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Rafalski, a defensive liability?


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#1 Yemack

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:38 PM


Well the title pretty much says it all. I'm really starting to wonder if Rafalski is going to cost a very important game down the road due to his defensive lapses during critical moment of the game. I mean we all know he is very good at holding blue lines and at transition game, but does he have enough defensive side of skills? Maybe there is a reason why NJ let their number 1 defense man walk away?

My standard on defense man may be high after watching Lids and Cheli night in and night out, but I'm begining to think if the huge long term contract we gave to him will someday come back to bite us.

oh btw, I think Lebda is turning out to be a pretty good D man. And Meech played a pretty poor game tonight if you ask me.
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#2 b.shanafan14

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:42 PM

I've been starting to worry about Rafalski a bit, too. However, his good far outways his bad. That and Schneider had the same problem, only a bit worse. I would like to see Raffi improve tho

#3 GMRwings1983

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:44 PM

QUOTE(Yemack @ December 10, 2007 - 09:38PM) View Post

Well the title pretty much says it all. I'm really starting to wonder if Rafalski is going to cost a very important game down the road due to his defensive lapses during critical moment of the game. I mean we all know he is very good at holding blue lines and at transition game, but does he have enough defensive side of skills? Maybe there is a reason why NJ let their number 1 defense man walk away?

My standard on defense man may be high after watching Lids and Cheli night in and night out, but I'm begining to think if the huge long term contract we gave to him will someday come back to bite us.

oh btw, I think Lebda is turning out to be a pretty good D man. And Meech played a pretty poor game tonight if you ask me.


Yeah, he definitely turns the puck over a lot, and has a propensity for pinching in at the wrong time. Also, he can be taken advantage of one-on-one more so than other elite defenseman. But he's great offensively, and there's only a few defensemen in the league that don't have any glaring weaknesses. I don't think that anyone ever thought of him as a top 5 guy. A lot of the shorthanded chances that we give up are his fault, though, so that has to be fixed.
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#4 Viperar

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:50 PM

nope
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#5 Heaton

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:52 PM

Heh, this is the exact same thing that happened to Lilja after the playoffs.

Rafalski had another solid defense game, but had one bad clear at the end of the game and the other 59 minutes are forgotten.

Rafalski is fine and has really come on defensively as of late, don't let one play overshadow the entire body of work.
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#6 Grittzkey

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:59 PM

Yah that long term contract kinda sucks..

it will end up being a situation like backus and the lions.. We are stuck longterm with a less then good OT|D. But since we got him locked up long term, it would hurt us to much by letting them go.

Not saying Rafalski sucks now. but i can see him, the situation in the longer run, being similar to the lions/backus situation.
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#7 Canadian Wings

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:00 PM

QUOTE(Heaton @ December 10, 2007 - 10:52PM) View Post

Heh, this is the exact same thing that happened to Lilja after the playoffs.

Rafalski had another solid defense game, but had one bad clear at the end of the game and the other 59 minutes are forgotten.

Rafalski is fine and has really come on defensively as of late, don't let one play overshadow the entire body of work.


couldn't agree more! he played great down low in one on one situations against bigger preds. sometimes he does turn the puck over, but his good FAR out weighs the bad clap.gif

#8 Heaton

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:00 PM

QUOTE(Grittzkey @ December 10, 2007 - 11:59PM) View Post

Yah that long term contract kinda sucks..

it will end up being a situation like backus and the lions.. We are stuck longterm with a less then good OT|D. But since we got him locked up long term, it would hurt us to much by letting them go.

Not saying Rafalski sucks now. but i can see him, the situation in the longer run, being similar to the lions/backus situation.


This is probably the worst comparison ever posted in the history of this website.
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#9 zata40

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:14 PM

We are just used to have a perfect d-man like lids.
Ralfalski is doing great, yes hes had a few messups, but every player does.

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#10 BringHomeTheCup!

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:23 PM

Don't forget Raffy is still learning how to play in a new system, and with new mates.

That being said, he is still better defensively than Matty.

#11 wingnut40

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:23 PM

I think Raffy's done pretty well. Sometimes he's not able to hold the puck in though. That's about the only bad thing he does. No one can have more turnovers than Schneider!
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#12 sverige

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:30 PM

Being a NJ Devils fan second to Red Wings I could have told you this before Detroit signed him, which I was and still am very happy about! He unfortunately has a bad habit of having at least 1 turnover every game. But I really think he will get better, playing with Lidstrom hopefully his defensive skills will improve.

#13 Canadian Wings

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:33 PM

QUOTE(sverige @ December 10, 2007 - 11:30PM) View Post

Being a NJ Devils fan second to Red Wings I could have told you this before Detroit signed him, which I was and still am very happy about! He unfortunately has a bad habit of having at least 1 turnover every game. But I really think he will get better, playing with Lidstrom hopefully his defensive skills will improve.

1 turnover in 25+ mins of ice time, u don't say!

#14 DetroitIan

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:38 PM

The guy has been in the same system for several years. And now he comes to the Red Wings who have a completely different style. Im sure he's stil adjusting as the season goes on. Not to mention the guy has 23 points.

He will be just fine. Im not worried at all.
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#15 sverige

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:38 PM

QUOTE(Canadian Wings @ December 10, 2007 - 10:33PM) View Post

1 turnover in 25+ mins of ice time, u don't say!


Not just any turnover. Usually turnovers in his own zone that lead to quality scoring chances for the opponent. I'm a HUGE Rafalski fan, but not a homer. He had these same problems with NJ that he sometimes has in Detroit, ask any Devils fan. Hence, NJ decided that they could not offer the same amount of money to keep him. GREAT move by Detroit to get him, he will get better.

#16 SouthernWingsFan

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 12:52 AM

He's had some brainfarts here and there, but it's not like he's just completely stinking up the joint out there. He hasn't been as bad defensively, overal, as some past/present Wings in their careers, i.e. Schnedier/Lilja if I unfortnately play the comparison game. Not trying to dog on Lilja (like he was mercilessly dogged on his first two season before lastplayoffs) or change the subject around, but hopefully I am being understood here.

Also, to re-emphasize it's hard/unfair to compare him to Lidstrom, as well as coming into a new system from normally defensive-minded New Jersey.

It's a legit concern to an extent, but he's not getting benched anytime soon and, again, hasn't just been downright awful by any stretch of the imagination.

Hopefully he'll right some of his brainfarts soon.

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#17 revnic

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:12 AM

um no. rafalski plays a very good defensive game. everyone makes mistakes once in a while.

#18 Louisville

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 04:12 AM

Is no one in this thread going to mention the deliciously crisp passes Rafalski dishes out?

The Wings have had a great transition game between the blue lines and I think Rafalski is a big contributor in that department. He's still getting used to playing against different players in the West, give him some time. I do think he has improved greatly in one on one situations as the season has progressed.


#19 interminded

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:20 AM


Hell no !

Rafalski is a very good defensive player.
TOP 5 in the league if you ask me.

The thing is we tend to be a little spoiled because we are watching Nick Lidstrom for the past 10 year, playing almost flawless in every game.

Nick is one of a kind, so let's not compare Rafalski to him.
He's exaclty doing what he's hired to do: Play a good, tight, defensive game and be a presence on the powerplay.

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#20 Zion

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 06:32 AM

Top 10? That is laughable.

Rafalski was absolutely terrible last night, taking a penalty for delay-of-game and THEN turning the puck over right up the middle when the goalie was pulled. Last night was definitely a night we missed Chris Chelios. He would have provided much more relief for Nick.
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