Quinn01

Should Larsson Be Sent Down To AHL?

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You let the defenseman develop. If you didn't want an 18 year old NHL defenseman, why would you pick one? You'd pick the forward, who you can cover up for.

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You let the defenseman develop. If you didn't want an 18 year old NHL defenseman, why would you pick one? You'd pick the forward, who you can cover up for.

There comes a point where 'development' isn't just letting a guy get crushed over and over again, and I think the Devils are reaching that point. I don't even know if Larsson can play in the AHL - I think he had to be on the Clear Day roster for that to happen - and I don't think the Devils should send him down even if they could, but he's playing so poorly that the Devils have to consider sitting him out.

Edited by Triumph

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LOL @ "If we are going for the cup..."

With this team I'd be really surprised - but maybe thats the pessimist in me.

Me too, but based on Lou's decisions, I think he wants to make a run, and if they do, I don't know that I'd play Larsson. If your goal is development, you let him get his feet wet without question.

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Yeah sending him to Albany now wont help much, but pushing him into the playoffs with the Dev's could be overwhelming for him. I think he needs another full season (next year) in the NHL before he plays a playoff game. By next April...he'll be a confident defense man.

This years playoffs are quite important for this organization, if there is a better player available I think we let Larsson sit and watch and learn.

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There comes a point where 'development' isn't just letting a guy get crushed over and over again, and I think the Devils are reaching that point. I don't even know if Larsson can play in the AHL - I think he had to be on the Clear Day roster for that to happen - and I don't think the Devils should send him down even if they could, but he's playing so poorly that the Devils have to consider sitting him out.

I don't disagree with that sentiment, that they could manage his TOI and games played better down the stretch. Just that farming him out makes no sense, as you pointed out he's probably not even eligible to play except under emergency conditions.

And really Tao isn't going to play any D either. And Peter Harrold isn't exactly exciting. Urbom is six of half, half dozen of the other.

Gelinas ready to play in the NHL at least in a bottom guy specialist role? If none of this works, you just roll with him and manage how much he plays, if he plays.

He's got to be running out of gas at this point.

And really, for a "bluechip" teenage defenseman thrown into the fire, it's not really that bad. It looks damn ugly at times but it should statistically be worse. My fear with him was having to ride out some minus 20-30 sh!tshow and that hasn't developed.

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I don't disagree with that sentiment, that they could manage his TOI and games played better down the stretch. Just that farming him out makes no sense, as you pointed out he's probably not even eligible to play except under emergency conditions.

Yeah, and even that, I don't think emergency conditions exist in the AHL. You can always sign people to tryout contracts down there. The A Devils signed some guy called Eric Baier a few weeks ago.

And really, for a "bluechip" teenage defenseman thrown into the fire, it's not really that bad. It looks damn ugly at times but it should statistically be worse. My fear with him was having to ride out some minus 20-30 sh!tshow and that hasn't developed.

I don't see why that was a fear - if he's too bad to play in the NHL, and it's not like the Devils are short on NHL capable bodies on the blueline, I don't think the Devils would've hesitated to send him down. Plus, even an 18 year old D who's supposed to be real good shouldn't be really bad his first year. Most rookie defensemen who go into the toilet plus/minus wise get thrown into roles they can't handle on bad teams. The Devils are an average to above average team and now Larsson's being sheltered. Who knows where this team would be without Zidlicky, because Foster and the new-and-declined Larsson on this team would be a disaster.

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At this point counter-productive..... Lesson learned, get in that weight room. He still very young....

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Yeah, and even that, I don't think emergency conditions exist in the AHL. You can always sign people to tryout contracts down there. The A Devils signed some guy called Eric Baier a few weeks ago.

