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wannabe

When Staal Returns

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The way Brandon is playing, I would have my centers as follows:  Staal, Sutter, Cullen, Brind'Amour.

Until he proves otherwise, Brandon has earned the 2nd line center spot IMO.

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Title is a bit misleading.  Had me thinking Staal was returning and that we may actually start to succeed.  Don't scare me like that.  I like our silent goal of finishing with more than 71 losses or less than 21 points.  Let's pull a record out of this season.  We already blew the 18 game no-win streak record once, let's get it going again.

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Was Staal playing up to his potential to keep that first line spot?
No, he wasn't, but you have to wonder how much of the time he was playing hurt.  Obviously, whatever "upper body" injury he had/has is more serious than they first said or led us to believe, since his time away went from "day to day" to 2-4 weeks, to who knows when he will return?  He is not skating at all yet (I assume, or something would have been said about it) and typically it is at least a week or two of skating, then practicing, before an injured player returns.  So, I'm going to say end of November before we see him in a game.  

To the question:  I agree that the lines should be centered by Staal (1), Sutter (2), Cullen (3) and Brindy (4).  Sutter has proven himself to be where he is.

  

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Sounds like Cullen may be going to Chicago. That, of course, leaves a center position open for Sutter to stay here even after Staal returns. Sutter's play has been pretty freaking great.

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Keep in mind we have been playing lower teir teams.  I agree Sutter has been good, real good, but I'll reserve judgement until we start playing good teams again.  Based on the team on the ice today, I like Sutter on the first or second line.  I heard Forslund say on yesterday's post game Staal could return this weekend.  Did anybody else hear the same thing?  Anyway, demoting Staal off the first line is ridiculous, IMO.  I do agree Brindy should go to the fourth line but I'd kick my granny in the creek if that happenned.  On another note, I think the Juice is better as a center than a wing, just sayin.

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I was wondering when we would  begin to talk about  Staal. The silence has been  deafening.  I agree with the  Staal, Sutter, Cullen, Brindy camp.Of course Sutter has proved he can play wing too.

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Where did the Cullen rumor start? I agree we have been playing "lower" tier teams but we are currently the lowest. Brandon seems to play smarter than some of the others. ie less stupid passes and turnovers and looking to make the plays and TAKES SHOTS on the net. Staal did skate Sunday I believe, not sure of which day but he did skate this past weekend.

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The only thing that makes me nervous about Staal coming back is that Sutter gets stuck in the black hole between some combination of Sergei/Larose/Walker.

Cullen/Ruutuu/Jussi haven't been that bad as of late. You have to put your 40 goal guy in between Cole and Whitney. That leaves nothing but scrubs to fill in on Brandon's wings.

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It's an 82-game grind.  Sutter hasn't filled out and if he has to center a line with less physical players on his wing he could take a pounding.  I agree he is the real deal but I'd like to see him put on another 20 pounds.  So far, he has made up for that with speed.  Also, the word on Sutter will get out pretty quick he can score.  Look for other teams to start playing him a little more physical.  

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Where did the Cullen rumor start? I agree we have been playing "lower" tier teams but we are currently the lowest. Brandon seems to play smarter than some of the others. ie less stupid passes and turnovers and looking to make the plays and TAKES SHOTS on the net. Staal did skate Sunday I believe, not sure of which day but he did skate this past weekend.
TSA started a "Trade rumors in media" thread and we've discussed it there.  The Cullen rumor is here: http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=336619, and that pretty much looks like the start.  I think bloggers are picking it up from there.

Also, the Chicago Sun Times one week ago started the talk that Chicago badly needs centers.  However, they didn't mention any trade partners.

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my first post this season...for what it's worth.  i don't think staal acts like he enjoys playing here or wants to play here.  i just don't "get" any on-ice chemistry between him and any of the other players...not even cole, who was supposed to be the perfect pairing for him.  of course, he has lots of potential but it is never going to flourish here because he isn't happy.  that is abundantly apparent. and apparently he has to be happy in order to perform, in spite of his mega-contract.  or maybe, just maybe, he has peaked out and he just isn't going to be the superstar that the organization planned on him being.  talk about personal frustration for him as a player and a person! 

j r has tried to build a team around one player and it's just not working. the whole pace of the game alters when staal is on the ice...and that results in a lot of turnovers on his part.  whether that is his fault because of his size and long reach or the fact the others are out of synch with him, idk.   i can't help but wonder about the comment j r  made shortly after staal went out with his injury, to the effect that he made mistakes and he would have to take the responsibility for them and make adjustments.  maybe mo wanted to rest staal (if he indeed did have a less serious upper body issue) but either staal or j r or both didn't want to interrupt his consecutive games played streak...who knows?  if he was playing injured and the team suffered because of it....then who's decision was that?

in any case, i, too hope he is 100% when he returns...he deserves the opportunity to play healthy and and find success again.  there is no doubt in my mind that he will center the first line....and regardless of the slight build of sutter, he has more than overcome that with speed, agility and d-e-s-i-r-e.   i hope he doesn't get lost in the mix.   it's going to be interesting.

