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For Gragnani, "Brian Campbell" is the magic name

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01-29-2009, 03:20 PM
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For Gragnani, "Brian Campbell" is the magic name

http://www.buffalonews.com/489/story/563060.html
Mind you, this was in today's paper... post Calgary game.
Quote:
Lindy Ruff said the magic name while talking about Marc-Andre Gragnani, the Buffalo Sabres' rookie defenseman.

"He's going to be an offensive defenseman," the coach said. "He's going to have to work a little bit on his play on the defensive side, but it's no different than a Brian Campbell when he first came up his first few years."

And there it is. If anyone wondered about the potential and pitfalls of Gragnani, Ruff summed it up in one sentence. He can be Brian Campbell. Thing is, it took Brian Campbell six years to become Brian Campbell, so don't expect miracles in Gragnani's first few games as an NHL defenseman.


The title is called "Sabres put Gragnani in a position to succeed"... that's ****ing laughable. He's being asked to play in the top-6 immediately, and play big minutes with all the injuries. He's brutal defensively, and he's hardly in a place to succeed. Shoddy journalism.

Now onto the comparison of Grags-Campbell.

It's a horrible one. For starters, as bad as Campbell was defensively upon arriving, he could always be seen sticking out with his superior skating and the fact that he didn't lose a step with the puck on his stick. Gragnani doesn't have nearly as nice of a skating stride as Campbell does, and I haven't seen anything in the way of heads-up playmaking that Campbell brought.

Gragnani has sucked in his two games so far. If the Sabres plan on sitting on him for 6 seasons waiting for him to develop, um.... yikes. He can not be Brian Campbell. He will not be Brian Campbell.

I MISS CAMPBELL. Our defense has not been the same since. I wonder if people are willing to acknowledge the gap he left when he departed

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01-29-2009, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
http://www.buffalonews.com/489/story/563060.html

I MISS CAMPBELL. Our defense has not been the same since. I wonder if people are willing to acknowledge the gap he left when he departed
Everyone misses Campbell. But it would have been foolish to pay him 7mil+ to keep him in Buffalo.

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01-29-2009, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
http://www.buffalonews.com/489/story/563060.html
Mind you, this was in today's paper... post Calgary game.




The title is called "Sabres put Gragnani in a position to succeed"... that's ****ing laughable. He's being asked to play in the top-6 immediately, and play big minutes with all the injuries. He's brutal defensively, and he's hardly in a place to succeed. Shoddy journalism.

Now onto the comparison of Grags-Campbell.

It's a horrible one. For starters, as bad as Campbell was defensively upon arriving, he could always be seen sticking out with his superior skating and the fact that he didn't lose a step with the puck on his stick. Gragnani doesn't have nearly as nice of a skating stride as Campbell does, and I haven't seen anything in the way of heads-up playmaking that Campbell brought.

Gragnani has sucked in his two games so far. If the Sabres plan on sitting on him for 6 seasons waiting for him to develop, um.... yikes. He can not be Brian Campbell. He will not be Brian Campbell.

I MISS CAMPBELL. Our defense has not been the same since. I wonder if people are willing to acknowledge the gap he left when he departed
Campbell was down right horrible his first 3 years in Buffalo. I mean horrible. People here screamed to get this guy out of the line up, including me. He could skate but showed absolutely nothing defensively and his 'playmaking' abilities were non existent. It's really hard to say what we have in Gragnani but he's only played 2 NHL games. Let's give him a month or so before we give up on him.

I wouldn't want Soupy on this team for two reasons. Obvioulsy his price tag but also he's still way too soft in his own end. Watching him last year in the playoffs, when it really matters, he still had the same problems he had in Buffalo. He's easily pushed of the puck and totally pwned around the net. The last thing this team needs is another soft defensemen.

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01-29-2009, 03:50 PM
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Campbell was down right horrible his first 3 years in Buffalo. I mean horrible. People here screamed to get this guy out of the line up, including me. He could skate but showed absolutely nothing defensively and his 'playmaking' abilities were non existent. It's really hard to say what we have in Gragnani but he's only played 2 NHL games. Let's give him a month or so before we give up on him.

I wouldn't want Soupy on this team for two reasons. Obvioulsy his price tag but also he's still way too soft in his own end. Watching him last year in the playoffs, when it really matters, he still had the same problems he had in Buffalo. He's easily pushed of the puck and totally pwned around the net. The last thing this team needs is another soft defensemen.
We get NOTHING good from our defensemen. With Campbell we had a guy who could break us out, clear the opposing zone, and start up a possession.

Yes, it has only been two games for Grags. But can't you see the brittle way in which he moves? He looks very out of place defensively. Understanding he's a rookie, I still don't see him ever becoming half of what Campbell is.

