Who will rise? Who will fall?
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07-12-2013, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Elmira NY
I suspect both Stepan and Brassard will have very good seasons--especially Stepan. Richards is going to make an exit stage left from top 6 play and Stepan is going to step into his spot--maybe not seamlessly but Steps is very good defensively and his face-off %'s have been improving year by year. He's a guy who rises to the challenge. He is also a guy who will eventually find chemistry with whoever he plays with. I don't worry about him too much.
For Kreider there is nowhere to go but up. I don't expect a fantastic season but I expect better. If he hits for 15 goals that would be okay.
Girardi is not going to fall off. He's the top pair right defenseman. He understands how he needs to play. He knows how to prepare for that. We're going to get more than less the same-old same-old.
Del Zotto's numbers might improve slightly--dependent on what the pwp does. That's where any additional offense is going to come from which is going to depend on how AV uses him. In the war for left defense ice time Michael's got his work cut out for him. Both Staal and McDonagh are minute eaters--guys you want doing 25 minutes a game easily. If the Rangers keep both of them Michael is probably going to be spending at least half his time on the right side where he is not nearly as good. As a powerplay point man he is not in Subban's or Markov's class. Unless his shot improves and the Rangers pwp improves he's pretty much going to have the same numbers.
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