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Where's the deef(ense)?

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Old
10-19-2013, 04:58 PM
  #26
Chino Oscar
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Originally Posted by hockeydude1 View Post
We need someone to take Kulikov from us. And play better in our zone.
, because he is the ONLY issue with our defense, right?

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10-19-2013, 09:13 PM
  #27
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So I noticed a lot of reaction threads after the poor start, and am not trying to start one, but I'm just wondering about the defense situation long-term. I knew that this might be a long season, but I am a little worried about how our d pairings look down the road. Campbell's a lock, but aside from that, we have two dmen (Kulikov and Guds) who are taking a long time to develop, Petro still needs time, and Robak has been hugely disappointing. Couple that with the fact that our only other competent guy Weaver will almost certainly be traded at the deadline, Jovo, Whitney, Gilbert, and Gilroy are not players for the future, and Matheson is a way's away, and it doesn't look good, not just for this season, but for future seasons as well. So I ask you all, what do you think will be done about this?



TL;DR version: Our defense isn't good, what will be done to fix it?
We have Matheson and the prospect we took at #31 in this year's draft. Both are promising. Guds will be solid if not spectacular, I think Kulikov is similarly serviceable. The AHL guys may never be anything great, but in a pinch they're also serviceable bottom-pairing guys for depth. So I think all in all our defense will be respectable though it could probably use a top-end shutdown dman if Guds doesn't develop into that.

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10-19-2013, 09:20 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Acadmus View Post
We have Matheson and the prospect we took at #31 in this year's draft. Both are promising. Guds will be solid if not spectacular, I think Kulikov is similarly serviceable. The AHL guys may never be anything great, but in a pinch they're also serviceable bottom-pairing guys for depth. So I think all in all our defense will be respectable though it could probably use a top-end shutdown dman if Guds doesn't develop into that.
At this point, I doubt Guds is going to develop into that. I love the kid, but his feet are slow when he has to turn quickly, he doesn't seem to have great hockey sense, and he struggles with the puck on his stick at times. But he could still develop into a solid 2nd pairing guy. Just like Kulikov, I think he'll settle in as a nice 2nd pairing guy. We do really need to acquire a stud #1 at some point though.

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10-19-2013, 09:36 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Markstrom Rules View Post
At this point, I doubt Guds is going to develop into that. I love the kid, but his feet are slow when he has to turn quickly, he doesn't seem to have great hockey sense, and he struggles with the puck on his stick at times. But he could still develop into a solid 2nd pairing guy. Just like Kulikov, I think he'll settle in as a nice 2nd pairing guy. We do really need to acquire a stud #1 at some point though.
Ekblad is my guy if the team picks in the top 3, again.

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10-19-2013, 09:47 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by ShootIt View Post
Ekblad is my guy if the team picks in the top 3, again.
Same here. Although Ekblad has been mediocre offensively this season. Keep an eye on another OHL kid, Roland McKeown. He might surpass Ekblad as the top D by the end of the season. He brings everything to the table, seems to be better offensively than Ekblad, although not as nasty and in your face as Ekblad. McKeown was leading the OHL in +/- last week. Not sure anymore as Kingston got blown out 9-2 last weekend. I'd even be happy if we drafted Haydn Fleury from Red Deer. He's the best skater out of all of them, is aggressive offensively but knows when not to pinch, has really good offensive skills and instincts, so smart in his own zone, and loves to bring the pain. He's moving up, but I don't know if he'll surpass the other two by the end of the season.

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10-19-2013, 10:29 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Markstrom Rules View Post
Same here. Although Ekblad has been mediocre offensively this season. Keep an eye on another OHL kid, Roland McKeown. He might surpass Ekblad as the top D by the end of the season. He brings everything to the table, seems to be better offensively than Ekblad, although not as nasty and in your face as Ekblad. McKeown was leading the OHL in +/- last week. Not sure anymore as Kingston got blown out 9-2 last weekend. I'd even be happy if we drafted Haydn Fleury from Red Deer. He's the best skater out of all of them, is aggressive offensively but knows when not to pinch, has really good offensive skills and instincts, so smart in his own zone, and loves to bring the pain. He's moving up, but I don't know if he'll surpass the other two by the end of the season.
I'm afraid Ekblad is like Gudbranson, dominating Junior, not because he's a great player, but because he's stronger than everyone else. Once that advantage disapear in the NHL, they are not worth high end picks.

That's my two cents theory.

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10-19-2013, 10:53 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by klabob View Post
I'm afraid Ekblad is like Gudbranson, dominating Junior, not because he's a great player, but because he's stronger than everyone else. Once that advantage disapear in the NHL, they are not worth high end picks.

That's my two cents theory.
I had high hopes for Eklbad as an all-round D. His offense hasn't continued the progression you would like to see from last season. He does have a terrific slapshot and wrist shot though, and is much more skilled than Gudbranson was. He's also a better skater and for some of the things he's not elite at, he definitely is elite defensively. He will be at the very least a great shutdown d-man in the NHL. He thrives on being the go to shutdown guy and is all over the opposition's best forwards like white on rice. I think McKeown though may end up being the better all-round player. Fleury might be too. McKeown really knows when the offensive opening is there, and his skating gets him there and allows him to get back if the opportunity doesn't work out. Fleury I think is the most creative offensively out of all of them. He's a great distributor and knows how to operate in a highly skilled offense, yet he seems to never get caught pinching at the wrong time. He's also got great size already just like Ekblad, although still not as big as Ekblad.

