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fonzz41 12-17-2013 08:33 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Fonzz41 HOFD (Hard-On For Defensemen) Report #235

Subject: Olli Maatta

With him only being 19 years old, it's really hard to give a clear-cut idea of just what kind of player Maatta will mature to be. As of right now, I see him in much the same boat as Erik Johnson back when he was drafted: similar physically as well as in skill set, but without as much hype or expectations. Over the next 3-4 seasons we'll get a clearer picture, but he'll most likely go one of three ways: 1) Round out into a steady shut-down defenseman like Johnson has finally done; 2) Focus on his offensive game and allow that to flourish, perhaps at the expense of defense; or 3) become one of the premier two-way defensemen in the game. Frankly, with his frame and skills, the sky is the limit for him.

What does he do well?
The first thing you notice is his offensive instincts. Many defensemen either don't know when exactly to jump up into the play, and others do but are tentative to do it for fear of getting caught out of position. Not Maatta. He follows his instincts and knows when exactly to jump in; and when he does, he goes balls to the wall, 100% committed. This throws off opposing defensemen, who usually don't anticipate that kind of spirited attack from a point man. He's a tremendous skater who can go 0-60 in about a stride and a half, and that combined with his size means defenders have to give him room when he attacks. This makes him very valuable as a trailer who can pick up juicy rebounds off shots from the forwards. His quick skating means he rarely gets caught out of position, as he's able to make it back up to the point before the opposing team manages to break out.

He's less noticeable in his own end, which is exactly how it should be. He plays a quiet, smart game where he relies on good positioning to get the job done. It's a distinctly European trait for defensemen - being in the right position to take away space from forwards, get in passing lanes, and always be ready for a breakout pass. Maatta does all of those very well and is showing signs of Lidstrom-esque wisdom. I desperately hope his offensive instincts don't outweigh his defensive qualities as his career develops, because he's very smart in his own end. He also moves well through the neutral zone and is adept at picking up his guys at the blue line before. His size and smooth skating makes him difficult to maneuver around.

What can he work on?
As is the case with many young defensemen, he's a bit tentative physically. Yes, he plays a game of smarts, but he's too talented and well-built to not let his physicality develop. At 6'2, 206 lbs, he's got room to bulk up without sacrificing too much of his speed, and being able to punish and intimidate opponents in his own zone will add another element to his game where mentally, forwards know that not only could he pick their pocket at any time, but also put them through the glass if they aren't paying attention. Believe it or not, that kind of stuff absolutely goes through a forward's mind and affects their decision-making. If Maatta can round out his physical game, he may well become one of the greats in the game over the next 10 years.

He also needs to work a bit on his mobility. He's incredible fast as a north-south power skater, but isn't particularly agile. This may be - more than anything - a result of his large frame, but I think it's something that can be improved and WILL be improved as he adjusts to NHL speed.

This is also a case of being young, but he also just needs to work on his patience in his own end. I saw a couple times where he tried to rush a play and get caught out of position. Once he's out of position, he has a difficult time recovering as he's trying to overcompensate and do something big to make up for his gaffe. Calming down a bit (which I believe will come with time) will benefit him greatly. And to his credit, he's already a lot calmer than other teenage NHL defensemen.


Overall, the sky is the limit for Maatta. With his size, instincts, and natural skill set, he has everything he needs to become one of the top rear-guards in the game.

TMoore4075 12-17-2013 08:34 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
I will interrupt Matty's very intellectual posting with this...WTF? Now Nyquist is hurt?!?! OK go about your business.

hailtopitt 12-17-2013 08:38 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
just to add a little tid bit to fonzz's post (which is thorough and spot on), maata's "stick on puck" ability is incredible for a 19yr old...he almost always has good gap when skating backwards into his own zone, it's really impressive

Roose13 12-17-2013 08:43 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
:lol:lol

