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Best Rookie Defenseman

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03-31-2004, 02:13 PM
  #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
Since when does goals have anything to do with the skill of a defensemen?

Even with Pitkanen in second in all 3 categories, I still think the stats are very, very misleading.


I've been trying to say the same thing, but nobody wants to listen........

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03-31-2004, 06:01 PM
  #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
Since when does goals have anything to do with the skill of a defensemen?
For the same amount of time as goals have had something to do with the skill of a forward. Would Bobby Orr have been considered one of the greatest players of all time if he never rushed the puck or joined in the attack? Ray Bourque? Paul Coffey? Doug Harvey?

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03-31-2004, 09:44 PM
  #203
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Originally Posted by Laperriere22
You wanted some support of why I doubted Bergeron's game and I gave you what you asked for. Now I'm just "overly critical". If you don't want proof, just say so. Bergeron's defensive game is not that great and it never has been. That was my original criticism and though you try and make it personal at most every step, that criticism has some merit and that's all there is to it. When he puts up points and looks good offensively, it's easier to overlook defensive shortcomings, which is what you're doing IMO. Bergeron's defensive game hasn't improved much from the beginning of this season and I don't place him that high in contrast to other rookies I've seen this year.
See, what's funny is I'm watching the game and the commentators are constantly remarking that his defense has improved a lot since his first stint with the Oilers (just to remind you, I'm a habs fan who doesn't really care about the oilers except that I live here now... don't be fooled by the avatar). You gave two examples from one of the worst games he has played, one of which was after he lost his stick behind the net and had to defend without it. Obviously not representative of his whole year, especially since his return from Toronto. I've been waiting to see a report from you berating Hamhuis, Pitkanen and Orpik the way you have Bergeron. I find it hard to believe that they've made no mistakes as rookies this year given the amount of time they play.

Reminding you AGAIN ( ) I said from the beginning that he may not the star that any of those are; he simply deserves the respect as one of the best rookie d-men out there. So what if he turns out to be more of a Zubov or Gonchar-type (or maybe you don't think his offensive ability defines his ranking among defensemen, and that's fair enough) player down the road? A lot of teams will find that more valuable than having another defensive specialist. I think the Oilers are starting to feel that way (Ules, Smith and Staios, and even Brewer have it covered). You CAN overlook a bit of defensive shortcoming if the offense is coming along nicely, atleast for a short time, and especially in a rookie. That's all I've been saying.

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03-31-2004, 10:08 PM
  #204
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Originally Posted by Laperriere22
Who said those three were playing badly or were crappy defensemen? Certainly not I. The point is that none of those three are exactly firmly entrenched on the roster because of their status. If they weren't playing well and Komisarek was, Komisarek would be ahead of them on the depth chart and he would be on the ice more because of it. That's just part of the fundamentals of the sport. Sure, veterans are going to be given consideration over a rookie; that's a given. But, the fact remains that the main thing holding Komisarek back is that he's just not ready to be a top 4 defenseman in this league. The heritage of players, their salary, or whatever else you want to bring in doesn't change that fact. Much like Pitkanen in Philly, Komisarek is being brought along slowly and he simply isn't outplaying those three. ... Clearly, Komisarek isn't ready for a primetime role and that's pretty much the only thing that needs to be said. It's not a slight to Komisarek, now or in the future.
I'll start off by agreeing that perhaps Komisarek isn't at the everyday NHL level. Having said that, no one can defend the play of Quintal. He has played terribly most of the year. I think it is valid to argue a bit of "politics" here, although I'd like to think it's more respect for past service. He is an alternate captain who is getting paid 1.5 Mil. Hard to explain to management that you'd rather not have him start in the NHL anymore, but still pay him the bucks. I'm wondering what else they could've done given that the old boys probably have contracts which don't allow demotion in most cases, and paying a guy 1.5 M to sit everyday is hard to explain to the bosses.

