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Rangers feel Stepan is year away,McD ready

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Old
01-10-2010, 03:58 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
Whenever I see the debate about 1st pairing defensemen on hfboards it seems to be discussed that playing a 2-way game and having offensive ability is a mandate for becoming a first pairing defenseman.... I never understood that.... What if the guy develops into a top notch defensive defenseman who moves the puck well through the defensive & neutral zone but just doesn't have the knack for the game in the offensive zone?

I would take two defensive-minded shut down defenseman on my first pairing any day if they were good at their jobs.... I can recall countless times where we played Ottawa and our announcers would (at times) label Phillips and Volchenkov (sp?) as one of the best shut-down defensive pairings in the game and I don't think anyone could argue they weren't first pairing material.... Phillips routinely only puts up points in the late teens to 20's.... Volchenkov puts up points in the teens.....

While having a d-man play a 2-way game is ideal, I don't think having above average offensive ability should be the mandate for becoming a first pairing d-man.... Their job should be to play defense first, and if a player is exceptional at that, that's good enough for a first pairing role for me.... The fact that other teams have 1st pairing d-men who do put up exceptional offensive numbers, that's just icing on the cake IMHO.... Offense can make you a first pairing d-man (see Mike Green) but it isn't a mandate in my eyes. If you would never see anyone argue that an elite forward isn't a first line guy because he doesn't play defense, by that logic we shouldn't see people say a d-man can't be a 1st pairing d-man because he's not good at offense.

If Ryan McD can play a similar game to Staal (when he's on his game) in a few years, that would be a very nasty/effective defensive pairing if those 2 played together and had chemistry.
I thought I addressed the defensive part of his game with the first part of my post by saying he's more like Brad Stuart. Stuart plays a solid hitting game, but is prone to lapses in coverage, so is McDonagh. At this point in their development, I'd feel much more comfortable icing a Staal - Sauer shut-down pairing than a Staal - McD.

The notion of wanting offense from your first pairing isn't limited to this forum. True #1 d-men play both sides of the puck; ie guys like Weber, Lidstrom, Neidermeyer, Chara, etc. #1b often sacrifice some offense for defensive prowess but we already have Staal to fill that role.

Point being, it's not just offensive ability. I don't think McDonagh's defensive game is consistent enough to be on the first pairing.

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Old
01-10-2010, 04:02 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by emodwarf View Post
Aren't they both lefties?
It's not against the law to have two lefties play together, it's happened before.

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Old
01-10-2010, 04:21 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
McDonagh is much closer to Brad Stuart than he is Jeff Beukeboom. He's mobile and likes to throw the body, but he's not necessarily a crease-clearer like Beuke was.

I'll be shocked if he turns into a 1st pairing guy at this point. He was projected to be one when he was drafted, but he never developed his offensive game the way scouts had hoped he would. Still, he has a good shot and can be an option on the 2nd PP unit and will most likely be a 2nd pairing guy.

I mean, I dunno what to tell people who say "I've watched him and he looks like a 1st pairing guy." That's just ridiculous. I guess I attribute that to the fact we haven't had a true first pairing guy in the lineup in quite some time. Staal is getting closer, but he needs more seasoning.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Stepan spend another year at school. He's just not developed enough physically to step into the AHL, and he doesn't seem like the type to go play one year in the CHL.
Agree completely with your assessment of McD.

It also doesn't make sense for Stepan to go to Juniors and be an overage player in the league..what is that going to do to help him? The only thing I can think of it play 2x as many games, thus getting him ready for a pro schedule. Like a few other posters stated, that is the first I heard of this rumor.

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01-10-2010, 04:21 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by we want cup View Post
Perhaps McD could be paired with Staal and we could have a legit shut down D-pairing.
I think it makes more sense with Staal and DelZotto, as a big,shutdown defenseman like Staal can cover a bit for DZ and allow him to take more chances offensively, the same way that Beuk did for Leetch. Now obviously, DZ will have to improve a lot in his own end to be a top-pairing guy, but I'd say he definitely has the capacity. And if he's able to take some big steps in the second half of this season and next year, it would take quite a bit of pressure off McDonagh when he does eventually come up.

