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You can never have enough defensemen

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10-07-2011, 01:50 AM
  #1
Beacon
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You can never have enough defensemen

One hockey truism is that you can never have enough defensemen.

A couple of years ago, we looked set. We had Staal, Girardi, and Rosie as proven vets. We had Gilroy, MDZ and Sanguinetti looking promising. We also had McDonagh, Sauer, Potter, Valentenko and Kundratek. Surely, we were set.

But not quite. Sanguinetti and Potter couldnt hack it, Gilroy sucked, MDZ couldnt play defense, and Rosie was quickly aging and making more mistakes.

So the Rangers draft McIlrath and acquire Erixon. By this summer, we have Staal, Girardi, Sauer and McD in the top 4. MDZ, Erixon, Vally, Kundratek all looked close to NHL-ready, with McIlrath on the way. We are set, right? Not really.

Staal is out indefinitely, Vally and Kundratek didnt look good. Erixon is not ready. MDZ may or may not be ready.

Suddenly, we again have defenseman shortage.

Imagine if we did not trade for Erixon.

The truth is that defense is very risky and so many bust.

We are getting better, but we need more blueline prospects. I hope the Rangers continue to draft defensemen in lower rounds. Hopefully one will turn into diamond in the rough. We arent desperate, but we do need more quantity of defensemen.

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10-07-2011, 02:04 AM
  #2
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Logistically, it's true. On any team there are half as many defensemen as there are forwards. A forward or two goes down, you have a weakened line. Not the biggest thing in the world.

Two defensemen go down, and from different lines, and you have two weakened pairings, and two thirds of your defense is compromised.

People act like we weren't in a good place heading into this season

Staal Girardi
McD Sauer
MDZ Eminger
Erixon

Personally, I'd see Erixon and Eminger switched, Though i like the idea of him getting 30 min a night in the AHL. We were in a pretty decent place heading into the season.

Then the news about Marc came in.

Then Sauer got hit.

Then they said they wanted Erixon in the AHL


Suddenly half of our projected defense is out of the line up. It's rough.

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10-07-2011, 02:54 AM
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Its a tough balancing act

to have "enough" defense to have a slot or two open for graduation from the A into the NHL, yet to have "enough" defense to cover for injury.

I think NY needs a guy to carry the puck out of danger and until he truly arrives they will be filling square holes with round pegs

The current injury to Staal puts even more pressure on the powerplay to perform and the game tactics shift to NY keeping the 3rd forward high in order to support the defense on the transition.

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10-07-2011, 03:17 AM
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I agree with the premise. I know a lot of people think we've got a lot of great d prospects and we should stop drafting d-men high and start trading some of what we have away. Personally I don't think you can ever have enough. It's the toughest position to learn and usually takes a while to develop a good player.

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10-07-2011, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
One hockey truism is that you can never have enough defensemen.


The truth is that defense is very risky and so many bust.

We are getting better, but we need more blueline prospects. I hope the Rangers continue to draft defensemen in lower rounds. Hopefully one will turn into diamond in the rough. We arent desperate, but we do need more quantity of defensemen.
Good post. Many prospects do bust and it has to be difficult to predict who will make it and who will not. Players such as Sangs, Vtank, Gilroy and etc were in the pipeline a few years ago and now they are not. Like you mentioned things can change quickly, just keep drafting potential players and see what happens into the future.

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10-07-2011, 07:19 AM
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I understand the point and, while it's disappointing that V-Tank for example didn't look as ready as I thought he would, it's a bit disingenuous to take this situation and use it as an indictment of the team's D-men pipeline. Could we use another candidate right now? Absolutely. But if we had him, we'd be talking about a guy who's maybe ready for 10 min a night on the third pair, not a guy who's ready to step in and be a #1. The fact of the matter is that when you lose your top defenseman, you're almost always going to have to struggle to cover for it. Same with your top forward (to a lesser degree) and your top goalie (to a greater). Of course they need to keep drafting depth defensemen, but I don't think the situation the team finds itself in is reflective of a failure to address the position recently. The sad fact is that it's just not possible to replace a Staal when he's out for an extended period of time.

(I do wish they had signed one middle of the road vet over the summer, however.)