I think a lot of informed people would have preferred to see how Komi would be today if he had replaced Quintal more from the start of the season. I mean, it's not like they were going to send Quintal down to Hamilton to hang with Dykhuis and the other overpaid boys. To say that Quintal, Brisebois, and Rivet could have been displaced by a rookie of anything other than super-superstar quality is not true, and Komi wasn't going to get 40 or 50 games to prove it anyway. Having said all of this, I think the Canadiens have handled it optimally. They keep the vets happy and show them respect in their twilight, give the young guys a chance to come along with little pressure, and they still make the playoffs (finally!). It's too specific a situation to make generalized comments on, IMO. If it was Dykhuis he would have replaced instead of Quintal, Komi probably would have seen 60 games... and not because Quintal has been stellar!

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04-01-2004, 01:46 PM
  #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laperriere22
That sentiment matches my thoughts exactly as I watched Bergeron look like warm feces against the Blues tonight.
Did you watch him the next night, scoring in Dallas?

In case you missed the game, about 12 forwards and 5 other defencemen stunk up the joint in St Louis. Go take a look at the Game Day Thread on the Oilers board if you want to see most of the players get raked over the coals. If Bergeron was warm feces, most of the rest of the team was bubbling and boiling feces. The fact that he bounced back the very next night speaks volumes about him.

MAB is +12 for the season, so I dont see how he can be considered a defensive liability. The only other rookie defencemen putting up the same numbers are from NJ and Philly, and their respective teams are over +40 (The Oilers as a team are +16, so +12 for a rookie dman isnt so bad. It ties him for 6th on the team).

He's not a defensive force, but he's not a defensive liability. He's defensively adequate and offensively gifted, which is nice to have in a rookie dman.

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04-01-2004, 03:01 PM
  #206
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Komisarek's career thus far has been along the lines of Zdeno Chara's first couple of years in the league. Chara is the same age as his defence mate Wade Redden, and very bit as valuable to the Sens. But Redden stepped right in as a 19 year old and put up good numbers. Same with Bryan Berard and Aki Berg the other two defenceman taken 1,2,3 that year. It was much easier for them to step right in, because they were smaller and played more of a skill game. They also had more quality playing experience behind them. But now, you can make a very good cast that Chara is the best defenceman of the four and will likely be so for the foreseeable future.

Komo is a lot smoother than Chara was at the same stage, and has better natural skills, so I don't think it will take him as long. I think that Komo will pass Pitkanen, Hamhuis, Bouwmeester and all of the rest in the same fashion that Chara passed Redden, Berard, Berg, Jackman, and the other of his contemporaries. Hopefully it won't take him 5 years to do it.

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04-01-2004, 03:29 PM
  #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
Since when does goals have anything to do with the skill of a defensemen?

Even with Pitkanen in second in all 3 categories, I still think the stats are very, very misleading.
You cannot be seriouse, can you? You don't realize that defensmen can make a contribution to the team by adding offensively? Do you think that Orr, Leetch, Coffey, Bourque, MacInnis, Potvin's only contribution was hitting people? Do you think people quaked in fear to play against them because they were awesome at clearing the front of the net...

wait... I'm sorry, I just realized your comment could be an April Fools joke... if it is, I appolgize for not getting it right away.

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Old
04-01-2004, 07:12 PM
  #208
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Well, a GREAT defenseman to me, is a defenseman who plays great DEFENSE. One that will not get bunred, and will get the job done in his own end first. Adding to the offense is just a bonus.

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04-01-2004, 07:16 PM
  #209
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John-Micheal Liles all the way!!

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Old
04-01-2004, 09:56 PM
  #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiesAreLikeWins 2 Us
Well, a GREAT defenseman to me, is a defenseman who plays great DEFENSE. One that will not get bunred, and will get the job done in his own end first. Adding to the offense is just a bonus.
OK... I consider Orr the greatest defenseman ever to play the game, and most people would agree. He was alright defensively, but he changed the entire dynamic of the way the game was played because he could rush the puck, and that added more to his team than any dominant defesive defenseman of his time.

Look, I'm not bashing nice stay at home d-men, they're great, but there is more than one way to contribute, and having a guy that can rush the puck, and play the point on a pp, contributes a huge amount to a team. Look this is crazy... I'm argueing something so basic here.