I dream of a long-term backline of Staal-DZ on the top pair and Sangs-McD on the second pairing.

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01-10-2010, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Boom Boom Geoffrion View Post
Which team has the cap space, and the need for a 5M dollar second-pairing dman?
10 teams have the cap space to take Rosie. Two teams can take 3 Rosies and still have cap space left, so that would not be an issue for them.

And for them he's not a $5 defenseman, he's a $3.5 defenseman. He's well worth that, especially since they wouldn't have to sign him to long term contracts (as would be needed with UFAs), nor give up significant assets (as would be needed with cheap, young D).

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01-10-2010, 04:43 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
I thought I addressed the defensive part of his game with the first part of my post by saying he's more like Brad Stuart. Stuart plays a solid hitting game, but is prone to lapses in coverage, so is McDonagh. At this point in their development, I'd feel much more comfortable icing a Staal - Sauer shut-down pairing than a Staal - McD.

The notion of wanting offense from your first pairing isn't limited to this forum. True #1 d-men play both sides of the puck; ie guys like Weber, Lidstrom, Neidermeyer, Chara, etc. #1b often sacrifice some offense for defensive prowess but we already have Staal to fill that role.

Point being, it's not just offensive ability. I don't think McDonagh's defensive game is consistent enough to be on the first pairing.
I would want DZ with Staal. One a more offensive guy, one more defensive.

I never thought of Staal as being more than 1B precisely because of what you said - his limited offensive potential. I think if you can't play both endso f the ice, you are more 1B than 1B.

But I think DZ has the potential to be a 1A. The kid will have 32-35 points in his rookie season as a teenager. I think he has a chance to be a point per game performance in his best years. I think in a couple of years, he can reasonably be relied upon for 60-65 points per game. This would be particularly so if he had a good defensive blueliner as a partner who'd cover the rear end and allow DZ to pinch in and otherwise concentrate on offense.

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01-10-2010, 04:47 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by FLYLine24 View Post
Agree completely with your assessment of McD.

It also doesn't make sense for Stepan to go to Juniors and be an overage player in the league..what is that going to do to help him? The only thing I can think of it play 2x as many games, thus getting him ready for a pro schedule. Like a few other posters stated, that is the first I heard of this rumor.
CHL would be a waste of time for Step. He'll run up 30 points in the first 15 games, then cruise the rest of the way with point per game as he'll to too bored with competition.

A better place would be the AHL. He can step in as a first line center between Parenteau and either Byers or Grachev.

He'd play 80 games, face adult opposition, and learn the Rangers system.

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01-10-2010, 04:49 PM
  #58
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Perhaps McD could be paired with Staal and we could have a legit shut down D-pairing.
Bingo....

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01-10-2010, 05:44 PM
  #59
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Eh I think Stepan is turning pro after his sophomore year. Despite them saying he may need another year.

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01-10-2010, 06:32 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post

True #1 d-men play both sides of the puck; ie guys like Weber, Lidstrom, Neidermeyer, Chara, etc. #1b often sacrifice some offense for defensive prowess but we already have Staal to fill that role.
That's the only point where we disagree.... Would you say Phillips and Volchenkov are not a first pairing D-men or just not "true" first pairing d-men?

Scott Stevens didn't provide much offense the second half of his career.... He was still a true #1 or no???


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01-10-2010, 06:50 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
That's the only point where we disagree.... Would you say Phillips and Volchenkov are not a first pairing D-men or just not "true" first pairing d-men?

Scott Stevens didn't provide much offense the second half of his career.... He was still a true #1 or no???
Personally I think there is a difference between a true #1 dman and a first pairing dman (#2). A #1 would be a player like Lids, Keith, Pronger, and Neids. Doughty, EJ, Myers and Bogo could get there, but I truly believe if Staal can put up 35-40 points a season he is a #1. A first pairing dman would be a player like Green, Seabrook, Mitchell who won't play in all situations, but are the best at what they do. Phillips and Volchenkov are probably #2 dmen because of their defensive prowess, which is what I think MDZ and Sangs are capable of reaching on day offensively.

