Murphy played mostly on the powerplay at the beginning of the game, but after the scoreline got more comfortable for Canada he was used on even strength as well. He wasn't too flashy and didn't really stand out in my eyes in any way in offence or defence.
Seems as though Rask is only playing 3rd line minutes, maybe because of his skating deficiencies or just solid defensive play.
Through reading the Canada-Germany GDT, I conclude that Murphy was one of the best defensemen for Team Canada. Despite not having scored a point, he played top pairing under head coach, Steve Spott. He made long passes, made great pinches, and kept up with the puck along the point. We'll see how he fares against better competition.
Murphy's games are on enough so that it isn't hard to get a read on him. He is a huge question mark for his defense. I was strongly fighting that bias against small offensive types because he's ours and he's also so good offensively. In the end I'm pretty concerned. His passes out are fine, it's his basic instincts. He doesn't really see the outlets exceptionally well under pressure, because his nature is to skill/skate his way out of trouble because he has so much skill/skate. Just like Faulk he needs to learn that ain't the best way at the highest level. The quicker brain makes the better players in the NHL, over the athleticism and skill. Ask Joe Corvo. Murphy also lacks any real presence around the net. I see stand around waiting for something to react to vs proactively tying people up. Because of that he seems a step behind in scrum situations. I don't mind that he stick checks, he isn't a banger. He just isnt an intelligent one yet, to the point of being a legit potential liability.
He's amazing offensively. My only complaint that way would be that his best stuff tends to be more individual than making teammates better. Not intentionally. He's great at rushing the puck, deftly walking the line and shooting, etc...he just doesn't pass or make his decision till he runs out of time and space sometimes, and misses the right play doing his own thing. You can see him struggling with chemistry with others who arent sure where hes going. He seems to lack that savvy playmaking vision. His passes are great, it's that sixth sense im talking about. That's what makes guys who play the role like Murphy does great. Maybe it'll come. Maybe he'll be fine as is. As is he's our best offensive guy already, and amongst our best ever.
A guy who does possess the "it" is Morgan Reilly. I don't care about all the leafs crap and hype that go along with him. I've waited a bit and watched him a number of times before deciding. Kid is legit. Where Murphy sprints to the open spots, Reilly thinks his way through. My favorite offensive d guy has always been leetch, he could beat you anyway he needed to. Reilly has that. Slinky and deceptive, with not just vision but timing on his passes/plays. Hope he stays healthy enough to make it to the bigs. Leafs did well with that pick. He may end up being the best player out of that top ten.
Last edited by bleedgreen: 12-27-2012 at 12:28 PM.
Murphy has been perfectly fine today and the Canadians are just showing no mercy on him as designated whipping boy for the tournament. Everything he does well is minimized and everything he does badly is magnified. To the extent that I can't even stand reading the GDT. He could easily have two assists already this game....
I wouldn't say he played perfectly fine, but he obviously isn't deserving of the amount of abuse that came from that GDT. A lot of the hate stemming from either Toronto fans that think Murphy is stealing their precious prospect's ice time, or Vancouver fans that think Corrado deserved the roster spot over him. He does need to play better, I feel like he's been told to play differently than he normally does. Only once in both Canada's opening game have I seen him try to skate the puck up, even on the PP when he's relatively safe to roam like he can, he looks frozen looking like he has to pass it off.
He's always been a player that plays exponentially better when he's confident. Spott knows that, and that's why I think he's getting so much ice time, to try and gain some confidence against these easier opponents before we have to face the Americans or Russians.
He needs to play better, hopefully he can find it and play like he did in the playoffs last year and prove to everyone he deserves the ice time and the roster spot.
Good chance but I'm not entirely sure yet. Not sure which team is the class of the tournament yet at this point, but I went into things with the assumption of the 3 best teams being in the same group, and I've seen nothing yet that would indicate otherwise. Though that said I would not be at all surprised by Sweden making the gold medal game.
