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01-27-2013, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
I actually think Dion Phaneuf is underrated these days. He's a good defenseman with elite physical tools. I think his problem in Toronto -- especially this season -- is that they have done a miserable job of building a defense around him. Why is Kosta playing 32 minutes last night with Phaneuf?

The Leafs needed in the worst way to overpay a guy like Garrison or Hamhuis to play on Phaneuf's left side. Phaneuf is a wildly more talented Kevin Bieksa: give him someone to make the safe play/cover for him, and Phaneuf could be a really important, rare piece in the NHL. He has a Shea Weber toolset; not as good, of course, but he could be close.

Just your typical lack of Burke management, really. Burke always gets a lot right but he's always too stubborn to "overpay" for a necessary piece, even if it's something his team desperately needs, making an overpayment reasonable. Literally the only time Burke has even been willing to do this is when it's a sure-fire guy available (Niedermayer types). When he finally did, with Kessel, he screwed it up by being too stubborn to make an offer sheet.
Well, you aren't alone in that assessment. Tiranis and I have butted heads over this very same issue. And the Leaf fan base seems pretty evenly split on the Love/Hate continuum as well (as was the Flame base).

I think Dion is a guy with a great skill set but just an astoundingly low hockey IQ. Because of the skill set, he sometimes puts it together for a great play (or hit, or shot, etc.) but he makes so many bad reads, and makes them entirely too frequently.

With the amount of ice time he gets...something like 32 minutes last night...these mistakes seem to crop up more often. And with TML being at the sbolute center of the universe, these mistakes get noticed and talked about.

He might be a good 3/4 guy but we'll just never know because (A) he is on said Leafs and they have a pretty weak D corps and (B) I don't think he sees himself as anything less than Top Dog.

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