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01-22-2013, 10:36 AM
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Bickel has passable skills for a bottom pairing tough guy but his decision making has been atrocious this season, and has been his main problem before now.

I remember in another thread before the season started, someone said they thought Bickel's strength was that he kept it simple and didn't try to do too much, and I could only shake my head in disagreement, because his problem has always been that he tries to do too much and he is not skilled enough to do that.

Through two games I've seen many instances of him trying to force a breakout pass to a forward with the other team easily reading it and picking it off...partly because he telegraphs the pass and partly because he's trying to make a difficult pass and he doesn't have the skill to make it. He also gets in trouble trying to hold the offensive blueline a lot, or by pinching in at the wrong time, and we saw against the Pens some very bad decision making in the defensive zone against the rush where he took himself out of position trying to angle a guy into the boards and then let himself get beat to the net.

He has to learn how to make the safe play, to play positionally, and just keep things simple or he will never hold down a steady roster spot. He continues to play like he thinks he can make the kind of plays that the top defenseman on the team can make and he simple isn't good enough to do that. But the thing is that he doesn't NEED to be good enough to do that, he just needs to be a steady 3rd pairing guy

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