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Old
10-10-2010, 12:20 AM
  #26
Karitimes
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If we have Raycroft back there we are 0 - 2 and in a world of hurt. Kari will make saves all year, the D just gotta take care of the odd rebound and be positionally aware. Some also need to let the goalie see the damn biscuit...Daley...the big Finn will make the save.

Yeah, the core is weak. Robidas is the leader like it or not. He's by no means upper echelon material, but he guts it out each night. His style is important for the young players to see firsthand, but I don't expect to see many vast confidence improvements as long as Robidas is the top guy. A true top pairing, skilled and reliable defender would instill so much in the entire group. Robidas is my type of player, but he's not the guy that is going to get this nervous group to settle down and play how they can. Some aren't great players, but others have untapped potential and just need to come of age. I think a guy like Blindenbacher, being 27 and having played at the highest level on the world stage, would be less effected by the pressures. I suspect he'll be called up after a 10 or so game stint if he shows well and adjusts to the NA surface and style. The Swiss play a shutdown, stingy game and he was a key player for them against Canada and the USA; him and Streit were able to shut down the games elite. I will be shocked if the guy doesn't get a shot before the new year.

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10-10-2010, 01:26 AM
  #27
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I'm glad I wasn't the one to bring this up. I was going to give it at least five games but since it has already been done...

Even Razor commented in as nice a way as he could on the one play in particular where Niskanen couldn't keep the puck in (I think it was on the PP) against a defender with no stick. He rushed himself to make a decision and the decision he made was to pop it right into the defender's glove, and out it went. Yes, it's just one play, but two games into the season he is reminding the realists that he is what he is without much hope of becoming significantly more.

Kritter put it best earlier in this thread when she said that at best he will never be an elite offensive defenseman. As such his decisions have to be better. Sadly, you can't teach brains. You can groom someone who has brains but you can't create them where they don't exist.

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Old
10-10-2010, 02:08 AM
  #28
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Niskanen has been below average both games with flashes of much better (I saw a couple really nice uses of his body to take a guy out of the play along the way) and more moments of facepalm.

His problems are 90 percent mental, and they always have been. He panics way too early and tries to make decision two or three before decision one has been accomplished. Take tonight - he tried to pass the puck across the zone before he received it in the OT, causing him to miss the puck entirely. He panics off the puck mostly in odd-man situations and overplays them because he's trying to do too much. It's all related to a panic button that's far too easily pushed for an NHL player. Maybe it is all related to confidence, but it's a catch-22 at this point because he play should lead to a lowered confidence level, which leads to more panic, which leads to... It's up to him to snap out of it and calm the heck down or for the Stars to find him a change of scenery where he can rebuild from the ground up.

I don't know if you can teach that low panic threshhold. Heck, honestly, they need to combine him and Daley. Daley has way too little urgency in his decision making much of the time, which also causes problems.

At this point, though, when there has been next to no improvement in the critical areas of Niskanen's game since the second half of his rookie year, I think we have to start lowering our expectations for him. He's going to be a 4/5 who moonlights as a lower-tier power play specialist, not a 2 and a legit power play quarterback.

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Old
10-10-2010, 02:19 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piqued1457 View Post
Daley's been bad also, no doubt. The difference is that he actually had a decent year last year and he's also a known as a bit of a slow starter.

There are many problems, but at some point you've got to start somewhere.
Daley hasn't been as bad in my eyes (and the eyes of the people at DBD), though all of them except maybe Skrastins have had their moments of fail.

Daley is what he is - he's not going to be a guy who's great in front of his own net. He really needs Fistric to help him out there, and Fistric hasn't been great to start the season either. He's prone to the turnover because he's willing to try and pass the puck through dangerous traffic, but he is also good at sealing off players one-on-one (they had him on Kovalchuk for the final 30 minutes of the Devils game and it made a world of difference).

He's your average 3/4 guy who makes the decisions and mistakes typical of that caliber of player. He skates better than that level of player, but like Niskanen, I think you have to stop expecting more out of him despite was the team PR line about the young offensive defensemen are.

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10-10-2010, 09:33 AM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kritter471 View Post
. . . I think we have to start lowering our expectations for [Niskanen].
Start? Surely you jest. At this point I'm not sure how anyone would have expectations of Niskanen above a 5/6. Heck, I sometimes wonder if that's 7 or 8 spots high.

On a positive note, thus far he's been willing to play physical, which hasn't been there previously. Perhaps some of that alleged off-season work has given him confidence in going against players bigger than he is.

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10-10-2010, 09:43 AM
  #31
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Razor is Niskanen's biggest pimp. Where are these improvements he keeps flapping lips about?

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Old
10-10-2010, 11:03 AM
  #32
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Why Crawford doesn't team up Skrastins and Daley? Should be a good defensive pairing!

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Old
10-10-2010, 11:17 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
Why Crawford doesn't team up Skrastins and Daley? Should be a good defensive pairing!
Because we've found it to be terrible.

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Old
10-10-2010, 11:28 AM
  #34
piqued
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No, actually it's the best possible pairing for those 2. All of Daley's gains last year came while playing with Skrastins. They're infuriatingly passive, yes, but they don't get scored on. And Crawford promptly forgot that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kritter471 View Post
I don't know if you can teach that low panic threshhold. Heck, honestly, they need to combine him and Daley. Daley has way too little urgency in his decision making much of the time, which also causes problems.
This is a great observation.

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Old
10-10-2010, 11:36 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
Why Crawford doesn't team up Skrastins and Daley? Should be a good defensive pairing!
There isn't a good defensive pairing involving Daley. There isn't a good defensive pairing involving Skrastins either.

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Old
10-10-2010, 12:06 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad_ View Post
There isn't a good defensive pairing involving Daley. There isn't a good defensive pairing involving Skrastins either.
I'm gonna go with Chad_ here, piqued.

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Old
10-10-2010, 12:31 PM
  #37
piqued
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I didn't say it was good, I said it was the best possible. Do you want something that actively hurts you or something that doesn't? I've already said repeatedly that I would've gotten rid of Niskanen and Skrastins through any means possible over the offseason, but they're still here and we have to find a way to deal with them.

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Old
10-10-2010, 01:35 PM
  #38
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I was replying to Sebastian, not Piqued, but note I do disagree with Piqued on his suggestion a Daley and Skrastins pairing is the "best possible scenario. Perhaps he means to imply when those two have been paired together they have played their best, but in my view I'd rather have Niskanen with Skrastins so I could give those guys minuscule even strength minutes and not have two pairings I want to hide.

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Old
04-23-2011, 04:19 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piqued View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketxav9 View Post
how many points do you guys think he will have this year ?
10
I just wanted to congratulate myself on this precisely accurate prediction.

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Old
04-23-2011, 05:34 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piqued View Post
I just wanted to congratulate myself on this precisely accurate prediction.


Prediction for next season o' wise one?

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Old
04-23-2011, 08:07 PM
  #41
piqued
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Daley sets a New Career High!™ but still can't break 30 points.

Goligoski outscores Neal for the 2nd year in a row.

Selanne scores 40 with a hat trick in the final game of the season in Winnipeg. Anaheim misses the playoffs and he retires. Then he un-retires in December of the next year and signs with Detroit.

By the way, I also predicted that we'd trade Richards at the deadline and make the playoffs. But I accurately gauged Niskanen's level of suck. I'm proud of that.

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