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04-01-2004, 10:41 PM
  #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil slick
OK... I consider Orr the greatest defenseman ever to play the game, and most people would agree. He was alright defensively, but he changed the entire dynamic of the way the game was played because he could rush the puck, and that added more to his team than any dominant defesive defenseman of his time.

Look, I'm not bashing nice stay at home d-men, they're great, but there is more than one way to contribute, and having a guy that can rush the puck, and play the point on a pp, contributes a huge amount to a team. Look this is crazy... I'm argueing something so basic here.

It is basic, I understand where you are coming from, but you make it sound like, to be a good defenseman you have to score points. Thats not the main priority of a defenseman. If you cant take care of your own end, you might as well play forward. Know what i mean?

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04-01-2004, 10:51 PM
  #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertsson 4-ever
Christian Bšckman have done a relly good season. If St Louis misses the playoffs we could se him play for Sweden in the World Champs.
having seen ST lousid play edm all 4 time i would have to agree Backman is going to be a great D-man in the future. He plays such a safe game and never seems to be in the wrong place or make a mistake. I am not sure he is of the level of Liles or Pitkanen but he is right there with hamhuis imo.

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04-02-2004, 12:26 AM
  #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s7ark
See, what's funny is I'm watching the game and the commentators are constantly remarking that his defense has improved a lot since his first stint with the Oilers (just to remind you, I'm a habs fan who doesn't really care about the oilers except that I live here now... don't be fooled by the avatar). You gave two examples from one of the worst games he has played, one of which was after he lost his stick behind the net and had to defend without it. Obviously not representative of his whole year, especially since his return from Toronto.
Actually, Bergeron had his stick on both of those plays. I remember the play when he lost his stick and I didn't say anything because it's not a normal defensive situation that could have been helped. I was kind of enough to ignore Sillinger turning him inside out though. I listed two, but there could have been more.


Quote:
I've been waiting to see a report from you berating Hamhuis, Pitkanen and Orpik the way you have Bergeron. I find it hard to believe that they've made no mistakes as rookies this year given the amount of time they play.
You'll be waiting awhile because there's no need. No one is really saying those three guys are more than what they are whereas neglecting Bergeron's defensive gaffes is doing just that.


Quote:
Reminding you AGAIN ( ) I said from the beginning that he may not the star that any of those are; he simply deserves the respect as one of the best rookie d-men out there.
So? Our debate was clearly defined by the response you made to a simple comment about Bergeron's game. I'm not comparing Bergeron to any of the other rookies really (except to hype up Backman a little because he deserves it); I don't really care about that. Basically, you disputed my claim about his defensive game and everything else is tied into that. Maybe if you'd stop banging your head on walls (), you would have narrowed the debate down to that level. And I'll say it again too; I don't consider Bergeron one of the best rookie defensemen out there. I would rank a good number of guys ahead of him because I rate defensive play as highly as offensive play.


Quote:
So what if he turns out to be more of a Zubov or Gonchar-type (or maybe you don't think his offensive ability defines his ranking among defensemen, and that's fair enough) player down the road? A lot of teams will find that more valuable than having another defensive specialist. I think the Oilers are starting to feel that way (Ules, Smith and Staios, and even Brewer have it covered). You CAN overlook a bit of defensive shortcoming if the offense is coming along nicely, atleast for a short time, and especially in a rookie. That's all I've been saying.
Actually, you never said that at all. It's where the entire thing stems from really. If you had admitted that Bergeron wasn't all that great defensively in the first place, there would have been nothing to debate. I haven't disputed his offensive contributions (although I have seen a good number of rookie D in the West that have better offensive games IMO), but when you say, "He no make dumb mistakes. He no get beaten to puck in own zone. He no lose puck in own zone.", that raises the bar to a different level. And Bergeron's defensive game isn't on that higher level. A player like Liles is actually pretty similar to Bergeron generally speaking, but Liles is 4 times the player in his own end that Bergeron is right now. As I said, I prefer good defense from a defenseman and I don't believe Bergeron plays good defense. He's basically adequate most of the time with the occasional ugly gaffe in either a read or along the boards.

