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06-14-2013, 01:44 PM
The Zetterberg Era
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Originally Posted by
I know he's been top pair, but he hasn't really been used like a #1. (and he hasn't really played like one for long stretches, either.) Billins ate up a ton of his PP minutes at the beginning of the season. Plus, GR doesn't play a dominant top pair for a ton of minutes like other teams do. They sort of rotate their pairings, which indicates to me more of a rounding-off of talent across them.
I think it'll be a bit of a battle for him next season, because the talent level will be much higher and there'll be the temptation to use some of the more physically talented defensemen over him. He also has to demonstrate that he can be the stable guy defensively on a pairing, which I haven't really seen him do yet. He could be in sort of a no-man's land, where he doesn't have the raw defensive ability, yet also doesn't get much of a chance offensively because he doesn't have a giant shot or skate like the wind. I guess that's been the question of his career: how far can monstrous hockey sense (and some good, but not great tools) take him?
Fine but Paetsch is the top guy and has been all season only really when Smith was down was that not the case. Kind of a hard standard then and it also means DeKeyser and Lashoff are flunking it as well at the moment. They might play some rounded minutes, but Paetsch for me is the clear cut guy down there.
Almqvist has been very impressive this year, he has been better than Lashoff the entire time both have been down in Grand Rapids. I mean that defensively not just offensively.
One of my only complaints with Blashill is Billins pea shooter over Almqvist on the point with our first unit, drives me absolutely nuts. Though it is part of the reason our second unit is so good on the PP, they have the better D-man with them.
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