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12-28-2012, 02:03 PM
The Czech Condor
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Murphy will go one of two ways, he will either bust hard or be a dominant offensive presence. He doesn't have the game defensively to take regular shifts if he's not bringing his offense. I like his offensive upside better than Rielly, but Rielly most certainly will be an NHL defender in some capacity. I can't say the same for Murphy. However, Murphy is the superior skater and puck handler. What that means is anybody's guess.

I think if he's forced to play too long in the AHL, all hope will be lost. If he's able to come to the NHL, warts and all, and work them out on the big stage while learning to provide offense there exists some hope for him. I don't usually advocate rushing defenders, but there are cases where I feel like it benefits them. A lot of people say the AHL is the best league to learn in but I disagree. I feel like the NHL is the best league to learn in if your team can afford it in the wins and losses column. In Murphy's case in particular, he's not going to get any bigger. He's not going to get any faster. He's probably not going to get a hell of a lot stronger. Everything he needs to know is experienced based.

I feel like the WJC process was highly skewed against Murphy, as has been evidenced by his snub last year and his shaky confidence in early games. He's at his best when he's playing a certain free wheeling style that does not lend itself to short tournaments. The players on the ice with him need to know what he's going to do so they can prepare for it and know that once the puck is on his tape, it's not leaving until he finds a good option... not just a safe one. The players don't know how to read Murphy's assertive puck handling and as a result he has gone into a bit of a shell in terms of staying back, making long outlet passes, and just trying not to get in the way. You don't have enough time in the short tournaments to build the proper chemistry with guys who are ALL used to being the focal point of the team. Teaching them to work together is half the battle and Murphy didn't let the team adapt to him, he adapted to them. Noble, but not the way that he shines.

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