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Triumph

A Thread In Praise of Mark Fayne

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I wasn't in support of signing Mark Fayne in the off-season - I figured he'd be another Nathan Perkovich, a player who hadn't been impressive at the college level who would just jam up the works here. In my eyes, he's gone from useless organizational depth at the beginning of the year to a legitimate bottom pairing NHL defenseman.

In his first game, the thing that impressed me most was his speed. He's got NHL speed - he skates well. For defensemen who don't have that, it's an uphill battle - they have to develop the other things a defenseman needs pretty quickly.

Sure his three goals are all a bit fluky, but what about his assists? I can remember 3 of them already - a great keep in that Elias eventually put home against the Flyers, a pass-shot that Zubrus tipped in against the Leafs, and an excellent cross-ice pass to Rod Pelley that he put home.

In his 31 games, he has only 5 minor penalties. That's not excellent, but it's very good, especially for a rookie just learning the NHL game.

I'll spare you the advanced stats breakdown, just be aware that none of them indicate that his play is somehow a mirage. To me, he's done with the minor leagues, and I think he should be penciled in on the Devils' back pairing next season. It just goes to show that stats aren't everything, especially when it comes to defensemen playing inferior competition in college.

Edited by Triumph
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Tallinder raved about the guy in the post-game last night. I have also noticed his solid play lately. Sure, there's the occasional rookie slip up here and there, but like you said he's been skating well, making pretty solid, safe passes, and getting his shots through to the net more often than not. Impressive for a guy who came pretty much out of nowhere. If Taormina comes back next year and plays at the level he did before his injury, and Urbom and other d-men keep developing as planned, we might actually be okay on defense in a few years' time.

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Him, what i see from Palmeri and when tao was around they are bright bright players.

I couldn't agree more. Palmieri could have a big upside. Fayne makes great first passes.

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Definitely have to agree that he's a very good skater for a rookie. I agree with everything Tallinder had to say about him last night, he skates, handles the puck and passes the puck well. His overall defensive play has improved lately and he's looked less nervous when being pressured. He's also looked like he's not second guessing his decisions, which rookies will sometimes look like they wanted to do one thing, but changed their mind and did another because they're second guessing themselves. Even if it's not the best move to make, usually it's best to stick with your first gut instinct. Changing your mind and trying to make a different move usually leaves you 1 or 2 steps behind the play and that's too late.

This all of course does not mean he's a lock for the 6th defenseman though. His play could start to slip up, it happens with rookies and he still needs to improve his defensive game. As Jacques said, "he's got a lot to learn", but he definitely is on his way to being a decent 6th defenseman.

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Fayne has been playing a lot better now. Salmela still stinks though.

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Definitely have to agree that he's a very good skater for a rookie. I agree with everything Tallinder had to say about him last night, he skates, handles the puck and passes the puck well. His overall defensive play has improved lately and he's looked less nervous when being pressured. He's also looked like he's not second guessing his decisions, which rookies will sometimes look like they wanted to do one thing, but changed their mind and did another because they're second guessing themselves. Even if it's not the best move to make, usually it's best to stick with your first gut instinct. Changing your mind and trying to make a different move usually leaves you 1 or 2 steps behind the play and that's too late.

This all of course does not mean he's a lock for the 6th defenseman though. His play could start to slip up, it happens with rookies and he still needs to improve his defensive game. As Jacques said, "he's got a lot to learn", but he definitely is on his way to being a decent 6th defenseman.

he's already a decent 6th defenseman. his numbers right now are that of an NHL average defenseman or slightly worse, which is of course better than a 6th d man. i think it might be a devils' fan thing, i'm not sure, but i feel like devils fans expect too much from the back pairing. there aren't that many career back pairing defensemen, just as there aren't many career 4th liners (besides goons, obviously). circumstance and necessity largely dictate these positions, especially in a capped NHL.

his play might slip, that's always possible, but i don't think the idea that he's on his way to becoming a decent 6th defenseman when there's really no such thing. back pairings are made up of a group of guys who are usually destined to become either more or less.

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I think him and Salmela have played above expectations this year. Fayne has been really impressive since coming in I thought he had no shot in the NHL and he's really improved. Hearing Tallinder talk about him last night and how he prefers to play with him and raved about his speed, it made me really glad for him. I think he'll really be a good depth blueliner for a few years anyway.

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every single game , either at the TV or down at the ice i scream at salmela when he is on the ice.idk what jacques likes in him

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I couldn't stand Fayne when he first came up, in fact I needed to eat crow as i screamed from the upper deck during the Phoenix game right before he netted his first.

Now, after a few dozen games, he has stepped his game up tremendously.

Kudos to Jacques for sticking with him and to Fayne for persevering and learning fast.