So far Canada's offense has been solid, but their defense and especially goaltending have been somewhat mediocre. The Russian defense and especially their goaltending impressed me today, and the US is it's usual self when they're a medal contender: strong defense and solid goaltending with just enough offense to be dangerous.
I love your loyalty, but Reilly is a better player at this point. I'd trade Murphy for Reilly in a heartbeat. I'm a homer too, and I won't beat up Murphy any more than I already have, but Reilly is definitely the better prospect.
I personally think Murphy is going to be a very VERY good pro player once he learns to adapt his game to the NHL level. His skill set is pretty unique among prospects, and his type of player tends to have a lot of success once they start to get the hang of the NHL game. That said, Riley is the better prospect. He's a much safer bet to reach his upside of a top pairing guy then Murphy is. Murphy's upside is higher, hell Murphy's upside is in that Green/Karlsson stratosphere of offensive defensemen, but he also has a much more difficult road in front of him to get there. I actually like that we aren't really rushing him as a guy like Murphy needs time to develop into what he will become. I'd frankly prefer to see him in the AHL for the 2013-14 season as of right now, though that won't happen if only because Corvo's probably gone after this offseason and we won't shell out to replace him. So unless Sangs, Biega, or someone else blows him away in camp it's Murphy's spot to lose.
Murphy will go one of two ways, he will either bust hard or be a dominant offensive presence. He doesn't have the game defensively to take regular shifts if he's not bringing his offense. I like his offensive upside better than Rielly, but Rielly most certainly will be an NHL defender in some capacity. I can't say the same for Murphy. However, Murphy is the superior skater and puck handler. What that means is anybody's guess.
I think if he's forced to play too long in the AHL, all hope will be lost. If he's able to come to the NHL, warts and all, and work them out on the big stage while learning to provide offense there exists some hope for him. I don't usually advocate rushing defenders, but there are cases where I feel like it benefits them. A lot of people say the AHL is the best league to learn in but I disagree. I feel like the NHL is the best league to learn in if your team can afford it in the wins and losses column. In Murphy's case in particular, he's not going to get any bigger. He's not going to get any faster. He's probably not going to get a hell of a lot stronger. Everything he needs to know is experienced based.
I feel like the WJC process was highly skewed against Murphy, as has been evidenced by his snub last year and his shaky confidence in early games. He's at his best when he's playing a certain free wheeling style that does not lend itself to short tournaments. The players on the ice with him need to know what he's going to do so they can prepare for it and know that once the puck is on his tape, it's not leaving until he finds a good option... not just a safe one. The players don't know how to read Murphy's assertive puck handling and as a result he has gone into a bit of a shell in terms of staying back, making long outlet passes, and just trying not to get in the way. You don't have enough time in the short tournaments to build the proper chemistry with guys who are ALL used to being the focal point of the team. Teaching them to work together is half the battle and Murphy didn't let the team adapt to him, he adapted to them. Noble, but not the way that he shines.
Vagrant--I agree with you on most parts, however, I like what the Canes did with Faulk and hope Murphy gets a chance to repeat that model as well. I think throwing Murphy into the fire is a good thing and then after a set amount of games, like 20 or 25, allowing him to go to the AHL for a month or two to work on what he saw with the big team. I think that takes some pressure off of the young player and gives him a chance to digest what he saw without having to worry about the learning curve affecting the team. Or if he does well from the start, he can always stay with the big team, but having the plan in place would give Murphy a chance to try what he thinks will work and if it doesn't, he won't feel as bad going down to Charlotte knowing that was the idea all along.
I don't really disagree with that, but the thing on Faulk that made that an option is that we had what management thought was more then enough other NHL caliber defensemen on the roster. Pitkanen, Allen, Gleason, Harrison, Kaberle, McBain, and Joslin. Even as bad as Kabs and Joslin were last year, we still had the roster flexibility to make that move. And given Faulk's rough start, which I maintain was in LARGE part due to playing with a not-in-shape Kaberle, giving him some time in the AHL to get his game going was the easy choice to make. And given his form in his return very much the right one.
