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Wolfer

What bothers me about Staal

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Why do you keep referring to Staal as a playmaker? He's not, and he's never been one.

In my book, and most hockey fans, Center=Playmaker....and that my friend is the problem. I'd prefer to call him a difference maker, but he's not that this year.

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....and that my friend is a problem. I'd prefer to call him a difference maker, but he's not that this year.

The problem is your expectations then. You expect Staal to be a playmaker, when he's never been one.

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The problem is your expectations then. You expect Staal to be a playmaker, when he's never been one.

....possibly. But, it makes you think (or I do).

Let's take another slant. All the other coaches put their "Playmakers" at center. Those centers have more assists than goals (see other posters about stats).

Maybe we'll agree on that? Maybe he shouldn't play center, or Lavi should make a change.

I believe the game has always been played with the forward line as a unit, where the guy in the middle of the forwards has a key role. There aren't too many teams that throw 3 guys out there without one playing center. That responsibility is more than taking faceoffs, which Staal also has more losses at. It is the responsibility of playmaker (on every line I can think of, or those worth remembering).

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In my book, and most hockey fans, Center=Playmaker....and that my friend is the problem. I'd prefer to call him a difference maker, but he's not that this year.

I'd agree, especially when you are talking a top 6 center (vs. a 3rd line checking center for example) let alone a franchise center. I've had a similar observation this season about Staal and am hard pressed to think of memorable passes he has made this year whereas I can easily think of a couple from Brindy and Cullen as well as from wingers such as Stillman and Whitney.

Staal had 55 assist two years and 40 last year. This year is tracking for about 29-30. The stats support the observation. So too does the fact that he has never had an inverted ratio at any level. There are 60 top 6 centers in the league. Staal is the only one of those centers, when you look at assist leaders, who has more goals. Hard to ignore relative performance against your peer group.

Here's another one. Staal, while leading the team in ES minutes for all forwards, has 12 ES assists this year while the 3 wingers (Cole, Whitney, and Stillman) with whom he has played with the vast majority of this season have a combined total of 36 ES goals. I've pointed out in earlier posts that I don't lay all the blame with Staal (there are some system related issues at work too) but being accountable for only 1/3 of your wingers' ES goals is well below bar.

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....possibly. But, it makes you think (or I do).

Let's take another slant. All the other coaches put their "Playmakers" at center. Those centers have more assists than goals (see other posters about stats).

Maybe we'll agree on that? Maybe he shouldn't play center, or Lavi should make a change.

I believe the game has always been played with the forward line as a unit, where the guy in the middle of the forwards has a key role. There aren't too many teams that throw 3 guys out there without one playing center. That responsibility is more than taking faceoffs, which Staal also has more losses at. It is the responsibility of playmaker (on every line I can think of, or those worth remembering).

Lavi has always set it up so that the line was typically Stillman - Staal - Cole, with Staal and Cole being the powerforwards that go to the net, and Stillman being the player that sets them up. With the injury to Williams and the aquisition of Samsonov, Cole has moved to Brindamor's line and Whitney has taken his spot. Whitney is a different player than Cole.

The fact that Stillman has all but disappeared for half the season doesn't help the situation either.

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...The fact that Stillman has all but disappeared for half the season doesn't help the situation either.

Hey, I think we found something to agree on ! :)

Seriously though, that is a worry since it happened late last season, too.

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Hey, I think we found something to agree on ! :)

Seriously though, that is a worry since it happened late last season, too.

So you don't think that the disappearance of his playmaker (and the change from Cole to Whitney) has anything to do with Staal's decrease in stats?

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Staal isn't any type of player yet. There are quite a few ways Staal could go, but I like his versitility. He can set up plays, score goals, and now he is becomming very good at the PK. And like i said earlier, I don't care about goals or assists, just points.

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So you don't think that the disappearance of his playmaker (and the change from Cole to Whitney) has anything to do with Staal's decrease in stats?

Possible, even likely. Any disruption has an impact on linemate chemistry. With Willie going down there have been many changes. In that case Samsonov fit in immediately with Brind'Amour, and even Cole. I think that led to changes for Whitney that turned into a near term negative.

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