Poll: Where would you play Dan Girardi?

The fanbase is obviously divided on Dan Girardi. It couldn’t be any more obvious. Some think he’s a top pairing, shutdown defenseman. Others think he should be fired into the sun with a giant Acme slingshot. The rest think it’s somewhere in between. It’s pretty fun to watch the interactions on Twitter and in the comments.

So that leads me to the newest poll: Where do you think the Rangers should play Girardi? Top pair? Out of the lineup? In between? Vote in the poll below.

Disclaimer: I’m 100% poking the bear here.

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  • With the current slate of defensemen on the roster I would play G on the 2nd pair with Yandle.


    He can’t play with Staal so need to balance the pairings. The guy he’d likely do well with is Skjei once he’s up

  • In response to poking the bear, I am very curious what would happen if Boyle and McIlrath would play and Girardi would sit one or two out. Perhaps it is deployment, perhaps declining skill, perhaps a combination of that. I don’t know, but I would love to see it for a few games.

  • Dan has seen his better days, and in my opinion should be no higher than a second pair d-man. That stated, he does seem to get the job done against the likes of Cindy, Ovie, and some other marquee names, so he still is somewhat effective.

    Here is where the long term contracts come into play with older guys who have hit their peaks, and are on a downhill spiral !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Girardi/Boyle, father time waits for no one. I believe they would definitely benefit from a rotation schedule to keep them somewhat playoff ( which is a season with-in itself and then some because of its intensity) fresh. Let Mcllrath spell both of them from time to time. It becomes a win-win for all involved, let some ego’s be brusied, this is about winning a cup, Boyle & Girardi do not have time on their side!

  • Bobby B Agree with you on that as i posted yesterday Play McIlrath for each D when we play those 3 in 4 and B to B games . Would like to see if he could play with McTruck at all Leetch and Buek who knows . But we need to get the D some rest long before we go into the playoffs . Maybe Skjei will be ready by Xmas to play some minutes , hope we don’t have to have an injury to find out these answers

    • Ranger17, great minds alike!!, our opinions are valid, it all makes perfect sense. Unfortunately we do not have the ear of the head coach or the GM. Lets hope they are bloggers too, and read our comments!!

      • To me, it’s too early in the season for guys to be regularly rested. And the schedule isn’t that demanding right now. You have to balance the need to get points and the need to get your veterans into a rhythm, against the need to rest some guys and develop your young talent. Remember the Parcells quote about Romo I posted yesterday. When you are trying to win a championship, the last thing you want to do is throw too much at a young player too quickly.

        I like what AV has been doing. First, he played Boyle a lot to start the season. He was able to see where Boyle’s game is, and then it was a lot easier to have the tough conversation with Boyle that as an older player at 39yo, his skills are eroding and he will need some rest in order to be effective. Boyle saw it for himself, hard as it was to accept. Meanwhile, McIlrath got some time to practice and learn the system. If Boyle had been benched right from the get go, you likely create a rift with a veteran player, risk losing the room (as Torts did) which would put even more pressure on McIlrath to perform to justify the move, not to mention putting the kid into a situation he may not have been ready for a month ago.

        Girardi is a different story altogether. Let’s not lump him into the same category as Boyle. Girardi is only 31, not yet over the hill, even by hockey standards. We can discuss how he falls short in many advanced statistical analysis all we want, but the fact is he’s had great success against some of the most dangerous weapons in the league, especially in the playoffs. He’s wearing an “A”, thus one of the real leaders in the room. He got off to a horrific start, and was appropriately moved to the second pair because of it. That was hard I’m sure for a prideful veteran to handle. But it seemed to work and I think his game has improved somewhat over the last 4-5 matches. Clearly, he needs to be given the chance to play and find his game right now before anything further is considered, especially with the Rangers winning at the clip they are.

        He will need rest down the road as the schedule gets more demanding, but to tell a guy with an iron man mentality that he will be resting on a once every three game basis this soon into the season would be nothing short of awful coaching.

        This approach gives Dylan a chance to get his feet wet and learn in a non-pressurized way, allows an aging Boyle to stay fresh and prove he can still be the player he was signed to be, and allows Girardi to have the time to find his game. Down the road, performance from all three will dictate how they are used going forward. And I think the goal all along has been to get off to a great start, and then as the schedule gets more challenging and players perhaps need more of a rest, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some vets get a few games off here and there so they are rested for the playoffs.

        But I wil say again what I’ve said before, while I believe that McIlrath is growing on AV, I think he values what Boyle at his best could bring to the table more than the physicality the kid brings. Will some rest unleash that in the veteran? Time will tell.

  • This is much more a square peg/ round hole situation than it is Girardi hitting his expiration date in my opinion.

    Assuming Klein can hang on the top pair all year / playoffs, Girardi will settle in on the 2nd or 3rd pairing. It would be a shame to pair him with Yandle given Girardi’s negative WOWY numbers.

    I’d very much prefer to see Girardi/ Staal as a pairing. Go out, survive, get off. It would allow us to shelter a Boyle(McIllrath)/ Yandle pairing for best offensive optimization possible.

  • I believe the bigger question would be – If not with McD then who? As Dave has stated may times Girardi/Staal would be a tire fire. Klein is the obvious choice to play with McD if a switch were to be made. That leaves Boyle or Yandle. Can’t be Boyle so must be with Yandle. That leaves Boyle/Staal. Both pairings would have some major weaknesses.
    Is it worth forming a superior top pairing if it weakens the other two? Or is it better to lessen the top pairing (which has been effective) and keep stronger pairs below.
    I would argue that our goals against average would suggest that things are pretty good how they are.

    • Try the potential tire fire Girardi/ Staal combo before we write it off. IF they can perform, it leaves us our best possible top pair McD/Klein to do what they do along with another pair Yandle/Boyle to give the most opportunistic deployment possible.

      As long as Staal/ Girardi don’t get lit up, theoretically we should come out ahead. The way people talk about the two, it’s like we’re looking at pairing Paul Mara & Stu Bickel together.

  • I’d like to see them try different combinations. It’s becoming clear that Girardi is not a top pair guy. We need to see how he does v. lesser competition. If that works, put him on a lower pair. If not, ????

    It seems there is no perfect way to arrange this set of defensemen.

  • I love how this teams “problem” is defense in so many people’s opinion despite leading the league in goals against per game. That’s a problem every team in the league would sign up for.

    • Defense is probably more accurately depicted by shot suppression than by goals against. Goaltending factors into our goals against. In attempting to extract goaltending from the equation, let’s look at shots against per game, where the Rangers sit 26th in the league. The gap from 1st in GA/GP to 26th in SA/GP is in large part due to goaltending. Sure, defenseman have something to do with that (ie. shot quality) but so do forwards. There isn’t one metric to judge our 6 (7) defenseman by, but SA at least eliminates one extraneous variable.

      • Honestly I don’t care if the reason for goals against is because of the defense or goaltending. “They’re only winning because they have gotten unreal goaltending”. Is Chicago complaining that they won the cup last year because Duncan Keith played unreal defense?

        • Sustainability becomes a question though. I think everyone is with you that GA matters more than SA. BUT in more cases than not “unreal” play trends back to “real” norms, in which case curbing SA will more than likely help us sustain our healthy GA metric.

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