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unsaddleddonald

How much do we miss Rafalski?!?!

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Nick goes without saying. And I was one who always gave Rafi s***.

But everytime I watch our D try and shoot from the point for it to be either blocked or go wide, I remember how Rafi had almost as much of a seeing eye and deflectable shot as Nick had.

:paperbag3:

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I'm holding out hope that Brendan Smith will be able to fill Rafalski's shoes in a couple years, after the rookie mistakes leave his system. He saw the ice so well last year during his brief stint. There's no way those games were all an accident.

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We lost him, Stuart and Lidstrom in only a few years. Since you can't replace those players, it's only natural we'd miss them.

The reason we suck at puck possession now is because those guys aren't here to start the rush. The powerplay is also important, but secondary to playing the system overall.

You can't play this system with such a crappy defensive core with untalented players.

EuroWing and Dabura like this

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Rafalski was an excellent player for the Wings, and I'm sure that many of those who had castigated him for his supposed defensive deficiencies would prefer now that he were on the team.

Shaman likes this

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I'm holding out hope that Brendan Smith will be able to fill Rafalski's shoes in a couple years, after the rookie mistakes leave his system. He saw the ice so well last year during his brief stint. There's no way those games were all an accident.

He's been a huge disappointment. Offensively more than anywhere else.

Lilja put up better numbers than him.

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I'm holding out hope that Brendan Smith will be able to fill Rafalski's shoes in a couple years, after the rookie mistakes leave his system. He saw the ice so well last year during his brief stint. There's no way those games were all an accident.

The one thing I've noticed the most about Smith is his reluctance to really let a good slap shot go. He always kind of puts a hitch in his follow through.

Just seems hesitant to really blast it.

We lost him, Stuart and Lidstrom in only a few years. Since you can't replace those players, it's only natural we'd miss them.

The reason we suck at puck possession now is because those guys aren't here to start the rush. The powerplay is also important, but secondary to playing the system overall.

You can't play this system with such a crappy defensive core with untalented players.

This times 10.

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I sort of just miss having you know...actual top four talent...in the top four. Didn't Meat Loaf sing a song about 1 outta 4 ain't bad or something?

Edited by kipwinger
Nev and Number19 like this

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Lidstrom/Rafalski pairing was one of, if not THE best in the league for a couple of years. Raffi was perfect for our system and perfect for Lidstrom.

He had a rough last season but that doesn't take away from the rest of his time here.

Definitely miss those two and their blue-line play, starting off rushes, getting point-shots through etc.

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Yes, its becoming obvious now how much we miss him. His defensive drop-off was largely due to the injuries he suffered in the 2009 playoffs, and he was never the same again - how often did we see him get beat to the outside after that? He himself cited it as a major factor why he retired a year early.

Despite what the Holland bashers say, right-handed defencemen who can skate, pass and shoot like Rafalski don't grow on trees.

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I miss Vlad most...imagine a kronner/vlad tandem

Vlad is 46. So even if he hadn't had the accident he'd be long since retired.

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I think our issue with our current D is that they think we can still come out of our own end like we used to. I'm all for puck possession but without Lids, Raf and Stuart who were all excellent passers ( lesser with Stuart) we need to learn to hack the puck out a bit more and go from there.

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I sometimes think that being a fan of a team, you follow the team so much that you know most of the player's strengths and weaknesses. Many times, weaknesses get overblown. No player is perfect (ok other than Lidstrom), and I think sometimes fans harp on the weakness too much, rather than appreciate the strengths of the player.

Rafalski was a great puck mover and PP QB.

Nev likes this

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with vlad, fish, raffi, cheli & lids together...the wings would have won at least 1 if not 2 more cups.

i miss them all.

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I also miss them all. I thought of this in the GDT, but I'm reposting here. Does Rafalski still have any role in the organization? He could be a great "consultant" by coming in to GR or Det and working with our young D in the pipeline on the outlets.

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