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-pu...0944--nhl.html

The Sharks just won

HallowBillies7 12-17-2013 08:51 AM

Fonzz I really enjoy your posts here and I can tell how much you love the game and know about it. I have a question for you. How do you think Maata looks compared to Dougie Hamilton? I know Dougie has more NHL games under his belt but based on age I'm just curious.

fonzz41 12-17-2013 09:12 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hailtopitt (Post 14989571)
just to add a little tid bit to fonzz's post (which is thorough and spot on), maata's "stick on puck" ability is incredible for a 19yr old...he almost always has good gap when skating backwards into his own zone, it's really impressive

Great point :thumbsup. I kinda mentioned that when I talked about how he picks guys up on the blue line, but I'm glad you elaborated on it. Knowing how much space to give a guy is one of the most underrated skills a defenseman can have. If you cover him too closely, he might get around you and leave you in the dust; but if you give him too much room, he'll use that space to make a move and use you as a screen on the goalie. The more you back up in your zone, the smaller you get in the eyes of the attacking forward, and the larger you get in the eyes of the goalie. Both of those perspectives are bad. Young d-men have trouble with this as they adjust to the speed of NHL players, but you're right about Maatta.

hailtopitt 12-17-2013 09:16 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fonzz41 (Post 14989652)
Great point :thumbsup. I kinda mentioned that when I talked about how he picks guys up on the blue line, but I'm glad you elaborated on it. Knowing how much space to give a guy is one of the most underrated skills a defenseman can have. If you cover him too closely, he might get around you and leave you in the dust; but if you give him too much room, he'll use that space to make a move and use you as a screen on the goalie. The more you back up in your zone, the smaller you get in the eyes of the attacking forward, and the larger you get in the eyes of the goalie. Both of those perspectives are bad. Young d-men have trouble with this as they adjust to the speed of NHL players, but you're right about Maatta.

:thumbsup:thumbsup and he's just fun to watch play...a healthy penguins team is a blast when clicking

i'm really hoping maata can polish his distribution and puck moving skills to one day QB the powerplay, because once martin is gone, there's nobody but letang and letang is shit on the PP

fonzz41 12-17-2013 09:25 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HallowBillies7 (Post 14989592)
Fonzz I really enjoy your posts here and I can tell how much you love the game and know about it. I have a question for you. How do you think Maata looks compared to Dougie Hamilton? I know Dougie has more NHL games under his belt but based on age I'm just curious.

Oh man... if you were 'round these parts back when Hamilton was drafted, you probably wanted to kill me. All I did was complain about how the Avalanche wasted their #2 pick by taking ANOTHER forward instead of Hamilton, a defensive prospect they desperately needed. That forward ended up being this little Swedish kid named Gabriel Landeskog... So yeah, I'm not incredibly upset now, but I still get a little randy at the thought of Dougie in red and blue.

The best way to describe Hamilton is Rob Blake reincarnate. Offensively, he's got a great shot that will only get better as he uses it more. He's also an extremely adept PP quarterback who I think will gain more confidence as he gets more minutes on the first unit. While not as in-your-face offensively as Maatta, he's better suited to calling the shots from the point and making things happen as a QB (whereas Maatta is more like a running back when he gets going). He's got a bit of Gretz in him in that he's able to make the one pass that - after maybe two more passes - will lead to a goal. In other words, he sees ahead of the play and is able to anticipate, whereas Maatta's north/south style sometimes leads to tunnel vision. I think over the next season or so you'll really see him start to blossom in that area as long as he keeps doing what he's doing.

Hamilton's big thing right now, similar to Maatta, is using his size in his own zone. At 20 years old and 6'5, he's got plenty of room to fill out physically and get stronger. Once he does... look the f#% out when bearing down on this kid. I envision head-over-feet butt checks just like Robbie Blake used to throw with regularity in his prime.

Judging from right now, I would say Maatta's a little more advanced in terms of his development than Dougie, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They have different skill sets, and I think Dougie has TONS of upside, maybe more than any other defenseman currently in the league. I think we're also seeing sparks of leadership already, and I can see him wearing a 'C' someday.

