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What's the deal with Stuart


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#1 Echolalia

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:28 AM

Honestly, I haven't been paying too much attention to him out there until someone here mentioned that Lids is barely pulling even on the +/- stat. Once I read that I started paying more attention to his defensive partner, Stuie (cuz frankly Lids is playing some of the best hockey of his career). In the past two games Lids has been the sole defender back on three or four two-on-ones, and check out who's man Richards was supposed to be on that first goal against tonight.
Again, I can't really comment on his play earlier than that because I haven't really been looking out for him, but its almost like Stuart's defensive game has gotten a bit lazy since being paired with Lids.

#2 GMRwings1983

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:40 AM

He's getting beaten a lot to the net.

Just doesn't seem to be paying attention to detail very well.

I still say go back to the old pairings, even though the last few games have been wins.
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#3 Joey v3.4

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:03 AM

As a top line defensemen you have a responsibility to score, or generate points. I think Stuart isn't ready for the offensive responsibility, though he did have a goal tonight.

A lot of his missed movements defensively, are the result of his offensive focus.

It completely changes your game when you start making small decisions such as taking one step closer to the net, versus taking one step closer to the blue line. Defensive defensemen tend to play positionally, and don't often step deep into the play to dig up offensive chances. Since they switched his role Stuart is trying to play more offensively, and it frequently catches him out of position.

I think he's a solid 2nd line defense, but hopefully after playing with Nick for a few months, he'll learn to both generate some offense, AND play his position more accurately.

Edited by Joey v3.4, 30 December 2010 - 03:03 AM.

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#4 Drake_Marcus

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:50 AM

Sometimes I suspect that Lidstrom's partners get lazier because they're used to relying on him to save their asses. At least that's how it seemed to me with Rafalski. Then again, every painting looks s***ty when you hang it beside the Mona Lisa.
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#5 Echolalia

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:11 AM

I suspect that you guys are all right to a degree. I'm glad I'm not the only one seeing it, though.

#6 j.hoop

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:43 AM

this totally off topic but kronwall has looked awesome stepping in offensively recently. maybe him and stuey should be back together
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#7 BigWillieStyle

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:55 AM

I kind of have this feeling that Babcock is pushing Stuart to play more offensively while he is paired with Nick so that he can better evaluate his offensive abilities. Looking at the possibility of Nick retiring at the end of this year, after winning The Norris as well as The Cup, of course, he's trying to see if Stuart has the talent to take on a first pairing role. He was brought in here and thrown into a defensive role without much need for him to make much more than a good outlet pass. Looking into the future there may be a need for him to swing a little more back to the offensive side that he started his career with... And as mentioned already, playing with Nick can give one a real sense of confidence that you can go deep in the zone, and still be covered on the backend.

#8 VM1138

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:09 AM

I kind of have this feeling that Babcock is pushing Stuart to play more offensively while he is paired with Nick so that he can better evaluate his offensive abilities. Looking at the possibility of Nick retiring at the end of this year, after winning The Norris as well as The Cup, of course, he's trying to see if Stuart has the talent to take on a first pairing role. He was brought in here and thrown into a defensive role without much need for him to make much more than a good outlet pass. Looking into the future there may be a need for him to swing a little more back to the offensive side that he started his career with... And as mentioned already, playing with Nick can give one a real sense of confidence that you can go deep in the zone, and still be covered on the backend.


I agree with you and the other guy who mentioned this. They asked Stuart to change his style of play a bit and he's adjusting. It makes sense that he would be out of position more frequently because of that. He'll adjust, or if he doesn't they'll put him back to his old style of play. They're auditioning for Lidstrom's replacement.
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#9 BigWillieStyle

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:18 AM

They're auditioning for Lidstrom's replacement.




That's not HUMANLY possible..... But they could be looking for some help filling that gigantic void that will be left. Maybe we'll have to play with 3 defenseman each shift for a few years, just to get us over the hump.

#10 ogreslayer

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:35 AM

I agree with you and the other guy who mentioned this. They asked Stuart to change his style of play a bit and he's adjusting. It makes sense that he would be out of position more frequently because of that. He'll adjust, or if he doesn't they'll put him back to his old style of play. They're auditioning for Lidstrom's replacement.


I think it has more to do with the fact that being paired with Lids means he's playing on the side opposite of what he's used to. He's said in the past that he doesn't feel comfortable doing that & I would have a feeling that being out of his comfort zone has effected his game somewhat.

#11 Buppy

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 09:28 AM

Honestly, I haven't been paying too much attention to him out there until someone here mentioned that Lids is barely pulling even on the +/- stat. Once I read that I started paying more attention to his defensive partner, Stuie (cuz frankly Lids is playing some of the best hockey of his career). In the past two games Lids has been the sole defender back on three or four two-on-ones, and check out who's man Richards was supposed to be on that first goal against tonight.
Again, I can't really comment on his play earlier than that because I haven't really been looking out for him, but its almost like Stuart's defensive game has gotten a bit lazy since being paired with Lids.

I think you answered you own question there in the bold.

