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02-14-2013, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sm0ka47 View Post
My mind is still fresh from watching him in the NJ series last year. He crumbles when he faces a good forecheck. He can't handle the power of NHL forwards downlow. He's not positionaly good nor does he have an active stick to counter that lack of strength like Timonen does in the defensive zone. Sure he's adept at moving the puck but is he really that much better than Gervais at it? Sure he's mobile but that doesn't mean anything at all. There are other facets of the game he's just weak at and the ones he excels at are just above average. His upside is a bottom pairing defenseman. From the times he's played I've seen no ability where you can say he could reach the level of a top 4 guy. Specifically a #3-4 d-man. That would be putting him on the level of a Mez in terms of potential. He's never shown that.
There was a stretch early last yr before injuring his wrist where he was really going and he was getting like 19 min of ice time. In the Pitts series he looked very good positionally and I specifically remember a few occasions where he came away from a one on one puck battle with Malkin with the puck. Now I'm not convinced that he'll be anything more then a 3rd pairing guy but he's def better then any 3rd pairing guy we have available now Plus he can actually give you quality pp minutes. He's still relatively young for a d-man so he can still improve especially with Kimmo here to teach him how to make it as a small guy in this league.

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