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Hockey Wilderness

Article: It's Brock Faber's Defense Right Now

Tony Abbott

22 hours ago, Protec said:

The group coming up with Lambos, Hunt, Masters, Spacek is gonna be important because Addison is still a work in progress and Spurgeon isn't getting any younger. There's some good players to move up but how quickly and does it cover all the needs on the back end for power, length, skating, offense, etc. MN had been known for solid defense but can they keep that reputation? So far, so good I suppose. Without Dumba and with Spurgeon out, the Wild look a little less certain. That's not what you'd wanna see if the playoffs are coming up. Geurin probably already taking notes.

My bet is that Shooter is hoping that Lambos is ready by midseason. If this is the group going into the playoffs, we are in trouble. I'm thinking Merrill is sent down, Goligoski may be on LTIR for a long time, and Lambos and Hunt are called up and stay. 

The Baby Wild have Lambos listed at 6'1" 193. I thought he was an inch taller and about 200? I wonder what happened there?

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1 hour ago, mnfaninnc said:

To me, the stats don't line up with the eye test, it's that simple. However, I will acknowledge that Merrill, Goligoski, and Mermis have looked worse. Middleton is really fighting it right now puck luck wise. Brodin and Faber have clearly been better. 

I suppose you wrote this prior to last night's game where Addison off his 1st shift carelessly tossed a cross ice pass to his partner which was a little off target and picked off by a King. He had a few brutal pass plays in his own end. I'll pick on him about hits, but I don't expect him to get many. I do, however, expect him to get in the way and physically not let someone skate right through him (something he has improved on this season). 

We have 2 very young defenders in Faber and Addison. Take a look at the details Faber has in his game, how he shifts into position, how he comes back strong after not being able to hold a puck in the zone, how he cuts off angles. You do not see this in Addison's game at all. To simply call him young and inexperienced isn't an excuse anymore. He does not have the instincts to do it, and, to me, based upon past experience, he doesn't seem to want to learn them either. 

I was patient with Rossi, mainly because of the myocarditis. I'm willing to give Addison a chance to see if there's improvement, but I've got to be honest. After 2 periods last night, I was very discouraged about Addison's effort, and thought he took steps backward. Perhaps he is simply not ready to play defensively against powerhouses like the Maple Leafs or Kings?

When it came to the PP last night, he fired a few shots and made a few passes, but once again unit 1 came up empty, especially when they needed one. If that's your calling card, you've got to convert.

This was written before last nights game and I was not trying to say there is no warts on his game. Simply that his improvement has me optimistic that he will continue to progress into a defenseman that is serviceable. 

Faber is an exceptional defenseman, even for an NHL level. You can't possibly expect every prospect to be him. Even high level prospects picked in the first round haven't showed the immense talent that Faber has. 

I have less reservations on these young guys because they are still in a developmental phase, they still have upside to get better and benching them does not allow them to progress. I certainly can't say the same about Merrill or Goligoski. 

Rossi has looked good for where he has been placed. His possession numbers have been great, he has been contributing on offence while still maintaining his defensive responsibilities. He is turning into a player that makes an impact on the ice and he is still very young with room to grow.  

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