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Old
02-07-2012, 07:44 PM
  #1
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Marc Staal match-ups/TOI

I'm as big a fan of the NYR defense and Girardi as anyone, but in games like this, and games going down the stretch, I think we need to see Staal on a pairing where he can be on the ice versus team's top-lines regularly.

Staal's our thoroughbred. He's big, strong, mobile, good on the puck, smart passer, and never passes up any physical play. It seems he's exactly the guy we'd want matched up against a line like Kovalchuk's as regular as possible.

Having him paired with Bickel is not going to allow him to log those minutes. Not that Bickel hasn't played well, but he does have to be protected against a line that is solid on both wings (like Parise/Kovalchuk). It keeps Staal off the ice in way too many big situations. Can't really put them on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs where you know the opposition is going to be rolling their first, and can't have him on the ice when we absolutely need offense.

I just don't see how not having him on a pairing with a MDZ, McD, Girardi, hell even Stralman, benefits this team.

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02-07-2012, 07:51 PM
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Girardi is an All Star and every bit as good as Staal has ever been. I wouldn't demote Girardi for his play

However, this is a good problem to have right now and injuries probably will happen down the stretch or playoffs where the depth on the blue line will be a huge advantage

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02-07-2012, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
I'm as big a fan of the NYR defense and Girardi as anyone, but in games like this, and games going down the stretch, I think we need to see Staal on a pairing where he can be on the ice versus team's top-lines regularly.

Staal's our thoroughbred. He's big, strong, mobile, good on the puck, smart passer, and never passes up any physical play. It seems he's exactly the guy we'd want matched up against a line like Kovalchuk's as regular as possible.

Having him paired with Bickel is not going to allow him to log those minutes. Not that Bickel hasn't played well, but he does have to be protected against a line that is solid on both wings (like Parise/Kovalchuk). It keeps Staal off the ice in way too many big situations. Can't really put them on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs where you know the opposition is going to be rolling their first, and can't have him on the ice when we absolutely need offense.

I just don't see how not having him on a pairing with a MDZ, McD, Girardi, hell even Stralman, benefits this team.
WHY?? Girardi and McDonagh are doing great..teams winning, pairings are working...If its not broke dont fix it. Apparently there all doing this not with Staal,so why do you so badly want things changed to accomodate Staal!
Im hoping a trade goes down and B.Ryan and staal are center pieces of trade... This team dont need Staal. i dont even notice him 3/4 of the time since he got back.

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02-07-2012, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by msv957 View Post
Girardi is an All Star and every bit as good as Staal has ever been. I wouldn't demote Girardi for his play

However, this is a good problem to have right now and injuries probably will happen down the stretch or playoffs where the depth on the blue line will be a huge advantage
well said ,I agree

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02-07-2012, 08:22 PM
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This doesn't need to immediately devolve into a reading comprehension failing fanboy thread. I didn't say anything about demoting Girardi, so you can save the OMG GIrardi is all-star for a conversation where it is relevant. Staal has a mix of elements to his game that we don't have from any other defenders. He can skate with any speedy top line, and can bang with any physical lines. He also gets up ice a lot and really was poised for what might've seemingly been a breakout offensive season.

I mean is there anyone that would prefer 1 top d pairing or two? I don't get how getting a better partner for Staal is a minus for this team.

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02-07-2012, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
I'm as big a fan of the NYR defense and Girardi as anyone, but in games like this, and games going down the stretch, I think we need to see Staal on a pairing where he can be on the ice versus team's top-lines regularly.

Staal's our thoroughbred. He's big, strong, mobile, good on the puck, smart passer, and never passes up any physical play. It seems he's exactly the guy we'd want matched up against a line like Kovalchuk's as regular as possible.

Having him paired with Bickel is not going to allow him to log those minutes. Not that Bickel hasn't played well, but he does have to be protected against a line that is solid on both wings (like Parise/Kovalchuk). It keeps Staal off the ice in way too many big situations. Can't really put them on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs where you know the opposition is going to be rolling their first, and can't have him on the ice when we absolutely need offense.

I just don't see how not having him on a pairing with a MDZ, McD, Girardi, hell even Stralman, benefits this team.


Staal isnt playing like a thoroughbred.

When the Rangers clinch their playoff seed, Torts can play Staal 60 mins a game for all I care. Right now, he's playing like he's still in training camp.

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02-07-2012, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by German Way of War View Post
Staal isnt playing like a thoroughbred.