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01-10-2010, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonialsHockey10 View Post
Personally I think there is a difference between a true #1 dman and a first pairing dman (#2). A #1 would be a player like Lids, Keith, Pronger, and Neids. Doughty, EJ, Myers and Bogo could get there, but I truly believe if Staal can put up 35-40 points a season he is a #1. A first pairing dman would be a player like Green, Seabrook, Mitchell who won't play in all situations, but are the best at what they do. Phillips and Volchenkov are probably #2 dmen because of their defensive prowess, which is what I think MDZ and Sangs are capable of reaching on day offensively.
So in otherwords, it's completely ambiguous and unclear?

Mike Green is just average defensively yet many people will label him a #1 because of his elite offensive abilities.... Staal is average offensively but very good defensively and most people say he can't be a true #1 d-man because he doesn't bring it offensively.... So Green lacks defense ability and Staal lacks offensive ability and one is a #1 d-man and the other isn't.... That's where I have gripes....

No one would question that Scott Stevens was a #1 pairing d-man yet from 1994 on, he was only putting up points in the high 20's.... He didn't create a lot of offense at all the latter half of his career but people would still agree he would be a #1. Why do guys like Staal and McDonaugh get painted with a different brush just because there are more offensive minded D-men in the league? In my eyes the position is about playing defense first and foremost..... The offense is just an added bonus.... If a player is an elite shutdown D-man, he's a #1 in my book, no questions asked....


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01-10-2010, 08:55 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
That's the only point where we disagree.... Would you say Phillips and Volchenkov are not a first pairing D-men or just not "true" first pairing d-men?

Scott Stevens didn't provide much offense the second half of his career.... He was still a true #1 or no???
Like I said, the difference between a #1 and a #1b is that two-way ability. I wouldn't consider Stevens a true #1 defensemen, but a first-pairing #1b? Sure.

Guys like Weber, Chara, Lidstrom, Niedermeyer, Kaberle etc, are #1 d-men. Guys like Green, Seabrook, Regehr and Volchenkov are not.

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01-10-2010, 10:05 PM
  #64
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Does anyone else think it's absolutely ludicrous that (according to the article) some people were worried that Stepan would leave Wisconsin mid-season to go join a Junior team.... Is that even possible????

I read that and was really scratching my head.... What type of leader would just quit his team mid-season and leave college mid semester????

None of that made any sense to me.
Yes it is possible and yes it has happened in the past. Okposo left Minnesota to join the Islanders farm team when it was thought he wasn't develping fast enough. The Islanders encouraged him. Closer to home, I think Bryce Lampman went this route several years ago.

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01-10-2010, 10:13 PM
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Teams with cap space are not lining up to get Rozsival. The team I am most familliar with, Phoenix, has three big contracts (Jovo, Doan and Bryzgalov) who just happen to be the best three players on the team. They also are eating up almost 37% of the $41MM the Coyotes are spending. The Coyotes have a few middle class players and then plenty of veterans on one year contracts and young players still on entry level. If they were going to take on another big contract (which they are probably not until the ownership is settled) it would have to be an very good player and most likely a scorer. You need to disconnect "cap space" and "moving Rozsival". Ain't happening. If the Rangers decide to move Rozsival in the offseason, it will probably be to a team much closer to the cap rather than further away. Teams on a budget need great value for what they are paying. Rozy, even at $3.5MM (with a $5MM cap hit) isn't great value.

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01-10-2010, 10:21 PM
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People who think we are going to get a Big Beukeboom type player in McD are going to be very disappointed.
maybe with a few NHL seasons under his belt?

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01-10-2010, 10:35 PM
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It's not against the law to have two lefties play together, it's happened before.
Its not mandate, but there are beneficial reasons for it.

A couple that pop out at me are:

•Easier to play the puck on the boards at the point.

•And when playing the puck in the defensive zone, you can keep your body between the puck and your own goal. Instead of handling the puck toward the middle.

To me those are the biggest reasons.

And, assuming we can rid ourselves of Redden and Rozsival:

Staal-Girardi
McDonagh-Gilroy
Del Zotto-Sanguinetti

Would keep everyone on their side.

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01-11-2010, 05:06 AM
  #68
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I liked the George Brett reference

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01-11-2010, 10:44 AM
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With the way the NHL is these days, I'm hesistant to get into "first line/second line debates."

