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06-23-2006, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Laugh away, Darth...
and I too watch every game. Funny how we can see it differently. I don't want him to be a Phaneuf type of player - correct that, I don't think he needs to be in order to be a successful NHL player. But when I see him in the defensive zone losing the majority of the battles and not handling the puck well under pressure, I comment. When not under pressure, and when in the open ice skating with or without the puck, and in the offensive zone, he is quite good. But as I've mentioned before, I don't think that goodness is enough to make up for his lack of defense. There is a balance and even offenseman need to handle the puck better in their own zone and win the battles. Can he improve? Quite possibly, but this is what I saw last year, and this is what I saw two seasons ago, and this is what I saw in Hartford.
I clarified what I meant by 'thrown around' later - in saying 'won little battles, was easily manhandled, and lost control of the puck when pressured' - my comment was not intended to mean the guy was tossed around like a rag doll.
And honestly, I cannot even remember the mistake everyone talks about. That's not even in my mind since all Rangers defensemen made big mistakes, and some more than others.
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