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08-08-2013, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RangerBoy View Post
Del Zotto needs to become that offensive defenseman. He had 37 points in his first year. 41 points in his 3rd year. He had a 37 point pace in the lockout season.
I think we just got a problem here that we gotta deal with.

Del Zotto is a good offensive defensemen. Not great, but good for sure. He sees the ice really well. He can make plays with the puck.

-Del Zotto is better on the left side than the right side.

-Del Zotto is not so good that you can take away all that much from his game and still consider him a good enough offensive D on a contender, and by moving him to the right side you do just that.

- I just don't see MDZ on the right side becoming "our" offensive D-men. --

-Girardi is too slow to play with Del Zotto. Those two are a disaster together. Even when one of McD and Staal is hurt, we still do not have a good environment for MDZ on the left side.

-An offensive defensemen per definition plays with small marginals. To play with small marginals, you need to play alot and preferebly with the same people.

We need an offensive punch from the blueline.

The concept of offensive defensemens in hockey and the NHL is legit and it is remarkable that we have so little punch from the blueline -- as is.

An offensive defensemen accomplish so much on the ice. Its so easy to collapse down low against a team that doesn't have players on the blueline that open things up. All over the ice, you can defend really well against forwards, but what is so darn hard to do is defend against a team with a D that all of a sudden just skates an eight around a forchecker behind his own net and skates up center ice with the puck. All forechecking systems today are based on forcing the pass up the boards and then shutting down that area. If the D beats the forechecker one on one you loose controll of the forecheck.

Philly is one of the higest scoring teams in the league year in and year out. You cannot overrated the play of Kimmo Timmonen in that context. Hence why they now signed Streit -- while taking a tremendous risk doing do -- to carry the torch next season when Timmonen is gone.

You become a low scoring team when you do not have that ability. And there are so many downsides when you are a low scoring teams besides the obvious in games ones:

-Players are judges by their stats, and loose confidence when they do not put up the stats.

-You bring in a new guy, you often ends up getting someone from a good environment and puts him in a low scoring environment, its often a recipe for disaster. I think Richards and Drury are good examples of that. Philly got value from Briere. He was also a very shaky signing. I rember people tearing apart Det's signing of Rafalski (alot of money at a time the cap was much lower). Rafalski was golden for Detroit. But he was also put in a really high octane offensive environment role.

-Under a cap you need to have flexibility. You get that flexibility by having players with alot of value.

Mike Richards is what he is. For Philly, his last four years he scored 75, 80, 62 and 66 pts. For LA he scored 44 pts in 74 games. Depending on the environment he is in, he will score around 50-70 pts for his team in the NHL. If you get a need to trade him, its so much darn easier to do it if he is closer to 70 than 50. That is just a fact.

But Ola, we need alot of things its not like Slats would turn down a great offensive D if one fell into his laps?

I think enough is enough here. Our best PPQB and offensive D since Leetch left/became old has been Tom Poti. That says it all. If you look at the top 25-30 offensive D's in this league, we haven't had one of them since 2004. Twenty-o-freakin-four. How many players confidence have we burnt because of it? How deep have we etched the notion that we are a low scoring team into the walls of this org?

We have covered this issue lately. Maloney and Renney were given alot of power after the 03' season. Slats went out to media and complained that he was threated like he had shot the prime minister of Canada for his job in NY. He brought in experineced credible hockey people, several of them, and gave them alot of power. If I remember correctly, Slats wasn't even apart of presenting signings etc for a long while (?). Our leadership concluded that to get this extremely unstable, clusterF of an organization out of one of the deepest mess an NHL club ever had been in -- out of it -- we needed a very solid goaltender. We drafted Blackburn. We drafted Montoya. We drafted Hank. We traded for goalies. We signed goalies. This was outspoken, I remember Maloney talking about it. We are going to get a goalie, we won't stop.

-- I think that is the approch we gotta have when it comes to getting a right shooting offensive D. --

I like Hagelin. I like Kreider. I like, love, JT Miller. I like Fasth/Lindberg. Moore. MDZ. I think we gotta think twice about moving more top picks. I don't wanna loose anyone. But I think the value of getting a good offensive right shooting D is higher (or a left shooting D, but then either Staal or McD is moving). There are players out there that could be had, there always is, we just gotta be prepared to pay a price and be prepared to take risks. If it ends up costing us Hags, Miller, Skjei and a 1st, or something like that, in two-three seperate deals before we finally find our guy, so freakin be it, we just need to get one. The cost of being without one is higher.

Last edited by Ola: 08-08-2013 at 09:09 AM.
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