The biggest thing the Bruins have to do with Hamilton is be careful with his development as it pertains to Chara. Living in Z's shadow can be very beneficial, but also detrimental if they allow it to happen for too long. Z is a great mentor and I can't think of a better one for Dougie, especially considering their similar size and skillsets. But the Bruins need to be very conscientious of scaling Chara back as he gets older and letting Hamilton take more of the reins as he develops. Especially on the PP. Only then will he have the room to develop into that #1 guy he can be.

aeroshady 12-17-2013 09:30 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Trade help!!

Been offered Evander Kane and Anderson for Ben Bishop. My other goalies are Luongo and Price.

I countered with Wayne Simmons and Cary Price for he above offered.

Thoughts?!

fonzz41 12-17-2013 09:33 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hailtopitt (Post 14989660)
:thumbsup:thumbsup and he's just fun to watch play...a healthy penguins team is a blast when clicking

i'm really hoping maata can polish his distribution and puck moving skills to one day QB the powerplay, because once martin is gone, there's nobody but letang and letang is shit on the PP

And you know, that's a quality that shouldn't be overlooked. He's great for the game and great for his position. The "sweater sales" factor is - I think - an important one. And yes, when he gets going, flying through all 3 zones in like 2.5 seconds, he's awesome to watch.

As he develops patience over the next couple years, I think you'll see him doing more at the PP QB spot. He's got the skills for it, just needs to settle in more and expand his vision.

fonzz41 12-17-2013 09:36 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aeroshady (Post 14989706)
Trade help!!

Been offered Evander Kane and Anderson for Ben Bishop. My other goalies are Luongo and Price.

I countered with Wayne Simmons and Cary Price for he above offered.

Thoughts?!

Kane and Anderson have both had streaky seasons, but if he's willing to give you both for Bishop, I would consider it. You've got solid guys in Luongo and Price that should make up for Anderson faltering. And this is just a feeling, but methinks the Sens will come on strong late in the latter half of the season.

I'm also down with your counter offer. Either one I think is something you could potentially come out on top with.

Rebecca De Mornay 12-17-2013 09:37 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Evander Kane looked like the best player in in the NHL last night :lol

TMoore4075 12-17-2013 09:38 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aeroshady (Post 14989706)
Trade help!!

Been offered Evander Kane and Anderson for Ben Bishop. My other goalies are Luongo and Price.

I countered with Wayne Simmons and Cary Price for he above offered.

Thoughts?!

Well I sure wouldn't do the first one, so glad you countered. Bishop has been great....sadly for my division. Personally I don't think I would do it. Anderson hasn't been his usual stud self and Kane is coming off an injury.

hailtopitt 12-17-2013 09:41 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fonzz41 (Post 14989716)
And you know, that's a quality that shouldn't be overlooked. He's great for the game and great for his position. The "sweater sales" factor is - I think - an important one. And yes, when he gets going, flying through all 3 zones in like 2.5 seconds, he's awesome to watch.

As he develops patience over the next couple years, I think you'll see him doing more at the PP QB spot. He's got the skills for it, just needs to settle in more and expand his vision.

the crazy thing is that the coaching staff loved brian dumoulin coming out of camp, but an injury allowed maata to step in and he never looked back. so A) that just speaks to the pens blue line depth and B) speaks to maata's confidence and attitude, he got an opportunity and made the most of it from day 1, that's a great sign

side note: gabriel landeskog projected to be a bottom 6 on team sweden? wonder if it'll stay that way, would love to see how he plays with the sedins

fonzz41 12-17-2013 09:46 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roose13 (Post 14989583)

Burns had me rolling. :lol

aeroshady 12-17-2013 09:49 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TMoore4075 (Post 14989735)
Well I sure wouldn't do the first one, so glad you countered. Bishop has been great....sadly for my division. Personally I don't think I would do it. Anderson hasn't been his usual stud self and Kane is coming off an injury.

The offer on the table now is, Kane, Nugent-Hopkins and Anderson for Bishop straight up.

