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Staal... or stalled?

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Staal is back. Oh wait, I already posted that. Cam made some great saves and kept us in the game last night, but Staal basically won that game single handedly. That's the difference between having your star and not having your star. I don't know why he's back but that he is back gives us a chance.

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I think most were ready to proclaim Staal as "back" after the hat trick against Phoenix. Until Staal can find some level of consistency in his play, I'll continue to doubt whether he really is "back" or not. Ward is in the same type of situation; I don't expect him to be Martin Brodeur every night, but I expect him to eliminate the sporadic occassions where he looks like Dan Cloutier.

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Despite his stretch of subpar play post injury, he has come back enough to be tied for 10th in the league in goals. He is skating harder. His shot is harder. He is finding spots in the next intstead of the goalie's breadbasket. He is strong on the puck. He is back.

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Since early in the year, I haven't seen Eric pick a spot and put a laser on net like that last goal last night. I have to think part of his problem was an injury, IMO. I also have to think the new staff has helped him. I too would like to see some extended consistency but I think he's back. Let's see if he shows up on the scoresheet tonight. I would also like to see him beside the likes of a Malkin, Semin, etc, etc, etc. and then we might not be having these conversations.

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Apparently, Staal's still in Atlanta. I don't expect a hat trick every night, but I expect him to make some type of impact out there. That's why I think he's still a level below players like Crosby and Ovechkin. Crosby and Ovechkin, whether they score or not, still make an impact every night they are on the ice whether it's by passing or hitting. Staal still has bouts where he can be completely invisible for extended stretches of play.

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Yeah, Staal disappeared tonight. Something's got to keep that guy's attention, because he's got to have some kind of hockey ADD.

Boston has a much better defense than the Trash

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Yeah, Staal disappeared tonight. Something's got to keep that guy's attention, because he's got to have some kind of hockey ADD.

From where I sat, it looked as though Staal was working throughout the night. Chara was working him over. A few times, Staal was in front of the net and no one shot for a rebound or got him the puck in the slot. The Bruins defensive attention to Staal led to several opportunities for Sammie, but good goaltending and some bad luck kept the line off the scoresheet. At least that was how I saw it, for what it's worth.

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Vocal as I've been in criticizing Staal's inconsistency, I think you've just got to throw the Bruins game out as any kind of indicator. The fact that our guys hung with a team this hot all night long and did so THE NIGHT AFTER such a huge emotional win says something. They got the divisional win they needed and sent a message to Boston that they are able to play with them even after such a draining game, and I'm O.K. with that. I think if you go back two years and the same thing had happened with Roddy, we'd all have agreed, "He can't carry the team every night." Which is not to suggest that Staal has done anything remotely resembling that -- but let's face it, if you can't win both these games, our guys picked the right one to win and nearly managed to steal the other from a very tough team, so after Friday's performance, I can give Eric a pass.

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The fact that he's never out with an injury tells me all I need to know about Staal.

He's never out with an injury because he usually is never in position to get one. That would suppose that he is checking, sitting in front of the net and going all out after the puck. Those are typically the situations in which one would be injured.

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He's never out with an injury because he usually is never in position to get one. That would suppose that he is checking, sitting in front of the net and going all out after the puck. Those are typically the situations in which one would be injured.

Staal isn't in those positions because he plays a different role based on his strengths. He was the target last night if you watched the same game as everyone else. Rod was the one with the turnover that lead to the game winning goal.

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Staal isn't in those positions because he plays a different role based on his strengths. He was the target last night if you watched the same game as everyone else. Rod was the one with the turnover that lead to the game winning goal.

That may be true of last night, but if you look over the years at when Staal is being most effective, it is when he is in the slot or near it, not when he's at the side of the net as he has been most of the time this year. And the reason he can't stay in or near the slot night after night is because he's a freakin' toothpick. I think he is fearful of injury, and that's the surest way to get hurt. Which brings me back to my comparison of Staal's style of play to Allen Iverson's (that's STYLE OF PLAY ONLY, Kernersville Caniac, we ALL GET that you hate AI as a person :) ).

When you're getting 8 mil plus per year, taking a beating is part of the price you pay. If your salary places you in the upper echelon of players in the league and you don't think there's a target on your sweater, you're kidding youself. So then the question becomes, "Am I going to stand up to the physical challenges that my new status brings or shrink from them?" The simple fact is that players who are willing to be the aggressors in contact sports are the ones who are least often hurt. By dodging contact, Staal is actually making himself more vulnerable.

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That may be true of last night, but if you look over the years at when Staal is being most effective, it is when he is in the slot or near it, not when he's at the side of the net as he has been most of the time this year. And the reason he can't stay in or near the slot night after night is because he's a freakin' toothpick. I think he is fearful of injury, and that's the surest way to get hurt. Which brings me back to my comparison of Staal's style of play to Allen Iverson's (that's STYLE OF PLAY ONLY, Kernersville Caniac, we ALL GET that you hate AI as a person :) ).

When you're getting 8 mil plus per year, taking a beating is part of the price you pay. If your salary places you in the upper echelon of players in the league and you don't think there's a target on your sweater, you're kidding youself. So then the question becomes, "Am I going to stand up to the physical challenges that my new status brings or shrink from them?" The simple fact is that players who are willing to be the aggressors in contact sports are the ones who are least often hurt. By dodging contact, Staal is actually making himself more vulnerable.

To be honest I don't like AI on the court either. I think he takes bad shots and he has never made one player around him better. I've seen every player for the past three years that plays on Staals line become a better player. Prime example is this year with Samsonov. The beginning of this year he had no goals and like three assist. Since he has been joined with Staal he is back to playing great hockey. Ruutu obviously is having the best year of his career and he is also paired with Staal.

Now I'm reading people are being critical of Staal for playing every night. I remember watching Cal Ripken and his streak growing up and people doing the same to him. We are lucky to have a player and person with the heart and character of a Staal.

I think there might need to be a little more attention paid to other guys on the team because what I've seen for the past 10 games the Staal line has been the best line every night.

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It's a pandemic, chronic disease on this team. It's called inconsistency and attitude -- "I'm very selective in which games I will skate/put forth the effort versus which games I'll take it easy."

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Guess Eric's resting up for the All-Star game -- b/c it matters so much in the standings.

If he was smart he would decline the invite and stay here and get his game together where it actually means something!!

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If he was smart he would decline the invite and stay here and get his game together where it actually means something!!

I'm glad someone on our team was selected. The All-Star game is a tradition and having Staal represent the Carolina Hurricanes in the All-Star game is very exciting. It is great for our organization.

If we were smart we would do a lot of things that would actually produce results!!! Like bringing up some of the younger guys. Not allowing certain players to step on the ice who have shown no sign of improvement for......2 seasons!!!

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I'm glad someone on our team was selected. The All-Star game is a tradition and having Staal represent the Carolina Hurricanes in the All-Star game is very exciting. It is great for our organization.

If we were smart we would do a lot of things that would actually produce results!!! Like bringing up some of the younger guys. Not allowing certain players to step on the ice who have shown no sign of improvement for......2 seasons!!!

Oh yes i agree, was just another sarcastic remark! ;)

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I'm glad someone on our team was selected. The All-Star game is a tradition and having Staal represent the Carolina Hurricanes in the All-Star game is very exciting. It is great for our organization.

If we were smart we would do a lot of things that would actually produce results!!! Like bringing up some of the younger guys. Not allowing certain players to step on the ice who have shown no sign of improvement for......2 seasons!!!

You do realize that every team has someone selected, right? (At least that is what Bettman said on the NHL Hour recently.)

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