I don't see why that was a fear - if he's too bad to play in the NHL, and it's not like the Devils are short on NHL capable bodies on the blueline, I don't think the Devils would've hesitated to send him down. Plus, even an 18 year old D who's supposed to be real good shouldn't be really bad his first year. Most rookie defensemen who go into the toilet plus/minus wise get thrown into roles they can't handle on bad teams. The Devils are an average to above average team and now Larsson's being sheltered. Who knows where this team would be without Zidlicky, because Foster and the new-and-declined Larsson on this team would be a disaster.

There's nothing wrong with him being a sheltered guy for the rest of the regular season. Like I said, scratch him here and there and see what happens. He also needs something to break his way offensively, I mean, the play against the Flyers where maybe he got himself in the doghouse was a nice idea, it just didn't work. Defensively, it's not going to come this year. Reminds me too much of Tallinder right now except he makes some poor decisions about whether to be aggressive/stay home (or in the Isles game, making no decision at all at the blue line), and his angles aren't very good when he gets into that passive stick defending stuff that Tallinder does.

Also a much better skater going forward than going backwards for some reason. But if he gets right, as a guy who is going to play 10-12 a night in the playoffs, is there that much difference between him, Tao and Harrold? Those guys aren't going to give you much down low either.

So in that sense, I don't think the depth actually DOES exist to say "meh, screw it, let's play him 5 times down the stretch and then put him with the black aces".

Edited by maxpower

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But if he gets right, as a guy who is going to play 10-12 a night in the playoffs, is there that much difference between him, Tao and Harrold? Those guys aren't going to give you much down low either.

If you're getting second half Larsson in the playoffs then I think the Devils would benefit from playing Taormina. Taormina isn't good at clearing the crease either, but he's at least quick enough to move the loose pucks around the boards. Larsson is too slow to react and get to pucks so other teams maintain pressure with Larsson that they wouldn't get to do with Taormina.

Larsson the last 10 games has been pretty awful. If he doesn't start playing better then I think it's a bad idea to play him every, or most, games in the playoffs.

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Hes a professional hockey player, if he cant get tough enough and have a tough enough mindset to play in the playoffs then he never will. Hes gotta play in the playoffs. If he gets crushed then sobeit. It will help him figure out what it takes to be successful in the playoffs in the future. Rest him most of the remaining games, then have him play in april. But i will say tao is just as good. Hes really impressed me (and everyone else by the looks of this forum) this year.

The big problem with that thinking is that the team may not be as good next season...this may their best shot at winning a couple of rounds for a few years. Zach may not be back, we can't say for sure what Brodeur will be next season (sounds like he's coming back), not sure how Zajac is going to bounce back, Elias isn't getting any younger...this may not be the best year for Larsson to continue to get on-the-job training if he can't pull it together soon...I was in favor of him remaining the lineup for as long as possible, but he really is having a tough time at this point...his confidence is probably near shot.

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I have no problem with coaches benching larsson and making him sit but he shouldnt be sent to minors... he is still young and has alot to learn... He has larry Robinson and Scott Stevens as coaches he needs to listen and learn.

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For those in the "Larsson's minutes should be limited" camp, that's already happening. With the exception of the games listed below, he's been dead last among Devils defensemen for every game since he came back from his injury:

- 2/26 vs. Lightning, 4-3 loss: This was Larsson's first game back and Zidlicky's first as a Devil. Zid was given limited 5-on-5 time with Volchenkov as his partner. This held Volchenkov back in minutes, as he ended up being the only Devils defenseman with fewer minutes than Larsson. Zid ended up with 5+ minutes of PP time, otherwise his TOI would've been down there as well.

- 3/2 at Capitals, 5-0 win: Blowout game, good time to give the kid some minutes. Was 4th overall and 1st among defensemen in TOI.

- 3/4 at Islanders, 1-0 loss: Not sure why, but he was 2nd overall and 1st among defensemen in TOI for this game.

- 3/8 vs. Islanders, 5-1 win: Blowout game, good time to give the kid some minutes. Led the entire team in TOI.

