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06-03-2012, 05:11 PM
  #126
StormCast
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
But the thing is, even in these scenarios talked about as Staal's possible new location, he wouldn't be the main offensive weapon. He'd still be a secondary scorer, just playing on a higher line than he currently is.

If he ended up in Toronto, Phil Kessel is still the guy who generates the offense. If he ended up on the young Oilers, again, guys like Eberle, Hall or Nugent-Hopkins are the offensive catalysts. Staal wouldn't have to be the guy the other team keyed on, even if he happened to play on the top line. It's kind of like the situation James Neal finds himself in in Pittsburgh. He plays on the top line, but teams don't focus on shutting him down, even though scored 40 goals this year. They focus on shutting down Malkin and Crosby.

I'd agree with your point if Staal was going to a team where he basically had to be "the man" and had to carry the load on offense, but even in the scenarios I've seen, that wouldn't be the case. So Staal would still be in a secondary role, with the main differences being a]he plays with better linemates and b]he would get top unit PP time to "inflate" his stats.
Hold on though, didn't you post about him being on a first line? Even if he centered a guy like Kessel he'd still face top D pairings. That's the point about being a central focus, his line not necessarily him, and the second (and third) line providing secondary scoring. Same as with your point about Neal. In fact, Calgary is one of those places he'd be a 1C.

I just don't think you can make a straight line projection in terms of production. The better the line you play on the more difficult the opposition. I think that that's where limited playmaking skills will also be evident.

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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
Staal faces the toughest competition on the team by a country mile.
True enough, even when he was playing on the 2nd line. Oddly, I had to argue that point with a Pens fan who claimed it wasn't the case.


Last edited by StormCast: 06-03-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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Old
06-03-2012, 05:25 PM
  #127
Sidney the Kidney
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Originally Posted by StormCast View Post
Hold on though, didn't you post about him being on a first line? Even if he centered a guy like Kessel he'd still face top D pairings. That's the point about being a central focus, his line not necessarily him, and the second (and third) line providing secondary scoring. Same as with your point about Neal. In fact, Calgary is one of those places he'd be a 1C.
But again, he wouldn't be expected to carry the offensive load (assuming the teams most often talked about as his likely destination). Of course he'll have to contend with better defensive pairings, but he'll also have the benefit of playing with much, much more talented players. The upgrade in talent of his linemates more than makes up for the upgrade in quality of opposition, especially considering not every team has a Suter/Weber pair to match up against them.

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I just don't think you can make a straight line projection in terms of production. The better the line you play on the more difficult the opposition. I think that that's where limited playmaking skills will also be evident.
I'm not suggesting he's going to be scoring 80+ points as a first line center all of a sudden, but I can't recall a single player whose offensive production went down when moved from line 3 to line 1. I really don't see how you're adamant that playing on a top line and getting top PP unit minutes wouldn't result in Staal scoring about 10 to 15 more points than he currently does.

Also, Staal has shown an ability to score goals. Okay, so his playmaking is questionable. That's only an issue if he's on a top line that doesn't have playmakers who can get him the puck. The teams discussed (Toronton, Edmonton) have such players.

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06-03-2012, 05:30 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
But again, he wouldn't be expected to carry the offensive load (assuming the teams most often talked about as his likely destination). Of course he'll have to contend with better defensive pairings, but he'll also have the benefit of playing with much, much more talented players. The upgrade in talent of his linemates more than makes up for the upgrade in quality of opposition, especially considering not every team has a Suter/Weber pair to match up against them.

I'm not suggesting he's going to be scoring 80+ points as a first line center, but I can't recall a single player whose offensive production went down when moved from line 3 to line 1.

Also, Staal has shown an ability to score goals. Okay, so his playmaking is questionable. That's only an issue if he's on a top line that doesn't have playmakers who can get him the puck. The teams discussed (Toronton, Edmonton) have such players.
No, I'm with you that he wouldn't be the guy to carry the offensive load but it's a difficult transition. Even though he's a wing Vanek had such a drop off. When E. Staal went from 2C to 1C he struggled to match his prior production and he's a much better offensive player than Jordan.

I do agree with you that he's best served going where he's a 2C or with playmaking wings. Ironically, that's what Eric Staal always seems to need, playmaking wings.

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06-03-2012, 08:52 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by kratzbuerste View Post
Where he ranks in pure TOI is still not an indication of how he was used. Staal eats up almost all shorthanded minutes plus all the toughest competion minutes for Malkin. So he was maybe a second line center (used more defensively than most 2LCs) for the time Crosby was out and only a real 3LC from when Crosby returned. Producing like an average to top 2LC at .81 PPG at only half a season of second line TOI is still an accomplishment.

That first line bit is just BS, unless Malkin won the Art Ross in 20 games and I just was to dazzled by him to notice.
You do realize that Crosby was out for 60 games. And he played limited minutes in many of the games the games he did play in.

Malkin was out for another 7 games.

So it's pretty fair to say that Staal functioned as the #2 centre. That also means he had more than adequate wingers.

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06-03-2012, 08:56 PM
  #130
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You do realize that Crosby was out for 60 games. And he played limited minutes in many of the games the games he did play in.

Malkin was out for another 7 games.

So it's pretty fair to say that Staal functioned as the #2 centre. That also means he had more than adequate wingers.
Have you watched the Pens play this year? His wingers were Sullivan and Dupuis (Cooke and Kennedy when Sid was in the lineup) hardly top 6 talent.

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