When the Rangers clinch their playoff seed, Torts can play Staal 60 mins a game for all I care. Right now, he's playing like he's still in training camp.
I don't think Staal is playing the same level he was last season, or the one before. Difference is I don't think he has any lingering effects, and he didn't lose any of his tools. The lack of the big minutes, and the pairing situation has to be playing into the level of game we're getting from him. You plug any of our top guys into his role paired with Bickel, and I don't think you'd get any better.

I don't want this to come off as I'm killing Bickel, but he's not a partner that is going to help get the unit top ice-time and top assignments. I don't see Torts trusting him with those minutes. And whenthe game gets late and Torts shortens the bench, he keeps moving Staal and MDZ together. If you want those guys together in the big crunch minutes, why not et them together more often, get Bickel with someone that can play solid (like Stralman right now, or Sauer in the future), and lets start getting some worth out of what Staal can bring.

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02-07-2012, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jay8899 View Post
WHY?? Girardi and McDonagh are doing great..teams winning, pairings are working...If its not broke dont fix it. Apparently there all doing this not with Staal,so why do you so badly want things changed to accomodate Staal!
Im hoping a trade goes down and B.Ryan and staal are center pieces of trade... This team dont need Staal. i dont even notice him 3/4 of the time since he got back.
Funny you should mention it but I was thinking very much the same thing after leaving tonite's game. Staal doesn't look anything like the player he was before the concussion. He looks very slow and indecisive but then again the whole team with the exception of Hagelin looked painfully slow and lethargic tonite.

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02-07-2012, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by German Way of War View Post
Staal isnt playing like a thoroughbred.

When the Rangers clinch their playoff seed, Torts can play Staal 60 mins a game for all I care. Right now, he's playing like he's still in training camp.
Agree. Staal may not get his game back for a long time.

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02-07-2012, 10:45 PM
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Staal looks better than he did a month ago but he's still not back to where he was last season. I honestly like Mcd against other teams top lines. He did great against the Devils #1 line. The big problem is Staal, Mcd, and MDZ play the same side so when you move Staal up to play with MDZ, MDZ has to switch sides. I'm not messing with the top pair.

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02-07-2012, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jay8899 View Post
WHY?? Girardi and McDonagh are doing great..teams winning, pairings are working...If its not broke dont fix it. Apparently there all doing this not with Staal,so why do you so badly want things changed to accomodate Staal!
Im hoping a trade goes down and B.Ryan and staal are center pieces of trade... This team dont need Staal. i dont even notice him 3/4 of the time since he got back.
Seriously. I have no words

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02-07-2012, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
I'm as big a fan of the NYR defense and Girardi as anyone, but in games like this, and games going down the stretch, I think we need to see Staal on a pairing where he can be on the ice versus team's top-lines regularly.

Staal's our thoroughbred. He's big, strong, mobile, good on the puck, smart passer, and never passes up any physical play. It seems he's exactly the guy we'd want matched up against a line like Kovalchuk's as regular as possible.

Having him paired with Bickel is not going to allow him to log those minutes. Not that Bickel hasn't played well, but he does have to be protected against a line that is solid on both wings (like Parise/Kovalchuk). It keeps Staal off the ice in way too many big situations. Can't really put them on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs where you know the opposition is going to be rolling their first, and can't have him on the ice when we absolutely need offense.

I just don't see how not having him on a pairing with a MDZ, McD, Girardi, hell even Stralman, benefits this team.
Staal is still getting back into the swing of things--missing 1/2 from training camp on clearly has had an effect on his play and it's possible that he won't be back to his "usual" self until next season. That said, Bickel plays less than 10 minutes a game, Staal has played over 20 minutes in several of his more recent games (including tonight). For the most part, it's been a 5 man rotation, especially in the second half of a game.

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02-08-2012, 12:30 AM
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Staal is still getting back into the swing of things--missing 1/2 from training camp on clearly has had an effect on his play and it's possible that he won't be back to his "usual" self until next season. That said, Bickel plays less than 10 minutes a game, Staal has played over 20 minutes in several of his more recent games (including tonight). For the most part, it's been a 5 man rotation, especially in the second half of a game.
I agree his game isn't where it needs to be. But I think part of that is because he isn't really being put in positions to expand his game. Look at tonight. He was mostly put on the ice vs Clarksons line through the first two periods. Third period, he was being shifted away from Bickel, and played noticably better (as did the team round him).