That leaves six of his 10 games where he was dead last. And really, he should've been last in the Tampa game as well, but Zid's arrival and PP time held Volchenkov back. That leaves three games where he was really given minutes, and two of them were blowouts where there was no risk in getting him some ice time. Overall, the only close game since his return where he was given significant ice time was against the lowly Islanders (and, as it turned out, he was on the ice for the lone Isles goal, along with Volchenkov and the day's 4th line of Carter, Janssen, and Boulton).

I'd say he's already being sheltered, TOI-wise.

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He looks scared. The up ice rush he did where Subban clocked him is something I haven't seen him attempt since he's come back. I still say keep him around. Play him 13-15 minutes a night... Zidlicky has looked great and can play over 20 minutes a night so there's no need to pretend Larsson is our top D man like earlier this season. The Devils also can't play 7 defensemen once Zajac comes back. They already have to scratch or send down a forward... which two forwards would you take out of the lineup?

Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk

Sykora-Elias-Zubrus

Ponikarovsky-Zajac-Clarkson

Carter-Josefson-Bernier

Boulton-Janssen

Volchenkov-Greene

Zidlicky-Salvador

Larsson-Fayne

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As others have said, he can play at this level. get him some rest until the playoffs. Sending him down may do more harm than good.

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As others have said, he can play at this level. get him some rest until the playoffs. Sending him down may do more harm than good.

Rest is good. Healthy scratch for one game here and there and Taormina in the lineup would be fine I think.

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I think we're looking at the future of the Devils here. When all is said and done, the devils are a D first organization. We have built our championships on this. This kid is it!!! We are one defenseman away from a possible championship team here. But not yet. More than that: We NEED this kid to get to maturity. He's got the goods as it is now. But you cant teach age. We need him going full tilt and he's not. He cant. He's got to hit the weight room and toughen up first. Playoff hockey in the NHL is not the way to do that. It could bury him. I'm afraid of seeing the fight go out of him.

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There comes a point where 'development' isn't just letting a guy get crushed over and over again, and I think the Devils are reaching that point. I don't even know if Larsson can play in the AHL - I think he had to be on the Clear Day roster for that to happen - and I don't think the Devils should send him down even if they could, but he's playing so poorly that the Devils have to consider sitting him out.

Correct. From the AHL's web site:

Each Clear Day roster consists of a maximum of 22 players. According to AHL by-laws, only those players listed on a team’s Clear Day roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the 2011-12 AHL regular season and in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs, unless emergency conditions arise as a result of recall, injury or suspension.

Teams may also add signed draft choices and players signed to amateur tryout contracts, provided that their respective junior or college seasons are complete.

I don't have an opinion as to whether or not he should sit for a while, but there's no point in sending him down since all he'll be able to do is practice.

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I thought Larsson was real good tonight

It was his best night in awhile and he was still the worst defenseman on the team.

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Getting round the rookie wall ! Looked good tonight though....

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Last night he was 5th among defensemen in TOI, ahead only of his partner Volchenkov. From looking at the TOI charts, it looks like this is because he was paired with Salvador (who led all Devils defensemen in TOI) in the second period.

So, yeah, last night was another instance where he was being protected. Limited ice time, no PP, no PK, paired with our best defensive guys without sticking either one of them with the rook full-time.

Have I mentioned before that I like these coaches?

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He was fine until whatever the hell that was at the end of regulation/OT, don't remember which, but Greene totally saved his ass.

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I'm not worried about Larsson. He's 19. Growing pains are to be expected, especially after the way he got rocked by Subban. It also has to be pointed out that this is the most games he's ever played in a season, so he's adjusting to that as well.

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I'm not worried about Larsson. He's 19. Growing pains are to be expected, especially after the way he got rocked by Subban. It also has to be pointed out that this is the most games he's ever played in a season, so he's adjusting to that as well.

All true. I just hope he's sane enough to handle adversity. Either way, next year's the test. I'm assuming the physical will get easier, and if he's mentally tough, he'll come in ready to bring it.

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