Let’s go back to that silly place again. Warning: It’s almost as long as that fantasy draft we did a couple years ago that we kind of swore we’d never mention again.
Erik Gustafsson has been up for about a month now. While it’s obviously too early to jump to conclusions, let’s do that anyway. Can he shore up the 2nd pairing enough for a deep run?
McClure: I like what I’ve seen so far of Erik Gustafsson on a couple of fronts. While he’s a bit light in the ass and relies a bit too much on stationary stretch passes, albeit with plus-vision to even attempt some of them, what is really encouraging is what I’ve seen on the defensive end. He will get beaten occasionally with speed, as he’s not as fast as one would think given his skill set, but when he does, he does not reach and tries to make up ground with his feet. That alone will earn points with any coach, and even if he gets beaten he’ll do his part to at least try to make the angles more difficult for a rushing forward and not put his team on the kill in the process. But all of that being said, asking him to bail water for a partner who undoubtedly has at least three different sandwiches named after him around town is a bit unfair at this point. In an ideal world when the playoffs come Goose is partnered with Rozsival permanently, where Rozy can play free safety for him with primo zone starts (at least at home), while Scuds and TVR are in suits. It’s now been nearly a whole season and I still cannot figure out anything that TVR does well. He can’t move, his shot isn’t hard, accurate, or quick to be released, and decision making on positioning in the defensive zone leaves a lot to be desired. So no, I do not think that Gustafsson is a long term second pairing answer.