Yeah, I might be a bit too hard on Grags after a small sample size. But he looked aaaaaaaawful. Campbell also benefitted from the new rules. More room meant more chance to showcase his strengths. Gragnani will have no such luxury.

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01-29-2009, 03:56 PM
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Everyone misses Campbell. But it would have been foolish to pay him 7mil+ to keep him in Buffalo.
I don't miss Campbell one bit to be perfectly honest. And I'm glad we didn't over pay for him.

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01-29-2009, 03:56 PM
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i think we are a better team this year, then were with Campbell last year, and the only real difference is Campbell and Rivet.

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01-29-2009, 03:58 PM
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i think we are a better team this year, then were with Campbell last year, and the only real difference is Campbell and Rivet.
We're a year more experienced. Leadership aside, Rivet's on-ice play has been... below average.

Big improvements in Vanek's game, more consistency in Miller's, Connolly making a mark, Stafford improving... that's why we're better (by a little) than we were last year.

But because of contract issues, Campbell was un-signable. It is what it is

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01-29-2009, 04:01 PM
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We get NOTHING good from our defensemen. With Campbell we had a guy who could break us out, clear the opposing zone, and start up a possession.

Yes, it has only been two games for Grags. But can't you see the brittle way in which he moves? He looks very out of place defensively. Understanding he's a rookie, I still don't see him ever becoming half of what Campbell is.

Yeah, I might be a bit too hard on Grags after a small sample size. But he looked aaaaaaaawful. Campbell also benefitted from the new rules. More room meant more chance to showcase his strengths. Gragnani will have no such luxury.
What do you think is the source of Gragnani's problem? I don't think his skating ability is a problem at all, I think he looks out of place because he's not wired to play defense. Maybe it will come in time and it's certainly too early to draw any kind of conclusion one way or the other. However, it was one of the main reasons why I was very bullish on permanently moving him to wing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReal
I wouldn't want Soupy on this team for two reasons. Obvioulsy his price tag but also he's still way too soft in his own end. Watching him last year in the playoffs, when it really matters, he still had the same problems he had in Buffalo. He's easily pushed of the puck and totally pwned around the net. The last thing this team needs is another soft defensemen.
Sums it up for me perfectly.

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01-29-2009, 04:03 PM
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What do you think is the source of Gragnani's problem? I don't think his skating ability is a problem at all, I think he looks out of place because he's not wired to play defense. Maybe it will come in time and it's certainly too early to draw any kind of conclusion one way or the other. However, it was one of the main reasons why I was very bullish on permanently moving him to wing.
He was a defenseman his whole career in juniors, how is he not "wired" to play defense? I'm not sure I get that. I'd say he's just poor at that aspect of the game. Very poor.

It's a problem when a defenseman of yours is unable to skate backwards without being a liability. BIG problem.

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01-29-2009, 04:07 PM
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He was a defenseman his whole career in juniors, how is he not "wired" to play defense? I'm not sure I get that. I'd say he's just poor at that aspect of the game. Very poor.

It's a problem when a defenseman of yours is unable to skate backwards without being a liability. BIG problem.
And he was a forward in midgets. After 25 minutes I don't really know if he can skate backwards or not. I'm more inclined to think the players are moving too fast and he probably doesn't have really good defensive zone instincts to begin with. Hence, not wired.


I will say, watching him skater in the offensive zone is reminiscent of #51. That's all I'll say about that comparison though.

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01-29-2009, 04:10 PM
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And he was a forward in midgets. After 25 minutes I don't really know if he can skate backwards or not. I'm more inclined to think the players are moving too fast and he probably doesn't have really good defensive zone instincts to begin with. Hence, not wired.


I will say, watching him skater in the offensive zone is reminiscent of #51. That's all I'll say about that comparison though.
He didn't skate in the offensive zone, though. He didn't do anything offensive.

After 2 minutes, let alone 25, it was blatant he could not properly move backwards. He couldn't pivot, and he has already been burned wide often. For a defenseman who is supposed to be strong suited as a skater, getting beat wide should happen once every 50 rushes against. Inexcusable unless you're Teppo slow

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01-29-2009, 04:12 PM
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He didn't skate in the offensive zone, though. He didn't do anything offensive.
Argh. Yes he did.

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01-29-2009, 04:15 PM
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Argh. Yes he did.
I think I remember a decent slapper from the point that Kipper gloved. That's about it offensively from Grags that I can recall.

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01-29-2009, 04:16 PM
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Argh. Yes he did.
Disagree, and I'd ask you to point out what he did but I'd get some sort of "he's a rookie in his 2nd game" response... so don't bother.

