minutes in the triple OT game against the Caps. 5 MINUTES.
I'm sorry, but if that isn't a clear cut indicator of how Bickel is viewed by Torts, I don't know what to tell you.
Team needs a more reliable 6th defender. I don't mind him back there as a 7th, or being brought in against teams like Philly and so on, but not as a full-time regular 6th defender.
you seem to not realize WHY bickel only played 4 minutes in the triple OT game.
first period-- and even the second to a lesser extent there were a TON of icings keeping the top 4 defense out there for extended shifts limiting the early ice time that our 3rd pairing defense would normally get.
towards the end of regulation the game was too tight to risk throwing a cold 6th defenseman out there. had it ended in regulation it wouldn't have been nearly as big of a problem only playing bickel 5 minutes, but because it extended into one OT, two OT, and eventually three OT it looks 100 percent worse.
BUT you don't throw a player who hasn't played in >40 minutes out there in overtime in a playoff game where 1 mistake costs you the entire season. you just don't. could torts have thrown him out as a forward? sure, but even that would be more risky than the lineup being used as he was cold and not a natural forward.
bickel is not the best defenseman, but he can handle 10-15 minutes during the regular season. even if he plays zero in the playoffs we're still solid on defense. biggest issue is that tortorella doesn't trust him, but hopefully during the regular season the kid can handle himself and earn time. (honestly i'm more worried about the fact that he is playing with del zotto)
there's a good chance that sauer is ready at some point, and if not mcilrath will most likely be available as a late-season call-up. we cannot fully rely on either, but bickel for half the season does not worry me half as much as you guys make it sound if one of those two is ready. hopefully we get something to replace him, but if not it isn't the end of the world... even if bickel plays 10-15m a night during the regular season and zero minutes in the playoffs we'll be fine
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