Since everyone seems to think he shouldn't be the one that plays i am going to stick up for the guy. First of all we all know about his vision, offesive sense, passing and sniping capabilities that he's displayed in the last 3 years in the dub. (I would know as I am a perennial season ticket holder and have watched him carry the team the last two years)
In his FIRST nhl game ever he put up an assist on the ONLY goal of the game, put it on a plate for spezza, so in essence his assist won us the game as you can not win without goals and thats something we havent scored a whol lot of lately. Most importantly though was the fact that this goal that stone put up was spezzas first of the series, yet stone was barely given the same opportunity on the 1st line as silfverberg as. So maqybe if given more time and not just 9 min in his first game ever he could get spezza going? And for those who question his skating, look no further than Spezza, he sure ain't the fastest skater in the league either and for him to have someone playing with him that has the playmaking skill stone does i think it could give us that scoring we've been missing.
Don't get me wrong i'm a huge silfverberg supporter and think he'll be a great player, and i've always been a huge fan of Butler and think he's just going through the infamous sophmore slump but we've got to look at whose made a difference in this series so far and thats stone.. thats a fact that can't be argued and thats pretty good for a player thats ONLY played 1 career game and 9 minutes in that said game.
To differentiate a bit more i will give a recap of each players series thus far:
Bobby Butler: 3GP - 0P - AVG TOI 12:44 - 6 SHOTS - 0 PIM - +0
Butlers played great but has provided no offence thus far unfortunately and we need scorers......
Jacob Silfverberg: 1GP - 0P - AVG TOI 9:02 - 1 SHOT - 2PIM - +0
Silfverberg will be a great player but has just come over, never played on the smaller ice surface and looked scared and hesitant in his first game and took a bad penalty, so give him some time.....
Mark Stone: 1GP - 1P - AVG TOI 8:42 - 0 SHOTS - 0 PIM - +1
Stone set up the only goal in game 5 and that says alot considering we've only scored 12 of em in 6 games , and never really got a great chance to show what he could do beyond that. But considering he's played less and has more points than anyone else on this list and probably the most potential as well says alot for him.
and someone no ones talked about..
Zack Smith: 6GP - 1P - AV TOI 12:54 - 11 SHOTS - 10 PIM - -2
Couple of things really jump out with smith.. NO finish and BAD penalties (5 minor penalties this series) which penatlies are one thing thats killed us in this series.. don't forget the - 2 , Condra has no finish but at least he kills penalties well, where as smith just plays his 12 minutes takes a minor penalty and a few shots and thats it.. I like smith but really hes been the same as Butler for the last half of the season except he takes more bad penalties. If it were up to me Butler and Stone would be playing over Smith.
So the just of this is, If anything that assist that won us game 5 should be the reason Stone plays. Cause really how many of those have other players set up this series? Give the kid a chance his debut looked alot better than some of our full timers whole series have looked. Not just 9 minutes...