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Staal... or stalled?

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I've been watching the first two seasons of Lost on SciFi - very entertaining stuff. On a hockey-related note, I saw an episode of Law and Order the other night where a hockey dad beat his son's coach to death for suspending his son for one game for violent play.

I love watching Ghost Whisperer! Jennifer Love is HOT! Though the show is getting a little weird with her husband dieing and then coming back from the dead..what's up with that!

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Remkin asked me on the GDT from which this thread was born about what I felt Eric had to be doing to not be considered "disappearing," a term I used to describe what remkin called his past slips after good performances. I've copied my answer here since it fits the thread:

Thanks remkin. I'll consider Eric to be doing his job when he is giving 100 percent on every shift. It's that simple. I don't care if it doesn't show up on the scoresheet, because in the long run it shows in the standings. I want to see Eric playing at least as hard as LaRose, Cullen, Seidenberg, Samsonov, and the other guys whose hard work has kept this team in contention while he (and, to be fair, many others) has been taking nights off.

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I guess the point I'm making is that how "hard" someone is playing is pretty subjective. Ultimately players like Staal, who are paired with the best wings, and double-shifted, and asked to look for offense first need to show up on the scoresheet. The are not really "energy" players, but scorers.

I will say this as my subjective assessment of when Staal has his game going (I don't really know if it is a function of attitude, injuries, etc. I don't really know for sure how hard he is playing). But when Staal is on his game he has that 1/2 step more that takes him just beyond. It is enough to free up space for himself. When he has it going he may not score, but he is generating multiple chances for himself and his linemates. When he is going, there are several times in the game where I think NICE play! Instead of the defenseman getting a stick on the puck, Staal keeps it just out of reach or is just that 1/2 second quicker. That's what I saw vs. Philly, and hope to see more of.

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I will say this as my subjective assessment of when Staal has his game going (I don't really know if it is a function of attitude, injuries, etc. I don't really know for sure how hard he is playing). But when Staal is on his game he has that 1/2 step more that takes him just beyond. It is enough to free up space for himself. When he has it going he may not score, but he is generating multiple chances for himself and his linemates. When he is going, there are several times in the game where I think NICE play! Instead of the defenseman getting a stick on the puck, Staal keeps it just out of reach or is just that 1/2 second quicker. That's what I saw vs. Philly, and hope to see more of.

Perfect description, remkin. golfpro has said he has trouble with people not understanding what Staal brings. I think think most of us do, and it's pretty much what you describe -- the opposite of which is the other Staal, who doesn't have that half step and seems content to just be on the ice, versus doing those "little" things that are game changers.

He isn't an energy player in the same way as those I listed, but on nights where he's not doing the little things, you can see it -- which is what I mean when I say he's "not working hard." Maybe "not playing to his ability" is a more fitting phrase, but whatever you want to call it, we all know what it looks like.

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anyone notice Staal pretty much improved his play the moment Lavi got fired?

Improved isn't quite a strong enough word! ;) And its not just Staal ---the entire team has greatly improved!

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I've been one his most vocal critics when he's been a non-factor, so now that he's playing to his potential I'll join the chorus of praise. Eric has looked great the last three games. Here's hoping he's closing the door on that "other" Eric.

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Does anyone else think there might have been some rift between Eric and Lavi the last two years? Kinda like Lavi insisting that Staal play more into his system and he couldn't or wouldn't do it? Too bad that it had to take another coach to build the game around Staal and all of a sudden he is clicking again like nothing ever happend. We sure missed his production and it's good to see him back though.

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If that is true, I just wonder what happened last year. When Brindy went down, Staal picked his game up in a major way and we were one game from the playoffs, with Laviollette as coach. It is certainly possible that there was a change in Lavi and Staal's relationship with Brindy out of the picture that reverted back once Brindy came back though.

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If that is true, I just wonder what happened last year. When Brindy went down, Staal picked his game up in a major way and we were one game from the playoffs, with Laviollette as coach. It is certainly possible that there was a change in Lavi and Staal's relationship with Brindy out of the picture that reverted back once Brindy came back though.

I was just wondering for the sake of discussion. I remember around this time last year Eric had long slumps too. To me it looked like Lavi might have demanded a more physical game from him with finishing checks etc., because that's all he would do for a lot of games and it threw off his game in a big way. Reason I'm saying that is because it seemed more of a tactical demand by a coach than how Eric himself would prefer to play. His style of game didn't revert back to what it was until after injuries started to pile up.