He's mostly seen ice-time against the grinding lines of oppositions, and I think that limits his game-play. Those lines focus more defensively, and getting the puck deep on the NYR. There's very little high risk plays from grinding lines, where Staal can jump in and create something due to the opposing line "reaching" to create offense. That, coupled with his partner tending to lose position quite often (as he did twice tonight during the second period which led to prolonged offense vs the NYR for those shifts and then once more where he was forced to take an interference penalty), limits Staal being anything more than a dman that gets the puck down low and makes a smart play to move the puck outside our blue-line.

The comments about Staal not being an extremely good defenseman, and not having much worth to this team, I'm not even going to address. I've witnessed some of the dumbest arguments in history on this board, and I just file that away as nonsense. Staal hasn't looked poor at all defensively, and in both the Philly game and the Boston game, he was up on the rush regularly when he was seeing minutes with MDZ.

Girardi is a solid dude, and plays a strong all around game, but he doesn't have Staal's tools. To say he does because the team has seen success is like saying Woywitka is a top 4 guy because the team had strong success through a period where Woywitka and Eminger needed to be plugged into the top 4 when Torts was still shakey on MDZ in November.

Staal has manned up against the very best in this league for the passed few seasons, matching players like Kovalchuk, AO, Sid, Giroux, Malkin both with his mobility, his smart passing, his strength, and his determined and physical defensive play.

I don't think he should be replacing Girardi and McD on the top unit right now, but you better believe we need him to be better than Girardi come playoff time. This team needs Staal to be getting the ice-time and situations where he can alleviate the strain of only having one strong defensive pairing on a team that can struggle to find offense through stretches.

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02-08-2012, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
I'm as big a fan of the NYR defense and Girardi as anyone, but in games like this, and games going down the stretch, I think we need to see Staal on a pairing where he can be on the ice versus team's top-lines regularly.

Staal's our thoroughbred. He's big, strong, mobile, good on the puck, smart passer, and never passes up any physical play. It seems he's exactly the guy we'd want matched up against a line like Kovalchuk's as regular as possible.

Having him paired with Bickel is not going to allow him to log those minutes. Not that Bickel hasn't played well, but he does have to be protected against a line that is solid on both wings (like Parise/Kovalchuk). It keeps Staal off the ice in way too many big situations. Can't really put them on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs where you know the opposition is going to be rolling their first, and can't have him on the ice when we absolutely need offense.

I just don't see how not having him on a pairing with a MDZ, McD, Girardi, hell even Stralman, benefits this team.
Eminger and Stralman should always be in the line-up over Bickel. Staal will be fine paired with one of them. He is still regaining his game however, so going with the McD-Girardi pairing against top lines is the right move.

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02-08-2012, 12:46 AM
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Bickel was "rewarded" for sticking up for his teammates on Sunday with another opportunity to play tonight, even though his 3 minor penalties on Sunday hurt the team.

After another penalty tonight that ultimately cost us the game, I'd bet my bottom dollar Eminger is back in the lineup on Thursday and paired with Staal.

Torts and Sully have handled Bickel with kid gloves all season, doing their best to avoid having him on the ice against other team's top lines and on most occassions keeping him on the bench in the 3rd periods.

Eminger was having a solid, solid season for us before he got hurt. With Eminger and Staal being a pairing now, Torts will put them out in all situations. He will be able to roll 3 D pairs for an entire game. This will definitely help Staal.

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02-08-2012, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
I don't think Staal is playing the same level he was last season, or the one before. Difference is I don't think he has any lingering effects, and he didn't lose any of his tools. The lack of the big minutes, and the pairing situation has to be playing into the level of game we're getting from him. You plug any of our top guys into his role paired with Bickel, and I don't think you'd get any better.I don't want this to come off as I'm killing Bickel, but he's not a partner that is going to help get the unit top ice-time and top assignments. I don't see Torts trusting him with those minutes. And whenthe game gets late and Torts shortens the bench, he keeps moving Staal and MDZ together. If you want those guys together in the big crunch minutes, why not et them together more often, get Bickel with someone that can play solid (like Stralman right now, or Sauer in the future), and lets start getting some worth out of what Staal can bring.
So what you're saying in the bold is that because he isn't getting as many minutes and he's playing with Bickel against lesser talent he's not playing as well?

