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01-05-2013, 10:14 PM
Seth Lake
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Originally Posted by Cashville View Post
That Klein / Hannan 2nd pairing scares me. Hannan is not a second pairing defenseman. This whole season hinges on Josi; if he can't handle first pairing match-ups and minutes, then we are screwed. Yes, he was awesome last year, but Blum was pretty solid his first half-season up in 2010-11 and look where we are now.

In short, for this season, I think our defense has almost no upside, and a whole whole lot of downside potential.
I strongly disagree. Josi has shown himself for a season now and you can say that he hasn't yet shown the ability to stay healthy for a full season yet, but to believe that the odds are in favor of him regressing like Blum did is not the case. Unlike Blum, Josi has played against men from the age of 15 and excelled. He has gone from an offensive PP specialist type to a two-way offensive defenseman as he has continued to mature. I believe that Josi has proven that he can play as a No. 3 defenseman already and with Weber by his side, will have a partner back there that he can lean on a little as he adjusts to the No. 2 role.

Hannan was someone that the team has wanted for two seasons now. Is he the Scott Hannan that dominated Forsberg and others in the playoffs for San Jose pre-lockout? No, but he is still a solid veteran defenseman that can play a simple game and provide Klein with a steady partner on the PK and at even-strength.

Gill provides a veteran BIG bodied stay-at-home partner for whomever he pairs with and I could see that being either Ellis or Blum depending on their respective performances and the matchups. FWIW, the Nashville brass has been in Milwaukee a lot since the start of the lockout and are there again this weekend watching the prospects to see who is ready for an opportunity and who is likely going to stay should the lockout be lifted.

Are there question marks on defense? Sure, but is it a weakness of the team? I don't believe it will be. The loss of Suter cannot be understated, but it's also an opportunity for others to grow and step up given new roles. We are deep on defense and I believe that if given the chance to play, the players will show that.

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