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Girardi's Upside

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Old
05-22-2007, 12:05 AM
  #1
n_a_c
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Girardi's Upside

The guy came in as a 23 year old rookie, and was darn steady for us on defense. And this during a pretty intense push to make the playoffs, and then during the playoffs. Now – he wasn't perfect, but nobody is. Arguably, he was one of our best defensive defensemen down the stretch. He showed tremendous calm with the puck and in making outlet passes. I also thought he showed great timing and awareness when jumping into the play. He couldn't turn that into goals or assists, but he was poised.

So my question is: what do you think his upside is? I doubt anyone thinks he has peaked. But can he take on more minutes? Be a more physical and dominant force? Increase his offensive production? “Non-flashy” defensemen (IE – not physical, not a lot of points) never get a lot of credit. But can he develop into a perennial “first pair” defenseman? (First pair means a different thing for each team - from a Niedermayer to a Malik clone. But lets say it means - one of the top 60 defensemen in the league) The person you want on the ice with 1 minute left regardless of the situation?

Call me crazy, but I think so. His defense and outlet passing will only improve and be simply stellar. I think he will gain confidence in his offense, and could slowly grow into a 40-50 point player. I doubt he will ever be overly physical, but perhaps he can take it up a notch or two.

Thoughts?

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05-22-2007, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n_a_c View Post
The guy came in as a 23 year old rookie, and was darn steady for us on defense. And this during a pretty intense push to make the playoffs, and then during the playoffs. Now – he wasn't perfect, but nobody is. Arguably, he was one of our best defensive defensemen down the stretch. He showed tremendous calm with the puck and in making outlet passes. I also thought he showed great timing and awareness when jumping into the play. He couldn't turn that into goals or assists, but he was poised.

So my question is: what do you think his upside is? I doubt anyone thinks he has peaked. But can he take on more minutes? Be a more physical and dominant force? Increase his offensive production? “Non-flashy” defensemen (IE – not physical, not a lot of points) never get a lot of credit. But can he develop into a perennial “first pair” defenseman? (First pair means a different thing for each team - from a Niedermayer to a Malik clone. But lets say it means - one of the top 60 defensemen in the league) The person you want on the ice with 1 minute left regardless of the situation?

Call me crazy, but I think so. His defense and outlet passing will only improve and be simply stellar. I think he will gain confidence in his offense, and could slowly grow into a 40-50 point player. I doubt he will ever be overly physical, but perhaps he can take it up a notch or two.

Thoughts?




Allow me to help the nay sayers get a head start. "Calm down. he had a good showing but let's see him do it over 82 games at the NHL caliber. he's got the talent level of a 6th or 7th dman which is where he will probably wind up in the long run"


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05-22-2007, 12:14 AM
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I Am Chariot
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He was our BEST D MAN. Smart great positioning, Ice water in the viens.

His upside is that he is this good as rookie, he'll get better. I dont know about a 50 pt player. I didnt see that. But I did see a really SOLID Blueliner which is something this team really needs.

Plus he's from our system which means props to the crew in Hartford. A very good sign

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05-22-2007, 12:17 AM
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I will be very surprised if he ends up a 7th Dman. I saw alot more from him talent wise than 7th d man.

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05-22-2007, 12:20 AM
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He seemed to be getting more and more physically dominating as the season wore on...so I see him improving most in that department.

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05-22-2007, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cycleandshoot View Post
I will be very surprised if he ends up a 7th Dman. I saw alot more from him talent wise than 7th d man.







I don't think it'll happen. I don't care about what critics or a couple random scouting reports on him say- I watched him help solidify our blueline and perform like a legit top 4 Dman paired with Tyutin. I think we're going to see more of the same from him.

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05-22-2007, 01:02 AM
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Why can't be the type of defenseman like Tallinder and Lydman are on the Sabres (Who I think are EXTREMELY underrated)?

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05-22-2007, 01:04 AM
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I Am Chariot
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Maybe he'll turn into

Dan Girardi

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05-22-2007, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cycleandshoot View Post
Maybe he'll turn into

Dan Girardi
LOL, good one.

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05-22-2007, 01:50 AM
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Upside

I don't think you'll find a dissenting view that Dan Girardi was all you could ever ask for from a rookie defensemen. While not boasting an all-star skillset, he made calm, smart plays near and away from the puck.