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10-08-2011, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynRangersFan View Post
I understand the point and, while it's disappointing that V-Tank for example didn't look as ready as I thought he would, it's a bit disingenuous to take this situation and use it as an indictment of the team's D-men pipeline. Could we use another candidate right now? Absolutely. But if we had him, we'd be talking about a guy who's maybe ready for 10 min a night on the third pair, not a guy who's ready to step in and be a #1. The fact of the matter is that when you lose your top defenseman, you're almost always going to have to struggle to cover for it. Same with your top forward (to a lesser degree) and your top goalie (to a greater). Of course they need to keep drafting depth defensemen, but I don't think the situation the team finds itself in is reflective of a failure to address the position recently. The sad fact is that it's just not possible to replace a Staal when he's out for an extended period of time.

(I do wish they had signed one middle of the road vet over the summer, however.)

I wasn't necessarily talking about Staal and definitely did not think the team failed. But it's worth observing that you should always keep adding young defensemen to your farm.

It's also a warning to the Islanders, in a way. They think they can add one young defenseman with top-4 potential and that will resolve all their problems. What they don't realize is that they will need to add at least a half a dozen of those just to have a couple of those actually become top-4.

The Rangers are ok in this department, but I like the idea of adding a couple of young defensemen drafter in later rounds. This year we got Sam Noreau and Peter Ceresnak. We should keep adding guys like that.

We can't really afford to draft a defenseman in the first two rounds because we have a big RW hole that will need to be filled 2 years after the next draft when Gaborik's contract runs out and he'll 32 years old.

I really think we need to draft a pair of right wingers next June, but after that, we should pull at least a couple of defensemen to replenish our system.

By the next draft, Girardi will be 28, and considering that defensemen normally take 4-6 years to develop, we should draft a bunch of blueliners in later rounds right now or else we'll be stuck having to draft a defenseman in the first round in 2 years.

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10-08-2011, 02:13 AM
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This is why I wanted to sign one more guy over the summer. I thought White would have been the perfect fit but oh well. IMO he's a better option than Woywitka.

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10-08-2011, 07:17 AM
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It's not just drafting d-men. Getting an undrafted Girardi certainly helps and hopefully Parlett will be another one. There are quite a number of defensemen who were never drafted. Defensemen tend to need a bit more development than forwards.

On Valentenko/Kundratek it may be too early to give up on them. Injuries come along and either might get another chance. Just because their camps weren't great doesn't mean this year or their career is over.

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10-08-2011, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I wasn't necessarily talking about Staal and definitely did not think the team failed. But it's worth observing that you should always keep adding young defensemen to your farm.

It's also a warning to the Islanders, in a way. They think they can add one young defenseman with top-4 potential and that will resolve all their problems. What they don't realize is that they will need to add at least a half a dozen of those just to have a couple of those actually become top-4.

The Rangers are ok in this department, but I like the idea of adding a couple of young defensemen drafter in later rounds. This year we got Sam Noreau and Peter Ceresnak. We should keep adding guys like that.

We can't really afford to draft a defenseman in the first two rounds because we have a big RW hole that will need to be filled 2 years after the next draft when Gaborik's contract runs out and he'll 32 years old.

I really think we need to draft a pair of right wingers next June, but after that, we should pull at least a couple of defensemen to replenish our system.

By the next draft, Girardi will be 28, and considering that defensemen normally take 4-6 years to develop, we should draft a bunch of blueliners in later rounds right now or else we'll be stuck having to draft a defenseman in the first round in 2 years.
Fair enough - if that was your point, then I absolutely agree. Honestly, the team needs to keep drafting a fair mix of everything, including D-men and the occasional goalie. I'm a big fan of BPA in the earlier rounds and then fliers on projects/injured players/little known guys in the later rounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
It's not just drafting d-men. Getting an undrafted Girardi certainly helps and hopefully Parlett will be another one. There are quite a number of defensemen who were never drafted. Defensemen tend to need a bit more development than forwards.

On Valentenko/Kundratek it may be too early to give up on them. Injuries come along and either might get another chance. Just because their camps weren't great doesn't mean this year or their career is over.
Agreed - didn't mean to imply that I thought they were done, simply not ready. I thought V-Tank looked good enough to stay after last year's camp.

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10-08-2011, 09:30 AM
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The organization was very, very pleased with itself this summer in regards to the young defense.

