FanPost

MDZ Crossroads

MDZ's performance has certainly been a popular topic of conversation on this site for several years.

At 23 and in his 5th season, he is no longer the precocious teenager but a seasoned veteran of 260+ games.

Yet he looks like a bottom pair defenseman on this team and continues to attract detractors.

I think these next 5 to 10 games will decide his Ranger fate. His greatest shortcoming in IMO continues to be his lack of skating speed. If forced to slow down around his blue line MDZ is very susceptible to being beat wide.

This has been a chronic criticism of MDZ for a number of years. It has supposedly been addressed in offseason training but we are back to the old saw...you can't coach speed. You have it or...as in this case...you don't.

MDZ mitigates this shortcoming with excellent stickwork and is a good passer. He is competent in front of the net and on the wall.

Now we have a new coach and system. This crystalizes the tipping point and with a series of faster teams in the next few games it is time to make a decision...if one hasn't already been made.

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