However, while young forwards may learn/progress where to go to score, or how to be defensively responsible, the main progression you see from young defensemen is consistency. And of all of Girardi's traits, consistency was his strongest ability. Crossing our fingers for a more dynamic skill set may not be in the cards.

Flawed logic tricks many hockey fans to believe in continual and large development from impressive rookies, instead of incremental, or even near stagnant growth. Hell, if Prucha scored 30 goals in 68 games, let me pencil him in for 40 goal sophomore campaign...

Well, enough of my rant. What I hope and expect for Dan Girardi, a number #4 defensemen. In watching him, I think he could easily be our Greg DeVries (as he was in his Cup years w/ Colorado). And in what he displayed this season/post-season, I find this to be a very realistic goal.

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05-22-2007, 01:59 AM
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Good take frozen.

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05-22-2007, 02:28 AM
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His play was solid all around. The fact that he came in so young and settled in so fast and played well with nearly everyone they paired him with but especially Tyutin makes me think he was/is kind of top 4 already--but everything starts from scratch again when we go to training camp. For one thing there is Staal and whether he's ready or not. Girardi is a calm player with great instincts with the puck especially in his own end. I'm wondering how his offense is going to come around too because I think we're going to see more--the question is how much more? Anyway he was a great addition to the team last year and looks to be a player who is around for a long time.

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05-22-2007, 02:58 AM
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Very good point frozen!

I think both Tyutin and Girardi got a very wide range, and I've yet to see any negative signs, though they need to keep it up for a long time.

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05-22-2007, 03:48 AM
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imho, what you see is what you get from Girardi. i think hes a #4 or 5 defenseman on our team, that plays extremely smart hockey. Lets be totally honest here. Girardi has excellent positioning, one of the best sticks in the game for closing lanes, poke checking and blocking passes, and a very very high ability to recognize the smart safe play in 95 out of 100 plays. Thats what he does very well. However hes not super physical, hes not super fast, he doesnt have an excellent shot, his breakout pass is ok, etc etc. People overhype him a bit because of how poor Malik, Rachunek, Poti, Strudwick, etc have been over the past few years. To see a kid play smart safe hockey is surprising and welcome. Again though, i think its more a reflection on some mediocre-terrible defenseman that we have rather than a reflection on how good he is. Hes a nice player, a player i can see being on this team for a nice long while, but i dont see him as a first pair defenseman, hes borderline 2nd pairing, and is probably better suited to be a 3rd pairing guy.

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05-22-2007, 03:55 AM
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He's Marek Malik without the bonehead plays.

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05-22-2007, 05:02 AM
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time will tell. from the east coast league to playing 20plus minutes in the playoffs is quite an accomplishment. All rookie team the first season and and AHL allstar starter the next .Hopefully he will get the chance to develop even more.I have to mention it again... and not drafted.looking at his career stats I think he could put up some decent numbers.

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05-22-2007, 08:58 AM
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He's one of those players that comes out of no where and turns into a steal.

He's gotp top 4 potential and pretty much played that way this year. His positioning is sound, he's smart with and without the puck and aside from some (very expected) rookie mistakes, probably was one of our best defensive defenceman this year. He can skate, take the body, knows how to play Defence in the new NHL. He makes good decisions on his break out passes.

I don't see 40-50 point potential because I'm not sure that that is his style of game, but I see a 25+ point guy that plays in all situations of a game and a player the coach is not afraid to use in in the last seconds of a close game.

I think that a second pairing guy with Tyutin is a fair projection.

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05-22-2007, 09:23 AM
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To me he's just going to be a rock solid #4 or 5 on our team for many yrs to come.

He will be the anchor on either the 2nd or 3rd pairing and just bring loads of steady, safe play.

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05-22-2007, 09:36 AM
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They say Defensemen take the longest to develope out of the positions don't they? We've seen a great sense of defense from him, I remember when he backed up Lundqvist and stopped a goal. He saw him out of net and in a intense situation he was right behind him, and stopped a goal that could have gone in very easily. He saw a weakness in that play and was there to stop it. I can't remember the game or their oppenants(I have bad memory lol) but I'll never forget seeing that play and positioning.
So as he plays and learns more, and unless he loses his hockey sense for some reason, I can only see upside.