The point is, he's NOT ready for NHL action, the Sabres are NOT putting him in a position to succeed, and he most certainly will never be Campbell. There are no similarities other than Gragnani's predetermined label of being an "offensive defenseman"

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01-29-2009, 04:16 PM
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I think I remember a decent slapper from the point that Kipper gloved. That's about it offensively from Grags that I can recall.
Same. It was a hard shot, but it was too high. That's the only time I can recall his name being mentioned in the offensive zone. He was leaning back, too, on the follow-thru. Hence the height of the shot. Didn't follow through over the puck

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01-29-2009, 04:17 PM
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Campbell has to be the most overrated name to ever grace these boards. People act like hockey is played in a pool and he could skate on water. He was good. He wasn't incredible. Good. And as was brought out, he sucked for quite some time before getting there.

As for Gragnani, he is completely capable of getting to Campbell's level. Other than inexperience, he also doesn't have an NHL frame yet. Give him a year to put on some more weight (Campbell is 10-15 pounds heavier at an inch shorter at least) and he'll get more comfortable challenging people in his own end.

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01-29-2009, 04:19 PM
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Campbell has to be the most overrated name to ever grace these boards. People act like hockey is played in a pool and he could skate on water. He was good. He wasn't incredible. Good. And as was brought out, he sucked for quite some time before getting there.

As for Gragnani, he is completely capable of getting to Campbell's level. Other than inexperience, he also doesn't have an NHL frame yet. Give him a year to put on some more weight (Campbell is 10-15 pounds heavier at an inch shorter at least) and he'll get more comfortable challenging people in his own end.
The references have nothing to do with physicality or bulk of the body. The man can not skate at Campbell's level. Never mind the NHL frame or lack thereof.

And Soup was about as underrated and underappreciated as is possible with a fan base (concering one of their own). He demanded way too high of a salary, and the right move was made to trade him for assets. Denying him of his credit is unfair. We haven't had a defensemen skate the puck from our end to the opposing end since Campbell left. Not once. Nobody. And that's not an exaggeration. The closest we've come is a sporadic Lydman rush, but he'll dump it in before he penetrates the zone.

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01-29-2009, 04:24 PM
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The references have nothing to do with physicality or bulk of the body. The man can not skate at Campbell's level. Never mind the NHL frame or lack thereof.

And Soup was about as underrated and underappreciated as is possible with a fan base (concering one of their own). He demanded way too high of a salary, and the right move was made to trade him for assets. Denying him of his credit is unfair. We haven't had a defensemen skate the puck from our end to the opposing end since Campbell left. Not once. Nobody. And that's not an exaggeration. The closest we've come is a sporadic Lydman rush, but he'll dump it in before he penetrates the zone.
Campbell couldn't skate at Campbell's level for a long time, either.

And excuse me for not caring if his spinning moves and fluent skating are gone. I said he was good, that's all the credit he needs. Great, we no longer have a defenseman rushing it end to end. I guess the thought of Campbell racing back after the puck while turning it over in the offensive zone and having a forward cover for him on the back end doesn't really hit me as something I want back.

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01-29-2009, 04:26 PM
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The references have nothing to do with physicality or bulk of the body. The man can not skate at Campbell's level. Never mind the NHL frame or lack thereof.

And Soup was about as underrated and underappreciated as is possible with a fan base (concering one of their own). He demanded way too high of a salary, and the right move was made to trade him for assets. Denying him of his credit is unfair. We haven't had a defensemen skate the puck from our end to the opposing end since Campbell left. Not once. Nobody. And that's not an exaggeration. The closest we've come is a sporadic Lydman rush, but he'll dump it in before he penetrates the zone.
Not entirely true, Tallinder's gone end to end a few times this season,
But your point is taken, Campbell's game is his fantastic skating and Gragnani does not possess half of Campbell's skating ability.

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01-29-2009, 04:30 PM
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Campbell couldn't skate at Campbell's level for a long time, either.

And excuse me for not caring if his spinning moves and fluent skating are gone. I said he was good, that's all the credit he needs. Great, we no longer have a defenseman rushing it end to end. I guess the thought of Campbell racing back after the puck while turning it over in the offensive zone and having a forward cover for him on the back end doesn't really hit me as something I want back.
Right, silly me... I should have known that you prefer being pinned in our end for minutes at a time because we can't execute a breakout properly.

Now here's a question: how many breakaways have we had this year? One total? Forget about Campbell skating the puck out himself - what about lead passes or long outlet passes? None. We have NO catalyst from back there, and while a lot of teams can say the same thing, the fact that we had one and subsequently lost one makes it clear that there's a void.

Campbell always skated like Campbell. His knock was never, ever involving skating. It was his D-zone awareness and positioning that made fans want to see him sent to the AHL during his first chunk of time here.

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01-29-2009, 04:32 PM
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Right, silly me... I should have known that you prefer being pinned in our end for minutes at a time because we can't execute a breakout properly.

