: Injury Report:
Alexei Emelin out 6 months
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05-21-2013, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Originally Posted by
Huge Blow the the Dcore but there is a silver lining in that MB will be forced to find a replacement. I think a progression of the Defence to a more physical, crease clearing identity is by far the most important change needed to further rebuilding our team. If we do find a good replacement (in terms of style at least), when Emelin returns we could have a balanced core with good depth. I really hope Boullion is 7D. IMO this is the true status of our Defence (the guys I expect to see this year anyway.
#1 - Simply one of the best Dmen in the NHL at a young age. He can lead the TOI and the attack of this team, but he needs support.
#2/3 - Declining but still very useful. His minutes need to be trimmed for stamina reasons, but he is a huge asset. Ideal on the second pairing.
#3/4 - Underrated in regards to his offense, Emelin has emerged as a top4 Dman. He should play the PP, but aside from that, he has all the physical skills and tools to be well-rounded. Can easily handle top pairing minutes with Subban. IMO this the Ideal 1st pair. Hard to tell where he'll be post-injury.
#4 - Had a bad year, but if he is used right he's a great #4. He needs to improve his decision making with the puck. His ability to clear the zone and possess the puck at the blue line simply have to be more competent. I found teams would force the puck to Gorges and cut off Subban, and it was effective. Gorges needs to develop quicker decision making, even if the right decisions for him are. With the right partner, he can be a successful #4, but Ideally he'd be great to see playing on the third pair in a shut-down role.
*Expendable (Due to depth, skillset and caphit)
#4 - Sort of the offensive Gorges, in the sense that he's a top4, but has holes in his game that he needs to round out to be effective (though he has way more value than JG). He obviously plays a big role of being the 2PP QB, but the main things against him are a lack of size, and lacking a strong enough positional game to overcome that (though he's not bad)
*Expendable (Due to lack of size, surplus of type, and trade value)
#5 - Still skinny but IMO he looked like he should continue the next phase of development by sticking in the NHL. Depending on if he beefs up he could be a #4, but for now he's a bottom pairing guy. I love his stickwork and skating, right now he's a more mobile Hal Gill, and that's awesome. He also had some nice hits when he got more comfortable, and despite what some others may think, he is a guy who looks like he will develop a bit of a mean streak (Pronger-lite in that sense). Offensive ability is underrated as well.
#7 - Boullion has a pretty balanced set of skills but his size, age, and lack of exceptional talent makes him the 7D. Not too bad to have on the third pairing, but we've seen him play with Subban and log huge minutes. I don't like the idea of that for another year. I hope he sticks in the press box. Good depth.
I say we create a package which includes the offensive minded Diaz for the other side of the coin, a veteran, physical Dman who can log enough minutes to anchor Subban. Despite playing Subban's assignments, playing with PK will ease the load so it doesn't have to be a superstar.
While Emelin recovers:
Top4 Physical Dman-Subban
When Emelin returns:
While the first Dcore still has Boullion playing regularly, the addition of a top4 dman would be enough for the team to whether the storm.
The healthy configuration is very strong. Emelin gets back to the left side, where he can hit more and use his fantastic skating to keep up with Subban and develop a two-way game. Markov gets his physical partner he requires and should improve his defensive play. Finally, Gorges-Tinordi is a very strong shut-down pair. Gorges has great will and shot blocking, and Tinordi is allowed to grow into a fuller game while filling Gill's shoes, using his reach and frame (but also superior mobility) to choke out defensive assignments' attack. This also reduces harsh assignment minutes from Markov, giving the General more opportunities on the attack.
If Tinordi regresses, and every other player is constant, our blueline is going to blow something awful. This team always relies on players getting better, when in fact they usually don't on our backend. Gorges isn't going to improve much , why do we even expect more? Markov is slowing down... and Boullion isn't a spring chicken.
We have an small, aging blueline that is being asked to play a style we simply cannot do. Subban is the only ace in the hole.
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