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07-02-2013, 03:14 PM
Don't Call Him Alex
Join Date: Feb 2006
Originally Posted by
2 Minute Minor
He did play well in that playoff series. He didn't help produce offense, but he at least was able to contribute to the fast transition. He also played against the bottom lines for the LAK, which you can't ignore. But he was one of the only defenders who seemed to be willing to play through the physicality without wilting. I wish he'd played in this most recent post-season the same way. But he couldn't even play well enough to cement a spot in the line-up.
He didn't produce offense because his offensive zone starts was 41%. As far as 2012-13, Russell got much better starting around mid-season after he fully recovered from the injury he sustained during the lockout. He spot was absolutely cemented in the lineup. He played every single game from late February until the trade deadline and was +7 and had a whopping 29 blocked shots during that time. Hitchcock had numerous quotes after the Bouwmeester and Leopold trades that the unfortunate side effect of the deals was was that Russell had to come out.
But this past season he had a long stretch of poor play. He never really did regain his form from the prior season. Even before Leopold came, he had been a healthy scratch several times.
He had an uneven start to the season because of the injury, but again, he was not healthy scratched one time starting on Feb 28th.
I appreciate what Russell did, and I want him to succeed in his career. The Blues could do worse than to have him and Cole fight for the 7th spot. But I think the team views Leopold as that stable bottom pairing partner to help Cole continue developing. (Whether partner on the ice, or in practice. Polak/Leopold/Cole is the bottom group.)
Cole was drafted six years ago. The guy is either has the chops to make it at this point or he doesn't. The minutes and quality of competition will effect his play, not his partner. Are you saying that Cole is much more likely to succeed if he was playing with Leopold as opposed to Polak, who has 350 games under his belt and has a much better ability to recover relative to Leopold. That's a ridiculous reason to bring back Leopold and that's not even bringing up the financials.
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