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Anyone notice Staal is a +12. The points may not be there, but the only people with the chance to score while he's fighting off two defenders and controlling the puck behind the net is the Canes.

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Either Tripp or Forslund were saying that Maurice is asking Staal to start and stop rather than looping. They mentioned that this is harder work, but it pays off. I don't know if that's enough to have caused the improvement, but Staal is looking much better and this team isn't even a boarderline playoff team without Staal.

There was also a graphic during yesterday's broadcast comparing Staal's draft class. I don't know if they were cherry picked, but Staal has the most points of everyone chosen by a fair margin.

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Either Tripp or Forslund were saying that Maurice is asking Staal to start and stop rather than looping. They mentioned that this is harder work, but it pays off. I don't know if that's enough to have caused the improvement, but Staal is looking much better and this team isn't even a boarderline playoff team without Staal.

There was also a graphic during yesterday's broadcast comparing Staal's draft class. I don't know if they were cherry picked, but Staal has the most points of everyone chosen by a fair margin.

I heard that as well. Can you explain how it pays off? I was lost in their dialog but noticed the change. I haven't checked but I think he has improved on his face-off's compared to last year. The team is looking better especially with their work ethic.

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I heard that as well. Can you explain how it pays off? I was lost in their dialog but noticed the change. I haven't checked but I think he has improved on his face-off's compared to last year. The team is looking better especially with their work ethic.

Looping often times will put wrong handed people on the wrong side of the ice making one timers impossible and to much looping doesnt exactly confuse the defense the defense can stand still and keep up with a guy looping the entire offensive zone. Rather then trying to follow a puck and make quick decisions.

Stopping and starting will sometimes shake a defenseman to make a pass

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Looping often times will put wrong handed people on the wrong side of the ice making one timers impossible and to much looping doesnt exactly confuse the defense the defense can stand still and keep up with a guy looping the entire offensive zone. Rather then trying to follow a puck and make quick decisions.

Stopping and starting will sometimes shake a defenseman to make a pass

I see your point and how too much wouldn't be so confusing to the defense. Couldn't this "Looping" affect the play of the other guys on the 1st line?

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I see your point and how too much wouldn't be so confusing to the defense. Couldn't this "Looping" affect the play of the other guys on the 1st line?

Yea cause if he loops and everyone cycles to a position thier handness doesnt best suit your not scoring. Which is why Ruutu was scoring so many unassisted goals because he scored right off the rush because if we set up in the zone for a long time we couldn't score.

Imagine someone being at the recieving end of a pass while on thier backhand, it doesnt end well. They gotta first stop the puck on the backhand, settle it and then wind up and shoot. Goalie is already in position and so is your opposition sticks to close the shooting lane.

It's just bad for everyone, Samsonov does it to much for my liking as well. That guy dekes himself out of chances... like today he had a huge shooting lane. Pooped his pants because hes not exactly a sniper but if he had gotten it low and on goal we woulda had a rebound chance. He did his normal dekeing routine and looped back to the blueline and then lost the puck at some point. He musta had the puck 20 seconds and nothing came of it.

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OK, I was one of the first ones to *edit* and now I am man enough to admit that Eric Staal has made a very nice turnaround in the last 2 weeks. He is indeed playing with more passion and is "in" the game as opposed to skating around its edges. Congratualtions and keep it up. The team and fans need you to be a rock!

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I think Staal turning his game around is proof that we need to be patient.

OK, OK I admitted my misread of Staal, but please don't ask me to recant on all my ravings about MO. Come on, its Christmas!

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I think Staal turning his game around is proof that we need to be patient.

I would like nothing more than to see Brindy turn it around. Getting him back in form would allow for a major run. We have the first line working, we have the defense mostly healthy and we're getting significantly improved goaltending from Cam.

Just don't see it happening. At some point it will be a battle between all of the goodwill and loyalty that Rod has deservingly built up vs. the success of the team. I really hope to be wrong about this. But Brind'Amour was slipping last year before the injury. That is what deflates my expectations.

In a perverse way I was kind of hoping that part of Brindy's problem was with Laviollette and that he would re-emerge under Maurice. That may have been an issue for Staal, but doesn't seem to have mattered for Brind'Amour.

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