Will Anton Stralman emerge as the #4 defenseman this year?
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08-30-2013, 06:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by
Moore has potential and that's where a lot of the Moore > Del Zotto opinions are coming from but DZ has potential that hasn't been reached yet. For one, I haven't given up on his use on the PP.
Of all the things that John Tortorella has created, the best would have to be the grinders and the defensive defensemen. He made Prust from a $1M man into a $2.5M(?) man in one year (albeit it being an over payment). Boyle became a player worthy of mentioning under Torts despite his complete failure to use his size in fore checking, fighting, and positioning. Two-way guys like Step and Cally excelled. Even guys like Pyatt who were defensively okay and pinched in with board play etc. did okay under Torts because they were simply there to fill that defense first role.
Nash's game and creativity weakened as the season dragged on. At the beginning, there was a lot of flare to Nash's game and creativity. Perhaps he overdid it because of the one man crew that he had to be in CBJ but at the end of this year, he wasn't the same Nash that made him the dominant goal scorer and puck possessor he was in CBJ.
It's always argued that until DZ does something in a system that allows for defensemen to jump in more systematically, his potential is right around where he's at. Yet for John Moore, there's an assumption that he will grow into a better player and grow into the #4 position and into a PPQB. The familiarity with DZ has almost bittered fans' perception of him.
In the Kreider debates, the question has been where the fault lies and how much was on Kreider and how much was on Torts. On the Torts side, it was argued that Torts didn't overlook his shortcomings a bit more and let his strength develop and slowly mold and help him improve on his weaknesses playing away from the puck.
For DZ, he thrives when he can jump in on the play not only by being more aggressive in keeping the puck in and distributing the puck, but actually carry the play in the offensive zone a little. He has that upside which has yet to be used to its fullest.
Stralman has been sound defensively and doesn't get noticed much which is a great thing for bottom pairing/bottom three guys. He's said to be the second best d man last year but I doubt that would be the case if he filled in the role of the #2 dman on the team. He's the big fish in the bottom 3 pond and I think that big fish perception is the reason why he's being valued a lot more than guys that has shown to have an impact on the game offensive, on the PP, and maintain solid defensive play at the same time, say DZ.
Stralman is perfect right now because of how much flexibility we have by having him on the team. He can fill in and be given a bigger role should we decide to ship one of our dman in a deal. That to me doesn't really equate to Stralman's inherent value though. It's like having a backup charger for your phone. It automatically makes your primary charger less valuable and it also makes the backup charger something that's to be treasured and kept safely.
I unno. Stralsy has been dependable this year but at what point was he a workhorse who shuts down top offensive players on the opposition, broke a game open offensively, sparked, the offense, saved a game etc.
Could DZ be used better on even strength by a coach who believes scoring goals is a good thing? Absolutely.
For one though, is AV even that coach? And two, I think a little less powerplay time for Del Zotto would be good. There's no reason he has to get almost a full minute more than any other defender. And of course Girardi was 2nd in PPTOI which is even more baffling because he has to be the worst PPQB in the league.
Look at at most team's PPTOI and for the most part their top 3 and sometimes their top 4 are all D-men. For the Rangers, only Del Zotto cracks the top 7. That's hurts the team and it hurts Del Zotto.
I don't even know anymore if I'm more angry at Del Zotto or the way Del Zotto is used.
Ben Hutton is my Spirit Animal. Jeff Gorton is not.
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