If the effectiveness of a forward is based on how many goals/assists/points he puts up, then Staal is a disaster. Unfortunately, this gauge is unfairly used by a lot of people. It's true that Staal in the past two years has failed to put up numbers, but I argue he is one of the most valuable defensive players on the team.
Of course when you compare him to Malkin and Crosby he will never live up to the spotlight. He is not going to be able to (offensively) sustain a line by himself at such a young age. That's why it was so unfair to expect that of him on the third line last year (I'm not talking about MT expecting that, I'm talking about some fans). Some fail to remember that Staal is 20 years old and he's (arguably) one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL.
I myself am not worried about a 20-year-old forward who has such a great defensive game. I'm sure 100% of the teams in the NHL wouldn't mind having that either. The offensive game will come, give it time.
Edit: If I had to select one person as "whipping boy", it'd be Dupuis, but that's just because I feel he's being misused (not his fault). I think Kennedy should be on Crosby's wing. His speed, grinding, and on-the-board style mirrors Crosby and his early season play should warrant that first line time. But that's just my opinion.
Last edited by Cosmo_kramer
on Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.