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02-08-2012, 09:41 PM
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So what you're saying in the bold is that because he isn't getting as many minutes and he's playing with Bickel against lesser talent he's not playing as well?
Sort of, I explained further in another reply:

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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post

He's mostly seen ice-time against the grinding lines of oppositions, and I think that limits his game-play. Those lines focus more defensively, and getting the puck deep on the NYR. There's very little high risk plays from grinding lines, where Staal can jump in and create something due to the opposing line "reaching" to create offense. That, coupled with his partner tending to lose position quite often (as he did twice tonight during the second period which led to prolonged offense vs the NYR for those shifts and then once more where he was forced to take an interference penalty), limits Staal being anything more than a dman that gets the puck down low and makes a smart play to move the puck outside our blue-line.

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02-08-2012, 09:51 PM
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I agree his game isn't where it needs to be. But I think part of that is because he isn't really being put in positions to expand his game. Look at tonight. He was mostly put on the ice vs Clarksons line through the first two periods. Third period, he was being shifted away from Bickel, and played noticably better (as did the team round him).

He's mostly seen ice-time against the grinding lines of oppositions, and I think that limits his game-play. Those lines focus more defensively, and getting the puck deep on the NYR. There's very little high risk plays from grinding lines, where Staal can jump in and create something due to the opposing line "reaching" to create offense. That, coupled with his partner tending to lose position quite often (as he did twice tonight during the second period which led to prolonged offense vs the NYR for those shifts and then once more where he was forced to take an interference penalty), limits Staal being anything more than a dman that gets the puck down low and makes a smart play to move the puck outside our blue-line.

The comments about Staal not being an extremely good defenseman, and not having much worth to this team, I'm not even going to address. I've witnessed some of the dumbest arguments in history on this board, and I just file that away as nonsense. Staal hasn't looked poor at all defensively, and in both the Philly game and the Boston game, he was up on the rush regularly when he was seeing minutes with MDZ.

Girardi is a solid dude, and plays a strong all around game, but he doesn't have Staal's tools. To say he does because the team has seen success is like saying Woywitka is a top 4 guy because the team had strong success through a period where Woywitka and Eminger needed to be plugged into the top 4 when Torts was still shakey on MDZ in November.

Staal has manned up against the very best in this league for the passed few seasons, matching players like Kovalchuk, AO, Sid, Giroux, Malkin both with his mobility, his smart passing, his strength, and his determined and physical defensive play.

I don't think he should be replacing Girardi and McD on the top unit right now, but you better believe we need him to be better than Girardi come playoff time. This team needs Staal to be getting the ice-time and situations where he can alleviate the strain of only having one strong defensive pairing on a team that can struggle to find offense through stretches.
First off, I don't happen to be one of the people who thinks that Woywitka has been anything more than a stop-gap waiver wire pickup. And I really didn't want Eminger to be re-signed--I think he's at best a poor man's 6th defenseman who shouldn't being playing more than 30 or so games a year--although now that he's healthy, he should be in the lineup over Bickel (who I don't think is a NHL caliber defenseman).

That said, I also don't agree with your views of Staal or Girardi. Staal is still not back to the level he was before the concussion and I think Tortorella has used him properly since he's come back. There is a very good chance he won't be back at that level this year--he missed too much time on and off the ice. Who he's playing against and who his partner is, has not held him back.

Girardi, on the other hand, has earned every minute he's played this year. He's played at the highest level I've ever seen him play--and just as well as any 1st pair defensman in the league this year--and has been more consistant throughout the whole season than ever before as well. Without his play (and his ability to mesh with McD--who's been quite impressive as well for a rookie with less than 50 games of NHL experience at the beginning of the year), this team would have traded for another top 4 defenseman long ago, instead of having the luxury of plugging in players like Woywitka and Bickel.

I also think you're selling Strålman (who's been a very nice pick-up) and especially Del Zotto short. Del Zotto has proved that he is not only a NHL defenseman, but one who can play 20 and even 25 minutes a game. His defense has been solid and his puck moving/offensive abiility are improving as well. I had my doubts about him before this season, but he's done everything necessary in my mind to erase those doubts. He has been a big part of the success this team has had this season and I fully expect him to be a big part of whatever success the Rangers have going forward.

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02-08-2012, 10:00 PM
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First off, I don't happen to be one of the people who thinks that Woywitka has been anything more than a stop-gap waiver wire pickup. And I really didn't want Eminger to be re-signed--I think he's at best a poor man's 6th defenseman who shouldn't being playing more than 30 or so games a year--although now that he's healthy, he should be in the lineup over Bickel (who I don't think is a NHL caliber defenseman).

That said, I also don't agree with your views of Staal or Girardi. Staal is still not back to the level he was before the concussion and I think Tortorella has used him properly since he's come back. There is a very good chance he won't be back at that level this year--he missed too much time on and off the ice. Who he's playing against and who his partner is, has not held him back.