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04-02-2004, 12:28 AM
  #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db23
Wow, this thread has gone off on a wild tangent. All I was trying to say regarding the Stevens/Orpik comparison is that the Scott Stevens we know now (Stay at home defender who hits like a truck), is not what the "young Scott Stevens" was like. When Scott was in his 20s, he could beat you any way you wanted to play. Defensively, offensively, hitting, or dropping the gloves. He was probably the most complete player in the game for a decade or so.
That may be what you were trying to say but you certainly did not say that. You said Orpik was 5% of Stevens and that there could be in no way any comparisons made betweem the two.
I don't think there would have been much outcry if all you were saying is something about Stevens. Instead you chose to single out Orpik and insinuate that it was an absolute ludicrous comparison.
I feel that you have been more edjucated about Orpik though, so there is some good that came out of it.

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04-02-2004, 12:42 AM
  #215
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Originally Posted by Cawz
Did you watch him the next night, scoring in Dallas?
I also saw Guerin win a board battle so decisively that Bergeron nearly fell on his butt after doing the old "I lost my balance and I'm on my tiptoes" routine. His size is a major issue when he gets along the defensive boards, which is likely why Ulanov is the D doing most of the chasing.


Quote:
In case you missed the game, about 12 forwards and 5 other defencemen stunk up the joint in St Louis. Go take a look at the Game Day Thread on the Oilers board if you want to see most of the players get raked over the coals. If Bergeron was warm feces, most of the rest of the team was bubbling and boiling feces. The fact that he bounced back the very next night speaks volumes about him.
What about my descriptions implied I missed the game? There wasn't a debate over how many times Smyth could get knocked on his ass; there was a debate about Bergeron's D zone play.


Quote:
MAB is +12 for the season, so I dont see how he can be considered a defensive liability. The only other rookie defencemen putting up the same numbers are from NJ and Philly, and their respective teams are over +40 (The Oilers as a team are +16, so +12 for a rookie dman isnt so bad. It ties him for 6th on the team).

He's not a defensive force, but he's not a defensive liability. He's defensively adequate and offensively gifted, which is nice to have in a rookie dman.
+/- is not a determinant of defensive play. GM's don't trade for defensemen based on their +/- unless I missed the mass publishing of some secret NHL memo. He runs around a lot, his size makes him very ineffective along the boards, and he doesn't naturally tie up guys in front of the net when somebody does actually go there while Ulanov is doing all the chasing. I'm not sure I would classify him as a liability just yet, but his defense is certainly a problem area. Like I said earlier, if Ulanov is the rock on a defensive pair, that's scary. And I'm about as big an Ulanov fan as there is (goes back to the days of the Ulanov/Marchment pairing on the Bolts) when I say that. I certainly wouldn't call Bergeron adequate defensively though.

There are similar rookie offensive-minded defensemen in the league this year that I would term adequate and that I would certainly rank higher than Bergeron. Backman is a great example. His stats don't look all that great, but when you watch him play, you see why there are a few of us talking him up. The all too common punchline around HF is "puck poise", referring to KL and his Skoula propaganda machine. But, that is something Backman has right now; he looks more calm than most veteran defensemen do with the puck on his stick. He's rather scary with his pinches at times, but he will take the body to win the puck and he will take hits to make plays. Has outstanding vision as well. His defensive game is a couple of notches above Bergeron's at least and that is identifying his #1 weakness off the get go, a few too many pinches that leave a forward back.

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04-02-2004, 06:02 AM
  #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiesAreLikeWins 2 Us
It is basic, I understand where you are coming from, but you make it sound like, to be a good defenseman you have to score points. Thats not the main priority of a defenseman. If you cant take care of your own end, you might as well play forward. Know what i mean?
Sure you have to take care of your own end, but you don't have to be dominant to be GREAT. Again, I'll bring up Orr. 1)he was great 2)he was not dominant defensively

And I'm trying not to make it sound like you have to score points to be effective; every post I've mentioned that stay at homes can be GREAT also, and play an important role. I was just attacking statments like:

"Since when does goals have anything to do with the skill of a defensemen?"

and

"Well, a GREAT defenseman to me, is a defenseman who plays great DEFENSE. One that will not get bunred, and will get the job done in his own end first. Adding to the offense is just a bonus."