Heading into 2013-14 with Pitkanen, Gleason, McBain, Faulk, Harrison, Murphy, and likely Sanguinetti I don't see such an option to send Murphy down. Not unless we're able to pick someone up on the cheap to be a stopgap or unless one of the other prospects (Levi, Biega, Alt, Rissanen, etc.) really impress in camp.
I was going to mention Sanguinetti as another example of a player who had it all in terms of skills but lacked polish that he needed. One season in the AHL was fine. Part of a second would have been .....acceptable. He was already through two professional seasons when we picked him up. Had we taken him and immediately put him into action, I feel like it would have sparked his game. I feel like when a player is in the AHL for an indiscriminate amount of time they start to lose focus. Especially these elite talents. The game doesn't challenge them so they don't challenge the game. Some may speak to that as being a lack of "heart", but to me it's only natural. If you ask a student at a fifth grade level to read kindergarten books all day just because he's five then eventually he's going to stop trying to get better.... it's futile. If you're not ready for the NHL after two seasons in the AHL, you'll probably never be anything more than a role player. And I feel like that is a self-fulfilling prophecy for teams that don't give their young players a chance to make the jump. I will never understand why we pick trash off waivers without taking a look in our own system. Guys like Chris Terry, Nic Blanchard, Jerome Samson, and even Boychuk and Dalpe qualify at this point.... if you don't think they can play in the NHL cut them loose. Don't pick trash off waivers and then claim they've got to earn it. They've been down there earning it for years regardless of how much you feel like they've been hustling in the past ten games. Just a personal irk of mine.
God, the Murphy hate by a few certain fanbases on the WJC board is just getting to the point of flat out ridiculous.
Beyond ridiculous. It's a struggle to even read those boards anymore. The kid had a team high 5 shots, played a quiet but effective game, and gets dragged through the dirt for it. Toronto fans are using Murphy as a barometer for Rielly and they're thrashing him every chance they get. Then you just have the guys who don't like the style of player that Murphy is and irrationally blame him for everything.
The kid hasn't been perfect. Not by a far sight. But he has played big minutes for Canada without screwing up even if the points haven't been there.
It's not just Toronto fans, who want to make Reilly look better by bashing Murphy. They're doing the same thing with Hamilton too in large part because of the Kessel trade. Vancouver fans are still pissed about their boy getting cut despite Murphy being the better player, and even some Wings fans who want to see Ouellet getting his ice time.
Thank god these games are on at an ungodly early hour here, the WJC board is a cesspool in most threads without having to deal with a game like this being in prime time.
On another note, I'm not sure what it is about the US development system in hockey but something's not working. There's just simply too much emphasis being put on speed and not nearly enough being put on skills development. I honestly think it comes down to the way the game is being coached even at lower levels, there's just too much of an emphasis on winning rather then skills development, and the fastest way to win at that level is by being fast. In the name of winning minor competitions at lower levels we're putting the fastest possible teams on the ice and not worrying about far more skilled playmakers that might be getting overlooked in the process, losing out on potentially key development opportunities. Aside from Kane and to a lesser extent Stastny I really can't think of anyone that came up through the US system in the past decade who's been an exceptional playmaker. But until we actually start allowing the development of creativity at lower levels we're going to lag behind the Canadians, Swedes, and Russians in terms of playmakers, and likely in international results. We'll be a collection of average talents that are great skaters aside from 2-3 elite talents each generation.
Mind you in some aspects this works. Our defense is arguably the second best behind Canada (Sweden being the other in contention there) BECAUSE of the emphasis on speed. Their best players aren't able to outskate our best defenders and our defenders have the speed to get back into position to cover. This generation of dmen: Yandle, Suter, the Johnsons, Liles, Martin, Orpik and the rising generation with Bogosian, Carlson, Faulk, Fowler, McDonagh, Jones, and Gardiner... they're all strong skaters if not outright plus skaters. But in terms of forwards we're lagging badly because of the emphasis on speed over skill.