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05-22-2007, 09:47 AM
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He played like a top 4 defenseman... Question is whether he regresses a bit and turns into a 3rd pairing defenseman, but hopefully he keeps it up and stays as a 2nd pairing type of guy.

He definitely began playing more physical in the playoffs so that was nice. He showed no issue with Atlanta and their overly physical approach. Renney himself had said that may be Girardi's issue. Dealing with the rough stuff.

Gun to my head, Girardi stays as he is or even improves a bit. Based on the articles read and his work ethic, he's the type of guy that will overachieve for his entire career.

And i know just by playing a few different team sports, there are always guys who don't seem to mess up, and he seems like one of them.

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05-22-2007, 09:49 AM
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I love how everyone takes the cautious too good to be true stance. No one wants to look like the dumb ass who predicts Girardi to be a damn good defenseman and then he turns out to be a fluke. I guess that's what happens when your team loses for so many years and so many highly hyped players turn out to be busts.

I'll go out on a limb and say he'll be a #3 or #4 defenseman and I also think he has the potential to be a much more physical defenseman since I saw him throw quite a few nice hits throughout the season.

It's not everyday where a player comes into the NHL in the toughest, most intense part of the season and plays like he's a seasoned vet.

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05-22-2007, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterUnspoken View Post
He's Marek Malik without the bonehead plays.
That's actually somewhat accurate. Despite the size difference you can make a comparison. They both play sound positional defense, using mostly poke checks to strip the opponent of the puck as opposed to bowling him over. Neither is terribly fast but both are smart enough to get the job done without speed.

Malik is prone to making poor choices at times, and when he makes a poor choice, its generally a REALLY poor choice. Girardi does much better so far.

Girardi doesn't have the same quality passing as Malik, though.

I see him as a steady guy who can play in the top 4 of your defense and be an anchor. You can stick him with a D-man who tends to wander. He'd be a perfect partner for a guy like Kasparaitis, for example. Or maybe Sanguinetti, when he arrives, to hold the blue line when Bobby joins the rush. Think back to Leetch - Beuke. Would Leetch have been able to join the rush as often as he did if he wasn't absolutely sure his defensive partner would be back covering for him? Having a steady stay-at-home D-man as your partner can allow an offensive D-man more opportunities.

This could always work out in Toot's favor. Toots has a good shot, and can skate and pass rather well. So far he hasn't shown a consistent willingness to join the offense, but partnered with Girardi I wouldn't be surprised to see Toots put up 40+ points one of these years soon.

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05-22-2007, 10:22 AM
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A lot will depend on how his offense develops. He was much better offensively in Hartford this season than he was last season.

If he can add more offense at this level he becomes an excellent second pairing defenseman. As it stands, I think he will be a good second pairing guy who is a steadying influence on the blueline.

Take Kevin Lowe and Doug LIdster and split the difference.

Is it too much to dream of a top two pairings of:

Staal-Sanguinetti
Tyutin-Girardi

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05-22-2007, 10:28 AM
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A lot will depend on how his offense develops. He was much better offensively in Hartford this season than he was last season.

If he can add more offense at this level he becomes an excellent second pairing defenseman. As it stands, I think he will be a good second pairing guy who is a steadying influence on the blueline.

Take Kevin Lowe and Doug LIdster and split the difference.

Is it too much to dream of a top two pairings of:

Staal-Sanguinetti
Tyutin-Girardi

Throw Michael Sauer into the equation also...

As for Girardi comparisons, you beat me to it..Was gonna mention best case scenarios of James Patrick and Doug Lidster..But, lets see how he does in his sophmore year first, which can often be very uneven..

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05-22-2007, 10:38 AM
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Throw Michael Sauer into the equation also...

As for Girardi comparisons, you beat me to it..Was gonna mention best case scenarios of James Patrick and Doug Lidster..But, lets see how he does in his sophmore year first, which can often be very uneven..
I like Sauer but his injuries have to be a concern.

He's better defensively than Jame Patrick and not as good offensively. Let's just say his upside is Lidster the way he played in the Devils series in '94.

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