Sauer developed, something nobody had counted on into a second pair defenseman, and McDonagh received an emergency callup and all of a sudden became a better defenseman for the Rangers than he had been for the Whalepack.

Rangers co felt comfortable enough in their crew, and the idea that someone could step up of all the youngsters this year that they threw the book at Brad Richards.

Mercifully, they were able to re-sign Eminger who I had said all summer was going to be a starting 6 defenseman for this team. Nobody believed me.

Our defense is a weakness and will continue to be until we get Staal back. No matter what stop gaps we acquire, none of them are all star defenseman capable of playing 25 minutes a night against top quality competition. We can only hope McDonagh continues to explode in his development.

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10-08-2011, 09:34 AM
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i agree 100% that you can never have too much depth on defense...but to be fair the problem at the moment isn't a lack of depth, it is missing marc staal. we could have 30,000 'depth' guys in the system and if none of them are top pair or top 4 guys it doesn't help us at the moment.

i think our blueline and blueline depth will be fine if we get staal back

and of the options over the summer, that we could have afford under the cap i don't know that there were any top 4 guys available then either.

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10-08-2011, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SLU Hockey View Post
The organization was very, very pleased with itself this summer in regards to the young defense.

Sauer developed, something nobody had counted on into a second pair defenseman, and McDonagh received an emergency callup and all of a sudden became a better defenseman for the Rangers than he had been for the Whalepack.

Rangers co felt comfortable enough in their crew, and the idea that someone could step up of all the youngsters this year that they threw the book at Brad Richards.

Mercifully, they were able to re-sign Eminger who I had said all summer was going to be a starting 6 defenseman for this team. Nobody believed me.

Our defense is a weakness and will continue to be until we get Staal back. No matter what stop gaps we acquire, none of them are all star defenseman capable of playing 25 minutes a night against top quality competition. We can only hope McDonagh continues to explode in his development.
I don't think anyone was expecting that Staal would be a question mark but his not being in the lineup changes the picture dramatically. If he were in the lineup I doubt whether there would be much worry about our defense at all though we could use a qb pwp type and it would be nice to have more of a crease clearer. The silver lining is maybe a McDonagh or a Sauer grows a little more. Apart from the penalty in overtime yesterday McDonagh looked really good. Hopefully Staal is back sooner than later.

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10-08-2011, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
I don't think anyone was expecting that Staal would be a question mark but his not being in the lineup changes the picture dramatically. If he were in the lineup I doubt whether there would be much worry about our defense at all though we could use a qb pwp type and it would be nice to have more of a crease clearer. The silver lining is maybe a McDonagh or a Sauer grows a little more. Apart from the penalty in overtime yesterday McDonagh looked really good. Hopefully Staal is back sooner than later.
On the whole silver lining front, I have to say I was impressed with both MDZ and Erixon last night. Neither looked out of place - and I saw some flashes of the good MDZ from his rookie year. Even on the goal, MDZ was in the right place, playing the player the right way - sometimes Mike Richards just makes an awesome play with one hand while being defended. (That's why he's Mike Richards!)

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10-08-2011, 10:42 AM
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This discussion happening at all tells you how important Staal is to this squad. With him, defense is a position of strength... Without him it's a weakness. There's only one other player/position on this team that can boast that.

I'm sooooo worried this turns into more than just missing a few games/weeks.

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10-08-2011, 10:45 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
I don't think anyone was expecting that Staal would be a question mark but his not being in the lineup changes the picture dramatically. If he were in the lineup I doubt whether there would be much worry about our defense at all though we could use a qb pwp type and it would be nice to have more of a crease clearer. The silver lining is maybe a McDonagh or a Sauer grows a little more. Apart from the penalty in overtime yesterday McDonagh looked really good. Hopefully Staal is back sooner than later.
The big issue with Staal being out is that while McD can probably handle 2nd pairing minutes, we're uncomfortable with him playing 1st pair minutes against top lines. MDZ might be ready for 3rd pair minutes, but 2nd pair minutes against 2nd-3rd lines could be trouble. Losing a top guy like Staal forces everyone out of their comfort zone.

I agree with the premise that one can never have enough defensemen, but if Staal was here, every one of our defensemen would be playing within their comfort zone.

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