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my first post this season...for what it's worth.  i don't think staal acts like he enjoys playing here or wants to play here.  i just don't "get" any on-ice chemistry between him and any of the other players...not even cole, who was supposed to be the perfect pairing for him.  of course, he has lots of potential but it is never going to flourish here because he isn't happy.  that is abundantly apparent. and apparently he has to be happy in order to perform, in spite of his mega-contract.  or maybe, just maybe, he has peaked out and he just isn't going to be the superstar that the organization planned on him being.  talk about personal frustration for him as a player and a person! 

j r has tried to build a team around one player and it's just not working. the whole pace of the game alters when staal is on the ice...and that results in a lot of turnovers on his part.  whether that is his fault because of his size and long reach or the fact the others are out of synch with him, idk.   i can't help but wonder about the comment j r  made shortly after staal went out with his injury, to the effect that he made mistakes and he would have to take the responsibility for them and make adjustments.  maybe mo wanted to rest staal (if he indeed did have a less serious upper body issue) but either staal or j r or both didn't want to interrupt his consecutive games played streak...who knows?  if he was playing injured and the team suffered because of it....then who's decision was that?

in any case, i, too hope he is 100% when he returns...he deserves the opportunity to play healthy and and find success again.  there is no doubt in my mind that he will center the first line....and regardless of the slight build of sutter, he has more than overcome that with speed, agility and d-e-s-i-r-e.   i hope he doesn't get lost in the mix.   it's going to be interesting.

I hope Staal is happy here.  I am hoping that his poor play was just caused by the upper body injury.  If Sutter keeps playing the way he is that may cause for some competition for the 1st line.

  

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When Staal returns...

..., I hope he has paid attention to Sutter's play and comes back with a chip on his shoulder.  This is Sutter's team right now.

Ya...and guess what......who's the next captain of this team? Who's supposed to be the next leader of this team? Wow....he has to lead by example and his example is putting up goals and assists. He is the $8,000,000 Man and he better earn that money by scoring goals and showing leadership. If he doesn't.....this team is in some serious crap.....

  

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With the rumors surrounding Cullen and the 'Hawks and the way Whit Sutter Cole are playing together, I'd try to package a deal surrounding Cullen (prospects, another player, etc) to grab Patrick Sharp...27 y/o from Thunder Bay, 44 pts in 62 games last year, plays center and wing.  Supposedly pretty streaky but that's just fine.

Sharp Staal Ruutu
Whit Sutter Cole
LaRose Jussi Brindy/Walks
Kosto Yelle Brindy/Walks

That's a solid top 2 lines. 

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With the rumors surrounding Cullen and the 'Hawks and the way Whit Sutter Cole are playing together, I'd try to package a deal surrounding Cullen (prospects, another player, etc) to grab Patrick Sharp...27 y/o from Thunder Bay, 44 pts in 62 games last year, plays center and wing.  Supposedly pretty streaky but that's just fine.

Sharp Staal Ruutu

Whit Sutter Cole

LaRose Jussi Brindy/Walks

Kosto Yelle Brindy/Walks

That's a solid top 2 lines. 

Interesting idea, and something not completely out of possibility.  The Hawks are in process of signing Kane, Toews and Keith as their young core.  Just about everyone else is up for some deal.

I forgot Sharp is a Thunder Bay boy, about 3 yrs older than Staal.  That would be interesting.

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[quote name='wxray1 wrote:


Law-Dawg']

With the rumors surrounding Cullen and the 'Hawks and the way Whit Sutter Cole are playing together, I'd try to package a deal surrounding Cullen (prospects, another player, etc) to grab Patrick Sharp...27 y/o from Thunder Bay, 44 pts in 62 games last year, plays center and wing.  Supposedly pretty streaky but that's just fine.

Sharp Staal Ruutu

Whit Sutter Cole

LaRose Jussi Brindy/Walks

Kosto Yelle Brindy/Walks

That's a solid top 2 lines. 

Interesting idea, and something not completely out of possibility.  The Hawks are in process of signing Kane, Toews and Keith as their young core.  Just about everyone else is up for some deal.

I forgot Sharp is a Thunder Bay boy, about 3 yrs older than Staal.  That would be interesting.

I know, right?  Plus we have a young winger if Whit doesn't get resigned next year and it allows Boychuck to come up next year to play the 2nd line with Sutter...I'm telling you...this is the deal to make!!!

  

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Well, we shouldn't forget that Boychuk is basically a center, not a winger...as lots of our players are (Staal, Brindy, Sutter, Boychuk, Jussi, Ruutu, Rosey....)

I don't see why we would try to move Boychuk on the wing if not necessary, his playmaking abilites make him a good fit at center, even more than Staal, who is, from his given toolset, more of a winger than Boychuk is. I'd say Boychuk could center the 3rd line if Cullen leaves.

Anyway, I really like Sharp, guess he could be a good fit for Staal.

Sharp - Staal - Ruutu

Whitney - Sutter - Cole

Jussi -  Boychuk - Walker

Kostopoulos - Brindy - Rosey

Still, I go with Brindy on the 4th line for the fact of saving his energy for special teams.

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