If you really pay attention to any defensemen except maybe the handful of Norris caliber players, you'll see plenty of errors. When a player consistently plays against top lines, those mistakes are going to get exploited at a higher frequency.

Overall, Stuart has been playing great this year. Much better than the second half of last year, or any part of the year before.

#12 sputman

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 09:35 AM

and what about that airline food??

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Edited by drumshanbo, 30 December 2010 - 09:35 AM.

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#13 mindfly

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:05 AM

Lidstrom-Kronwall, both having a great year, kronwall is good in both ends this year.

#14 Stolberg

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:48 PM

i noticed that stu should shoot the puck more, dang it



#15 Konnan511

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:59 PM

I think our DCoach tells our defensmen to pinch anytime they want because it seems our DMen pinch more than any team in the league. We have the most DMan points int he league because of that, but we probably give up the most 2 on 1s in the league as well because of it.
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#16 Stolberg

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:03 PM

the only d-man that should be allowed to pinch is lidstrom
and sometimes rafalski

don't know what ericsson and salei were doing. doo doo heads.



#17 Motown4013

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:37 PM

No mention of the Big E in this thread when evaluating our defensive core. Perhaps I am the only one who thinks JE has been very solid for us since returning from injury. He is not giving the puck away like the Eriksson of old and he is finally using his big body to break up the play in the defensive end. I think someone needs to give him a shout out!
I think Kindl's solid play made him get his sh!t together and it looks good on him. Good job Big E!

PS One point on Stewie...I actually think he has been solid. especially on the PK. He is an asset to this team but he will never be Lids caliber. To be honest, right now I would prefer Stewie over Raffi, who will NEVER take a hit to make a play.
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#18 Joey v3.4

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:17 PM

If you really pay attention to any defensemen except maybe the handful of Norris caliber players, you'll see plenty of errors. When a player consistently plays against top lines, those mistakes are going to get exploited at a higher frequency.


^^^ This too.

Top line defense plays against top line players. A mistake at that caliber of play often "Appears" to be larger than it would if he was defending against a third/fourth line.

If you played a drinking game, and all you did is drink every time a player made a mistake, a bad pass, or bad defensive read, etc......it would probably be your last hockey game. It's just that:

In Summary I say:

1) Stuart is trying to step up his offense. It changes his positioning and attitude, and sometimes puts him in unfamiliar territory.
2) Stuart is not use to playing the opposite side.
3) Stuart's mistakes are amplified because he is playing against top tier forwards, who can exploit minor mistakes with major opportunity.
4) Stuart is playing against lines that are more skilled than he has played against in the past.
5) Anything you do next to Lidstrom, looks like a mistake :)

Considering, he's a 2nd line defense based on his skill, yet he's taking a 1st line role, I'd say he's done very well.

I don't think for even one second that he's "Lazy" because he has Lidstrom to cover him. He may jump up into the play a little more, because he knows Lidstrom will usually have his back, but I don't think he's becoming complacent out there. I think he really enjoys the top line spot, and is working hard to stay there. He just has a little adjusting to do, and it could take a few months of playing the top slot for him to adapt.

I don't think that is unreasonable for a defense. As long as he does "Well", I say keep him on the top line. We will need someone with experience against top tier forwards in the league, both come playoff time, and come Lidstrom Retirement time. He won't replace Lidstrom, but if he adapts and develops both his offensive game, and his defensive game, Stuart could be a solid 1st pair defense, or a 2nd pair defense, who also logs PP time, etc.

Personally I think Kronwall is better suited to a top pair role, but maybe that's what Babcock is looking at.

Kronwall/Stuart is a VERY viable line when Lidstrom retires.
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#19 mjtm77

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:23 PM

I say we try a top line of Lids and Kronwall like we were suppose to have this year.
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#20 Joey v3.4

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:56 PM

I say we try a top line of Lids and Kronwall like we were suppose to have this year.



I don't know about that. I'd rather have them on separate lines. If you try to stack a defensive line with all the best players, you can end up hurting the other 40 minutes of the game when they are not out.

Kronwall could be a 1st pair defense, easily. And he probably will be one day. But right now, I'd rather have him on a 2nd pair. Stuart IS scoring. And he IS handling most of his defensive responsibility.

If you view the ice time, Babs has been pretty evenly running people. I think he learned to do this from the injuries last year, when the team was burnt the hell out come playoffs.

If you're 2nd defensive pairing is going to get as much ice time as your first defensive pairing (Or close to it), you don't want to ultra stack your top line. it's better to moderate the skill. Put a player who is a 9 with a 6, and a player who is an 8, with a 7. If that makes sense. Assume the numbers are a rating. I'm just making s*** up, but you get my point?

I think Kronwall will be 1st line defense when Nick retires, but until then, Babcock is using him for defensive depth.

Everyone blabbers on about offensive depth blah blah blah. Nobody ever considers defensive depth.

Is Holmstrom a better goal scorer than Franzen, or Cleary? No. But he is a line above them.

Hockey is not always about stacking the best people, on the top lines.

The very definition of "Depth" (Which is practically a holy word on these forums), implies that you have skill on every line, and that includes defense.
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