Girardi, on the other hand, has earned every minute he's played this year. He's played at the highest level I've ever seen him play--and just as well as any 1st pair defensman in the league this year--and has been more consistant throughout the whole season than ever before as well. Without his play (and his ability to mesh with McD--who's been quite impressive as well for a rookie with less than 50 games of NHL experience at the beginning of the year), this team would have traded for another top 4 defenseman long ago, instead of having the luxury of plugging in players like Woywitka and Bickel.

I also think you're selling Strålman (who's been a very nice pick-up) and especially Del Zotto short. Del Zotto has proved that he is not only a NHL defenseman, but one who can play 20 and even 25 minutes a game. His defense has been solid and his puck moving/offensive abiility are improving as well. I had my doubts about him before this season, but he's done everything necessary in my mind to erase those doubts. He has been a big part of the success this team has had this season and I fully expect him to be a big part of whatever success the Rangers have going forward.
I never said Girardi shouldn't be on our top pairing, nor McD. But Staal regaining his fullblown bone crushing thoroughbred status would be a HUGE benefit to this team. I just want to see him in situations that make that come along. Girardi has been a bit exposed by MOntreal and Toronto though in matchups this season. He can bang with any top unit, but he fumbled a bit in those match-ups. Kovalchuk and Parise were buzzing in the offensive zone the passed two meetings. He's as solid as they get, and reminds me some of Suter, but he's not full-blown top tier talent. That's not a knock against him. He elevates his game like a champion, but there's some room in his game for him to get exposed.

There's no way I'm selling MDZ or Stralman short. I haven't even remotely disparaged either of them in this conversation. I'm a huge, jersey owning MDZ fan. Stralman is a great fit on our blueline, and even when we're 100% healthy, the guy's game puts him solidly in the line-up.

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02-08-2012, 10:42 PM
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I never said Girardi shouldn't be on our top pairing, nor McD. But Staal regaining his fullblown bone crushing thoroughbred status would be a HUGE benefit to this team. I just want to see him in situations that make that come along. Girardi has been a bit exposed by MOntreal and Toronto though in matchups this season. He can bang with any top unit, but he fumbled a bit in those match-ups. Kovalchuk and Parise were buzzing in the offensive zone the passed two meetings. He's as solid as they get, and reminds me some of Suter, but he's not full-blown top tier talent. That's not a knock against him. He elevates his game like a champion, but there's some room in his game for him to get exposed.

There's no way I'm selling MDZ or Stralman short. I haven't even remotely disparaged either of them in this conversation. I'm a huge, jersey owning MDZ fan. Stralman is a great fit on our blueline, and even when we're 100% healthy, the guy's game puts him solidly in the line-up.
I think you are overestimating a player's ability to come back from PCS and be able to jump right in and play at the same level he did before the injury. Coming back from any injury mid-season, especially one where a player cannot do any physical training while recovering is always difficult. As I said before, I think Tortorella has handled the situation with Staal extremely well. If Staal can regain his old form this season I have no doubt Tortorella will find a way to get him more minutes.

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02-08-2012, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Brooklyn Ranger View Post
I think you are overestimating a player's ability to come back from PCS and be able to jump right in and play at the same level he did before the injury. Coming back from any injury mid-season, especially one where a player cannot do any physical training while recovering is always difficult. As I said before, I think Tortorella has handled the situation with Staal extremely well. If Staal can regain his old form this season I have no doubt Tortorella will find a way to get him more minutes.
That's probably true. I don't have any experience with concussions, and wouldn't presume to understand what they go through upon returning.

Well I guess the best we can do is hope for his recovery to continue, and hope to get him back full-force by the playoffs. Having a one-two punch defense pairing is going to be necessary with most of the top 8 teams in the East having some good scoring depth. Doesn't look like any of the one-line-dynamo teams are going to make it this time around.


Last edited by SlingshotVv: 02-08-2012 at 11:04 PM.
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02-08-2012, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
That's probably true. I don't have any experience with concussions, and wouldn't presume to understand what they go through upon returning.

Well I guess the best we can do is hope for his recovery to continue, and hope to get him back full-force by the playoffs. Having a one-two punch defense pairing is going to be necessary with most of the top 8 teams in the East having some good scoring depth. Doesn't look like any of the one-line-dynamo teams are going to make it this time around.
I hope so with Staal. But, without more scoring--especially on the power play--it's going to be very difficult no matter how well the defense and Lundqvist play.

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