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i have been growing more and more impressed with fayne. what stands out to me is he is really making SMART plays. he pinches at the right time - his passes are to the right guy or area. he reads the situation well.

we often talk about the mythical "hockey sense". it appears that fayne has it. now this could turn into another andy greene thing (which i know guys like triumph would be ecstatic about and devlinla would cringe at), but i would be comfortable with him on the 3rd pair next year.

my issue is that we've got lots of guys like that - taormina, fayne, urbom - i don't know if we could go with these 3 and volchenkov, tallinder and white next year and be successful over the long haul (although i have a feeling that's exactly what we will be doing - you could argue that tao/urbom = greene/salmela/fraser/corrente pupu platter).

oh - salmela stinks - he's been awful and really not improved. i think it's a toss up between him and fraser as to who sits when atrain returns.

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i have been growing more and more impressed with fayne. what stands out to me is he is really making SMART plays. he pinches at the right time - his passes are to the right guy or area. he reads the situation well.

we often talk about the mythical "hockey sense". it appears that fayne has it. now this could turn into another andy greene thing (which i know guys like triumph would be ecstatic about and devlinla would cringe at), but i would be comfortable with him on the 3rd pair next year.

my issue is that we've got lots of guys like that - taormina, fayne, urbom - i don't know if we could go with these 3 and volchenkov, tallinder and white next year and be successful over the long haul (although i have a feeling that's exactly what we will be doing - you could argue that tao/urbom = greene/salmela/fraser/corrente pupu platter).

oh - salmela stinks - he's been awful and really not improved. i think it's a toss up between him and fraser as to who sits when atrain returns.

fayne's playing like possibly a top 4 guy right now. taormina was close-ish to that level although him being lost for so long is really disappointing - would be nice to get him that kind of experience.

i wouldn't mind gambling with fayne taormina and someone else next season - sign a vet guy for one year in a tommy albelin kind of role. then NJ could pick someone up at the deadline. it would unquestionably save the team money, though i don't know where they'd use it. we'll see what fayne does down the stretch.

fraser and salmela have no real place in the organization and i hope that both are jettisoned at season's end. i think fraser will sit when volchenkov comes back.

Edited by Triumph

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Fayne has been impressing me with how quickly hes learning from his mistakes. Hes the only young defenseman worth a damn in our organization. Jacques gets a ton of credit.

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Fayne has been impressing me with how quickly hes learning from his mistakes. Hes the only young defenseman worth a damn in our organization. Jacques gets a ton of credit.

While Fayne has gotten much better, he's not the only young defenseman in our orginazation "worth a damn" as you say. Taormina and Urbom have both shown potential. Not to mention you have Merril and Burlon on the way.

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Fayne has been impressing me with how quickly hes learning from his mistakes. Hes the only young defenseman worth a damn in our organization. Jacques gets a ton of credit.

o rly?

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So far, so good. Let's hope he keeps it up. It'll only help the team in the long run.

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I'd like to see how Taromina would be playing while the team was clicking.

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I also like the way fayne plays. I don't really have any complaints...and he's the only dman who plays well with tallinder!

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While Fayne has gotten much better, he's not the only young defenseman in our orginazation "worth a damn" as you say. Taormina and Urbom have both shown potential. Not to mention you have Merril and Burlon on the way.

We shouldn't forget Eric Gelinas either. His mid-season trade to the Saint John Sea Dogs gives him a chance to play winning hockey, and a good shot to win the Q, and thus go to the Memorial Cup this year.

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I'd sign up for Fayne as a back-pairing guy. He looked terrible the first several games, but has shown drastic improvement. His skating is fine, his passes are pretty good too. He doesn't have the greatest shot, but I've seen leaps and bounds in terms of his decision-making and feel for the forwards in the offensive zone.

The Devils defensive future doesn't look that bad with guys like Burlon, Gelinas, Urbom, Merrill coming in the next several years. Guys like Fayne, Taormina can be solid back-pairing guys who can ease the transition with the younger guys coming in. With Tallinder, White, Volchenkov as the veteran guys the next few yrs, I think we will be okay.

Only concern would be the PMD. We have to see if Taormina can handle that role. He hasn't really been tested or had enough experience with it yet.

Also the emergence of Fayne, and the return of Taormina next season, continue to reinforce my belief that Andy Greene will be traded. Unfortunately, with Greene's improved play, he's likely playing himself into a better contract and I don't see how the Devils could or should afford it. I think he's more likely to be moved before the deadline than even before a few weeks ago.

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Only concern would be the PMD. We have to see if Taormina can handle that role. He hasn't really been tested or had enough experience with it yet.

Can you explain what this means? I know PMD stands for puck-moving defenseman, but I think it's ridiculous to call that a 'role'. Every defenseman moves the puck. I'm not being intentionally dense here, I don't think, I just think this is a term that gets thrown around here without anyone really knowing what it means.

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I think PMD is referring to a player like Sergei Zubov. A defenseman who can skate it out of his own zone, and/or make the correct pass to a foward from his own zone, and/or make the right play from the blue line in the offensive zone. At least, that's my interpretation of the term.

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Yes, in a way he makes Tallinder better. If Fayne is playing well... that's more confidence Tallinder will have to do his own thing without having to worry about a shaky d partner that will mess up at any second.

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