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10-20-2013, 12:30 AM
  #33
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having ekblad as our #1D would be amazing though. we would be very very big, however, we need offensively solid D for the outlet to produce

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10-20-2013, 09:01 AM
  #34
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I would much rather draft another impact forward (I know, nothing is guaranteed) and trade some of our talented prospects+picks for an established NHL no. 1 defender.

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10-20-2013, 09:39 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Chino Oscar View Post
I would much rather draft another impact forward (I know, nothing is guaranteed) and trade some of our talented prospects+picks for an established NHL no. 1 defender.
no #1 defenders are for sale@@

depends on where we pick, i rather pick ekblad at #3 than some mediocre forward?

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10-20-2013, 09:56 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by florida pwnthers View Post
having ekblad as our #1D would be amazing though. we would be very very big, however, we need offensively solid D for the outlet to produce
You don't have to worry about that, Ekblad makes a great first pass. I just don't know if he'll be more than a consistent 30-40 pt. guy.

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Originally Posted by florida pwnthers View Post
no #1 defenders are for sale@@

depends on where we pick, i rather pick ekblad at #3 than some mediocre forward?
True, there are no elite forwards this year, although there are a ton of very good ones.

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10-20-2013, 10:10 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Markstrom Rules View Post
True, there are no elite forwards this year, although there are a ton of very good ones.
Maybe so, but the forwards for next years draft are producing very well so far this year. So we'll see, I'm not gonna sell them short with the way they are playing at the moment.

Reinhart seems like a terrific player.

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10-20-2013, 10:11 AM
  #38
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Hmm. Didn't know he was struggling this year, offensively.

Seen him play only a handful of times last year.

Not hating on the Guds pick, but a first line of Huberdeau -Barkov - Skinner would of been a legit offensive threat

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10-20-2013, 10:23 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by AwesomePanthers View Post
Maybe so, but the forwards for next years draft are producing very well so far this year. So we'll see, I'm not gonna sell them short with the way they are playing at the moment.

Reinhart seems like a terrific player.
Yes they are, I'm not saying they are bad, just not MacKinnon/Barkov/Drouin level. McKenzie said this as well. There are no elite forwards, so it makes it easier to take a defenseman.

Reinhart is a great player, a very unique player. But he's not a 1st line talent type, and if he is, it's only because he's such a great all-round player. It's for his grittiness, defensive play, and leadership qualities. He's got great hands for goal scoring, but he's not a great puckhandler. I'm sure whatever team grabs him will be thrilled, but he's not a franchise player.

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10-20-2013, 11:02 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Markstrom Rules View Post
Yes they are, I'm not saying they are bad, just not MacKinnon/Barkov/Drouin level. McKenzie said this as well. There are no elite forwards, so it makes it easier to take a defenseman.

Reinhart is a great player, a very unique player. But he's not a 1st line talent type, and if he is, it's only because he's such a great all-round player. It's for his grittiness, defensive play, and leadership qualities. He's got great hands for goal scoring, but he's not a great puckhandler. I'm sure whatever team grabs him will be thrilled, but he's not a franchise player.
Up til this point. But we'll see how they'll develop over the year. People didn't think so highly of the 2011 draft either.

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10-20-2013, 12:48 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by ShootIt View Post
Hmm. Didn't know he was struggling this year, offensively.

Seen him play only a handful of times last year.

Not hating on the Guds pick, but a first line of Huberdeau -Barkov - Skinner would of been a legit offensive threat
To be fair, many thought Carolina was reaching when they picked Skinner.

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Old
10-20-2013, 01:26 PM
  #42
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Up til this point. But we'll see how they'll develop over the year. People didn't think so highly of the 2011 draft either.
Who didn't think so highly of the 2011 draft? Not me. With Couturier, Larsson and RNH as big names very early on, and Landeskog, Huberdeau, Murphy, Hamilton, Scheifele, and Zibanejad coming on later on, it was a great draft, and everyone could see that by November 2010. This draft is nothing like that.

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10-20-2013, 01:33 PM
  #43
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To be fair, many thought Carolina was reaching when they picked Skinner.
It would have been Connolly, Johansen, or Niederreiter if it wasn't Gudbranson. Connolly was my first choice. Gud was my #2. Connolly is getting his chance in Tampa now and was there best forward in camp, but he's still a little unproven as of yet. Johansen would look pretty good here, but then maybe we don't draft Barkov. Niederreiter, meh. He's alright, I don't think he's going to be a dynamic top six forward though. I'm alright with the Gud pick. He's not going to be a franchise defenseman, but he could still be a vital piece for us. He brings elements that not all defensemen bring. He just needs to improve his puck skills and work a little more on his skating. Definitely attainable.

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