Well, those statements are silly. You can be GREAT and have the major upside of your play be offensive... so long as your not a complete tool in your own end, having an offensive talent is ONE way to contribute to the team (along with being tough defensively).

And as for MAB's defensive play, it has been more than adequate since he was recalled... he has played great, and has not played bad defensively, I'm not too sure where all these attackers are coming from, but he has been a huge part of recent success.

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04-02-2004, 08:46 AM
  #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil slick
Sure you have to take care of your own end, but you don't have to be dominant to be GREAT. Again, I'll bring up Orr. 1)he was great 2)he was not dominant defensively

And I'm trying not to make it sound like you have to score points to be effective; every post I've mentioned that stay at homes can be GREAT also, and play an important role. I was just attacking statments like:

"Since when does goals have anything to do with the skill of a defensemen?"

and

"Well, a GREAT defenseman to me, is a defenseman who plays great DEFENSE. One that will not get bunred, and will get the job done in his own end first. Adding to the offense is just a bonus."

Well, those statements are silly. You can be GREAT and have the major upside of your play be offensive... so long as your not a complete tool in your own end, having an offensive talent is ONE way to contribute to the team (along with being tough defensively).

And as for MAB's defensive play, it has been more than adequate since he was recalled... he has played great, and has not played bad defensively, I'm not too sure where all these attackers are coming from, but he has been a huge part of recent success.
There are some people out there who have simply dug themselves in a trench since the beginning of the season and won't budge out of principle (this page alone is evidence of that). There is also someone who has chosen a side (I think before really having an idea of the improvements M-A made), and is trying really hard to find mistakes and pass them off as "proof" of M-A's overall skill and worth. It's easy to tell when the debate focuses on the effectiveness of everyone's arguement more than the worth of the argument in the first place... (not to mention names, but there's some headbanging going on). Fact is, as you said, he has been a huge part of this recent surge by the Oilers, and you can't do that as a liability.

Exagerrated reports of his defensive weaknesses (which you'll find in this thread, usually in response to my posts) don't detract from the fact that he is scoring at a higher rate per game than other D-men in the class, and that's valuable. I'm not calling him Orr, but the point is completely valid. If his defense was such a liability, he wouldn't have as impressive a +/-, regardless of how little worth one puts in that stat, and wouldn't be logging the minutes or seeing the situations he is. His would be even better if they included PP pts.

If I had a team with Jason Smith, Eric Brewer, Steve Staios, and Igor Ulanov (I prefer not to mention Cory Cross), I'd trade an Orpik-type and a Hamhuis-type for a chance to develop a Bergeron-type (the guy had over 100pts one year in junior I believe... rediculous for a defenseman nowadays). You can't teach talent, but you can teach a defensive system and decision making. I'm not saying the detractors don't have a point when they say his defense could stand improvement, I just think it is closeminded to say that a whole pile of rookie d-men deserve more credit than him. Look at the recent surge the Oilers have put on, and he has something like 11 pts in 12 games. Pretty terrible... not valuable at all.

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04-02-2004, 03:24 PM
  #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laperriere22
What about my descriptions implied I missed the game? There wasn't a debate over how many times Smyth could get knocked on his ass; there was a debate about Bergeron's D zone play.
Mabye that was a bad choice of words. I just meant that you singled out MAB when the whole team stank (stunk?). Its tough for a player to excell in a game when the whole roster is laying an egg.

Theres all this talk that dmen should play defence, and that goals donít matter, but what matters most is what they contribute to the team. MAB is a huge factor that the Oilers still have a hope of making the playoffs with 3 days left in the season. If it wasnít for him (along with a few others), the Oilers would probably still be stuck around 12th place in the west. If it wasnít for Liles, where would the Aves be?