With the exception of ELITE talent (guys like Gaborik), I'm starting to believe more and more that the old "line" projection method is becoming outdated. Frankly, I think that trend has been brewing for years and it's one of the things that HF struggles with.

A guy like McD will be a stay at home guy who can throw a good check, I'd say Orpik is an alright ballpark comparison. He's not going to provide a ton of offense, but I think he'll be capable of going against/playing with high-end guys. But what line he plays on depends on who the Rangers have, who he shows chemistry with, etc. I do not believe things are simple as first line/second line anymore.

Having said that, I'd say he's a level below Marc Staal. For all the grief THIS board has had this season, Marc Staal, at the age of 22/23, is a shut-down defenseman who is also on pace to add 7 goals and 27 points. It's not out of the question for him to hit 10 goals, and between 30-40 points someday.

Hockey, now more than ever, is about combinations and chemistry. I think we need to start re-thinking the way we look at things.

I also think that for many older Ranger fans, Brian Leetch unfairly changed people's views of what a number one defenseman is. Brian Leetch was a number one defenseman, but more than that, he was an elite, HOF player. Not many guys, even if they are number one defenseman, are going to be THAT good.

On these boards, older fans tend to favor offensive defenseman. Afterall, they grew up with guys like Leetch and Zubov. But I don't think only offensive defenseman are true number 1 defenseman. I think defensive defenseman are #1 guys as well and there's not magic "two-way" number for determining what makes a #1 defenseman. IMO, that's falling back into that old school "line" formula of thinking.

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01-11-2010, 11:28 AM
  #70
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Originally Posted by Edge View Post
With the way the NHL is these days, I'm hesistant to get into "first line/second line debates."

With the exception of ELITE talent (guys like Gaborik), I'm starting to believe more and more that the old "line" projection method is becoming outdated. Frankly, I think that trend has been brewing for years and it's one of the things that HF struggles with.

A guy like McD will be a stay at home guy who can throw a good check, I'd say Orpik is an alright ballpark comparison. He's not going to provide a ton of offense, but I think he'll be capable of going against/playing with high-end guys. But what line he plays on depends on who the Rangers have, who he shows chemistry with, etc. I do not believe things are simple as first line/second line anymore.

Having said that, I'd say he's a level below Marc Staal. For all the grief THIS board has had this season, Marc Staal, at the age of 22/23, is a shut-down defenseman who is also on pace to add 7 goals and 27 points. It's not out of the question for him to hit 10 goals, and between 30-40 points someday.

Hockey, now more than ever, is about combinations and chemistry. I think we need to start re-thinking the way we look at things.

I also think that for many older Ranger fans, Brian Leetch unfairly changed people's views of what a number one defenseman is. Brian Leetch was a number one defenseman, but more than that, he was an elite, HOF player. Not many guys, even if they are number one defenseman, are going to be THAT good.

On these boards, older fans tend to favor offensive defenseman. Afterall, they grew up with guys like Leetch and Zubov. But I don't think only offensive defenseman are true number 1 defenseman. I think defensive defenseman are #1 guys as well and there's not magic "two-way" number for determining what makes a #1 defenseman. IMO, that's falling back into that old school "line" formula of thinking.
Good post, I was thinking the same recently. Everyone always wants a comparison when it comes to prospects. I've seen so many over the years, its almost never a direct match, there are traits that sre similar, but nowadays it seems like the old 'molds' are not whats around today. Games changing

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01-11-2010, 11:49 AM
  #71
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I believe a number one defenseman is a guy who can control and dictate the pace of a game.

Whether it with offense, defense or a combination of the two, the player is instrumental in the game's flow or life stream.

Staal (and potentially MDZ) are those types of players, albeit in different ways.

We seem to have this vision that a number one defenseman is something out of Lord of the Rings, one player to rule them all. Personally, I tend to view it the first defensive unit as being of greater importance.

Whether it was Stevens and Niedermayer in New Jersey, or Leetch and Beukeboom for the Rangers, I've always felt it came down to the unit, not the players.

In that regard, Staal and MDZ have a chance to be really dangerous someday because they can shut you down AND drive you back the other way.