I countered with Hopkins, Karlsson and Anderson for Bishop as I need help on D.

fonzz41 12-17-2013 09:56 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hailtopitt (Post 14989741)
side note: gabriel landeskog projected to be a bottom 6 on team sweden? wonder if it'll stay that way, would love to see how he plays with the sedins

Yeah, crazy to even think about eh? A lot of it has to do with his defensive abilities. His offense sometimes overshadows the fact that he's incredibly good at shadowing other teams' top players (does it every night and no one notices), and Sweden's thinking they've got enough pure forward talent that they could really use him in more of a defensive role on the third line. I still think he'll get lots of ice time, just won't be as relied upon to score.

hailtopitt 12-17-2013 10:00 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fonzz41 (Post 14989789)
Yeah, crazy to even think about eh? A lot of it has to do with his defensive abilities. His offense sometimes overshadows the fact that he's incredibly good at shadowing other teams' top players (does it every night and no one notices), and Sweden's thinking they've got enough pure forward talent that they could really use him in more of a defensive role on the third line. I still think he'll get lots of ice time, just won't be as relied upon to score.

maybe this is from watching bylsma coach for the last 5 years, but sweden is the perfect team to line shuffle...i'd easily swap eriksson for landeskog more often than not, just to see what he can bring

aeroshady 12-17-2013 10:02 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
New offer is Kane and Anderson for Price. Thoughts?

fonzz41 12-17-2013 10:09 AM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hailtopitt (Post 14989805)
maybe this is from watching bylsma coach for the last 5 years, but sweden is the perfect team to line shuffle...i'd easily swap eriksson for landeskog more often than not, just to see what he can bring

TOTALLY agree. When you've got that much talent, why not try guys at different spots. With his ability to play more of a physical, gritty game, I can totally see Landy opening up space and creating opportunities for the Sedins.

lockman21 12-17-2013 12:37 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rebecca De Mornay (Post 14989732)
Evander Kane looked like the best player in in the NHL last night :lol

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BZ9hmoZCYAAOQmm.jpg

???????????????????????

lockman21 12-17-2013 12:39 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hailtopitt (Post 14989741)
side note: gabriel landeskog projected to be a bottom 6 on team sweden? wonder if it'll stay that way, would love to see how he plays with the sedins

Sweden will play for the gold. That team is awesome.

hailtopitt 12-17-2013 12:40 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lockman21 (Post 14990272)
Sweden will play for the gold. That team is awesome.

they're truly stacked

swordo84 12-17-2013 12:41 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lockman21 (Post 14990272)
Sweden will play for the gold. That team is awesome.

...and lose to Canada because that team is awesomer.

lockman21 12-17-2013 12:42 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by swordo84 (Post 14990276)
...and lose to Canada because that team is awesomer.

Only if Canada isn't dumb as rocks and makes sure Sharpie finds a spot on that second line with Toews and Rick Nash.

THAT line would be RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDICULOUS.

kev87lads 12-17-2013 01:09 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
^ Don't forget about Hartnell finding his way onto the roster Chris. Maybe he takes Sharpie's spot?

dmbetc 12-17-2013 02:01 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lockman21 (Post 14990270)

heyyyyyy

aeroshady 12-17-2013 02:29 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Trade went through as follows:

Gave up: L. Erikson on IR and Cary Price.

Got: Anderson, E. Kane and Bieksa.

lockman21 12-17-2013 02:33 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dmbetc (Post 14990501)
heyyyyyy

:lol He's a unique one.

dmbetc 12-17-2013 02:40 PM

Re: The NHL 2013-14 Thread
 
So, Dustin didn't even know he was 1 point away from his 400 career NHL points milestone until he came home last night and his wife told him. He came over to visit with my "lady friend" and I last night and we were giving him shit on not getting that one point in the last few games. He said he didn't even know until Nicole told him. We made a comment on how it's strange that no reporters said anything to him about it and he said "No reporters want to talk to me right now, it's kinda nice." :lol


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