So you can throw out as many stats and instances as you want, but our rookie defenceman is one of the 5 players that have taken this team by the nads and have attempted to drag them into the playoffs. If you donít see that as being incredibly valuable to the team, well then fine. I'll take the occisional defensive gaffe if his overall play moves the team up 5 spots in the standings in a month.

So whats more important, A Coffey type player or a Stevens type player? They are both needed on the team, because someone has to protect their own end, but someone has to help move the puck up the ice and QB the PP. Saying one is more important is pointless. Thatís why I always hated watching the Oilers play Dallas, because they had Hatcher and Zubov, the best of both worlds. Which one is more important? I say both.


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04-13-2004, 06:33 PM
  #219
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Right about now, I think we all made a mistake by not mentioning Paul Martin that much. He's very solid. The only time I saw him get burned was when he was 1 on 1 with Primeau. But this guy is as solid as a rock. Paul "Prime Minister" Martin is awsome!

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04-13-2004, 07:04 PM
  #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiesAreLikeWins 2 Us
Right about now, I think we all made a mistake by not mentioning Paul Martin that much. He's very solid. The only time I saw him get burned was when he was 1 on 1 with Primeau. But this guy is as solid as a rock. Paul "Prime Minister" Martin is awsome!
By the way, that wasn't Martin who got burned, it was Albelin.

Martin has gotten no respect because he hasn't put up the numbers that Liles or Pitkanen has, and that's fine with me. He hasn't played as well - offensively - as either of those two players. Not really even close. But Martin is solid defensively - he gets hit, but makes the play anyway - and adds another rocket shot from the blueline, as well as a Niedermayer-like willingness to get down and dirty in the crease, as seen with his goal and assist yesterday.

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04-13-2004, 07:18 PM
  #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flame_Star_Devil
By the way, that wasn't Martin who got burned, it was Albelin.
Really? I thought it was Martin. Numbers aren't everything. Martin and Hamhuis are probably my Top 2. They are warriors who get the job done, which is what a defenseman is supposed to do. Every goal starts with a defenseman believe it or not. They have to make the breakout pass, that starts the rush. If that pass is bad, then there is no rush. I love Martin.

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04-13-2004, 11:27 PM
  #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flame_Star_Devil
By the way, that wasn't Martin who got burned, it was Albelin.
The one toasting I'm thinking of (the one that Broduer stopped as Primeau came along the baseline) was against Martin. Bucci made the comment that he beat the Canadian Prime Minister on that play. Now, I'm not in to Canadian politics, but I'm pretty sure no one named Albelin is the PM of Canada.

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04-14-2004, 02:59 AM
  #223
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Martin didn't really get his act together until halfway through the year, but as it stands he's basically our #2 defenseman (in terms of total ice and special teams time). He progressed rapidly once he got paired with Niedermayer and Burns uses him in every situation.

He projects to be a poor man's Niedermayer. He's got good speed, offensive awareness, and compensates for a lack of physicality with positioning and smarts. Should be a consistent 40 point guy within 2 years. He doesn't have the ceiling of Pitkanen or Bouwmeester, but is very projectable and has gained invaluable experience as part of the NHL's #1 ranked defense and playoff participant.

Once he puts on some muscle, watch out. He'll be a legit 1st pairing guy for us the moment Stevens calls it a career.

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04-14-2004, 03:14 AM
  #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiesAreLikeWins 2 Us
Right about now, I think we all made a mistake by not mentioning Paul Martin that much. He's very solid. The only time I saw him get burned was when he was 1 on 1 with Primeau. But this guy is as solid as a rock. Paul "Prime Minister" Martin is awsome!
I'll give Martin his props. He has been quite solid this year. He'll be a top pairing defenseman when Stevens leaves, no doubt. I'm not sure whether he is in the top 5 rookie d-men or not, and not sure how much obvious potential can overshadow actual results. I think he is worth a mention in both offense and especially defense, but not deserving of TOP honours in either. It's always hard to say with NJ defensemen though (sure we all KNOW Niedermayer and Stevens are the best out there, but how do you PROVE it? It's harder without stats ).

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