In other words if you have a Frodo, success will come with having a Samwise to play with him.

And with that, I've now lost all shred of "coolness" I had on these boards and officially become a major nerd.

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01-11-2010, 11:52 AM
  #72
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I think another problem that springs up around here (which Edge touched on) is that people seem to conflate the idea of a "first line" player with what I would call an "elite" player.

Chara is an "elite" defenseman.
Robyn Regehr is a "first pair" defenseman.

Joe Thornton is an "elite" center.
Paul Stastny is a "first line" center.


People say things like "Staal won't be a #1 defenseman." And they're probably right, in one sense. I doubt Staal's offensive game will ever propel him into that "elite" category. On the other hand, I do believe that he will be able to log 25+ minutes of ice time against other teams' top players, and perform well. Is anyone going to say that that isn't a "first pair" defenseman?

I think people need to be more specific with what they mean when they throw around terms like "#1 ______," "first line ____," "first pair ____."

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01-11-2010, 12:09 PM
  #73
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I think another problem that springs up around here (which Edge touched on) is that people seem to conflate the idea of a "first line" player with what I would call an "elite" player.

Chara is an "elite" defenseman.
Robyn Regehr is a "first pair" defenseman.

Joe Thornton is an "elite" center.
Paul Stastny is a "first line" center.


People say things like "Staal won't be a #1 defenseman." And they're probably right, in one sense. I doubt Staal's offensive game will ever propel him into that "elite" category. On the other hand, I do believe that he will be able to log 25+ minutes of ice time against other teams' top players, and perform well. Is anyone going to say that that isn't a "first pair" defenseman?

I think people need to be more specific with what they mean when they throw around terms like "#1 ______," "first line ____," "first pair ____."
I think those are great points.

I think we also tend to make someone the #1 defenseman by default if they have higher offensive number.

So say MDZ becomes a 15 goal, 55 point defenseman, who logs 23 minutes a night.

He is the number one guy over Staal who maybe nets 7 goals, 40 points, and logs 25 minutes a night?

That's why I've evolved my line of thinking to more a "defensive pairing" kind of guy. Obviously, everyone wants an elite defenseman. But it doesn't mean everyone who isn't an elite player, also isn't a number one defenseman.

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01-11-2010, 02:30 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by Edge View Post
With the way the NHL is these days, I'm hesistant to get into "first line/second line debates."

With the exception of ELITE talent (guys like Gaborik), I'm starting to believe more and more that the old "line" projection method is becoming outdated. Frankly, I think that trend has been brewing for years and it's one of the things that HF struggles with.

A guy like McD will be a stay at home guy who can throw a good check, I'd say Orpik is an alright ballpark comparison. He's not going to provide a ton of offense, but I think he'll be capable of going against/playing with high-end guys. But what line he plays on depends on who the Rangers have, who he shows chemistry with, etc. I do not believe things are simple as first line/second line anymore.

Having said that, I'd say he's a level below Marc Staal. For all the grief THIS board has had this season, Marc Staal, at the age of 22/23, is a shut-down defenseman who is also on pace to add 7 goals and 27 points. It's not out of the question for him to hit 10 goals, and between 30-40 points someday.

Hockey, now more than ever, is about combinations and chemistry. I think we need to start re-thinking the way we look at things.

I also think that for many older Ranger fans, Brian Leetch unfairly changed people's views of what a number one defenseman is. Brian Leetch was a number one defenseman, but more than that, he was an elite, HOF player. Not many guys, even if they are number one defenseman, are going to be THAT good.

On these boards, older fans tend to favor offensive defenseman. Afterall, they grew up with guys like Leetch and Zubov. But I don't think only offensive defenseman are true number 1 defenseman. I think defensive defenseman are #1 guys as well and there's not magic "two-way" number for determining what makes a #1 defenseman. IMO, that's falling back into that old school "line" formula of thinking.
You pretty much summed up exactly how I feel... Good post.

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Old
01-11-2010, 02:59 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by Edge View Post

In other words if you have a Frodo, success will come with having a Samwise to play with him.
Well said Edge, there's not nearly enough LOTR = hockey references around here

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