Now here's a question: how many breakaways have we had this year? One total? Forget about Campbell skating the puck out himself - what about lead passes or long outlet passes? None. We have NO catalyst from back there, and while a lot of teams can say the same thing, the fact that we had one and subsequently lost one makes it clear that there's a void.

Campbell always skated like Campbell. His knock was never, ever involving skating. It was his D-zone awareness and positioning that made me want to send him to the AHL for his first chunk of time here.
Right, silly me...I forgot Campbell did EVERYTHING. Whoops.

And what does long lead passes and outlet passes have to do with Gragnani? That's one of his strengths.

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01-29-2009, 04:35 PM
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Right, silly me...I forgot Campbell did EVERYTHING. Whoops.

And what does long lead passes and outlet passes have to do with Gragnani? That's one of his strengths.
Me and you were talking about Campbell, not Gragnani. Long outlet passes that don't exist anymore... that existed when Soup was here.... are related to the topic we were just debating.

That may be one strength of Gragnani's, yes. My reply to that would be that he's such an atrocious liability in every other facet that he doesn't warrant being played. So the lack of outlet passes is still hindering the team's breakout.

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01-29-2009, 04:36 PM
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Disagree, and I'd ask you to point out what he did but I'd get some sort of "he's a rookie in his 2nd game" response... so don't bother.

The point is, he's NOT ready for NHL action, the Sabres are NOT putting him in a position to succeed, and he most certainly will never be Campbell. There are no similarities other than Gragnani's predetermined label of being an "offensive defenseman"

What do you expect me to say? At 6:15 of the 2nd against Edmonton...?

I watched both games. In both of them I though Grags made decent plays in the O zone. I think Vito's mentioned the Calgary play I remember and I definitely remember him against Edmonton making a play to Roy. Heck Roy even mentioned it in the post-game (of course everyone looked like 2006 in that game so you ride too much on anything there). Campbell was great at using his skating ability and vision to create chances in the offensive zone, Grags showed me a couple examples where he might have a similar characteristic. That is all.

Who says Gragnani is ready for any kind of NHL action? Nobody, we all know why he's here.

Considering the circumstances, I don't know if they're putting him in a position to succeed or not. I don't really have a problem with his utilization though.

The Campbell comparisons off the bat are tenuous at best but I think there are at least some superficial similarities. I've enumerated why I think he's not suited for defense and as an explanation for what we've seen of him so far. It's not exactly a mystery that he didn't know how to play D, we've know it since he was drafted. I still think he's better off at wing.

Look, if you're going to show patience with Zagrapan you sure as heck better show some with this guy, IMO. So far through their pro careers, he's blowing Zags out of the water.

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01-29-2009, 04:40 PM
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What do you expect me to say? At 6:15 of the 2nd against Edmonton...?

I watched both games. In both of them I though Grags made decent plays in the O zone. I think Vito's mentioned the Calgary play I remember and I definitely remember him against Edmonton making a play to Roy. Heck Roy even mentioned it in the post-game (of course everyone looked like 2006 in that game so you ride too much on anything there). Campbell was great at using his skating ability and vision to create chances in the offensive zone, Grags showed me a couple examples where he might have a similar characteristic. That is all.

Who says Gragnani is ready for any kind of NHL action? Nobody, we all know why he's here.

Considering the circumstances, I don't know if they're putting him in a position to succeed or not. I don't really have a problem with his utilization though.

The Campbell comparisons off the bat are tenuous at best but I think there are at least some superficial similarities. I've enumerated why I think he's not suited for defense and as an explanation for what we've seen of him so far. It's not exactly a mystery that he didn't know how to play D, we've know it since he was drafted. I still think he's better off at wing.

Look, if you're going to show patience with Zagrapan you sure as heck better show some with this guy, IMO. So far through their pro careers, he's blowing Zags out of the water.
Good post.

But the development of Zags and the development of Grags aren't comparable to me (see what I did there?)

The glimpses of Zagrapan I saw gave me reason to believe there was potential there. And I haven't seen him in a regular season game.

The glimpses of Gragnani show me a guy who doesn't skate incredibly well for someone with that label, and a guy who doesn't bring anything in the way of defense. And I can't concede that, developmentally, he's blowing Zagrapan out of the water. Through their pro careers, I've already seen more to be excited about with Zagrapan than I have with Gragnani. Personal opinion clearly.

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01-29-2009, 04:48 PM
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The title is called "Sabres put Gragnani in a position to succeed"... that's ****ing laughable. He's being asked to play in the top-6 immediately, and play big minutes with all the injuries. He's brutal defensively, and he's hardly in a place to succeed. Shoddy journalism.
I think you took the title out of context. The position they were refering to is being moved back to defense from offense, where he says he can read plays better, and not position as in current situation.

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