Doubtful. McD, Staal, Girardi, MDZ most likely. Maybe AV will swtich up the combos from the McD - Girardi, Staal - MDZ pairings that Torts used, but I'd be surprised if those weren't the guys.
I think Stralman is a passable second pair player, and a very good third pair player. I'd rather have him play third pair and do well while other guys who are more fit for the minutes take the other spots.
IMO with Staal out for half the season and Girardi playing awfully; he was the 2nd best defenceman on the team last year.
I'm not sure he'll be able to maintain the way he played last year, but if he can we have the best D in the league and I'm not sure it is close. He dominated his opposition by every metric available except individual points.
Plus he plays the right side, we have no depth at all on the right side. He is basically our #4 by default.
He appears a bit one-way either direction? Gonna pruduce with defensive liabilities or be solid defensively and that's it. Liked him last season but more in moments than overall. Excellent 3rd pairing.
Great hip checks, solid, dependable, nothing to dislike. Maybe Ulfie will instill some meaness to him in the corners and in front of the net. That rounds out a good package. Lets see which LHD shifts over before we talk about pairings.
Poor DZ. Leading points getter on the blue line since his arrival to Broadway after being drafted. Spends half a year in the minor after a terrific rookie season. Makes a rebound in his third season and does more than enough to prove that he's worthy of not only playing at an NHL level, but also as a part of the core. Overcomes the shortcomings of his defense in order to adapt to John Tortorella hockey and still manages to put up solid offensive production. Has improved as a player in terms of skating, skills, and on ice decisions since his rookie season and has made strides defensively that once put his role on our team in question.
In a shortened season where he is a .5PPG player playing on a defensively uptight team with no power play structure or success for him to assume to the role of the PPQB, new comer John Moore who hasn't proved as much as MDZ is already slotted to become more successful.
Bottom pairing pick up Anton Stralman is considered for the #4 position and judging by some posts, MDZ is soon slotted into the #6 spot on our team by some.
I ask, why the hate? If not hate, he's like that guy that works hard in the company but never gets promoted or mentioned as a part of the success. The Stanley Hudson of Dunder Mifflin Scranton who despite his "most consistent sales record" is never regarded as a top notch salesman, the Louis Litt from Suits who labors harder than anyone but is kept at the same position for years and is antagonized by all.