||07-20-2012 10:00 AM
so there are the skeptics/pessimists ,the hopeful optimists,and the cautious IF everything goes right camp..
Let us look at the 3 camps:
1. THE skeptics/pessimists: these are led by types like JJ over at hockeybuzz.com who in his most recent blog there completely trashes Stanbow,the coaching staff,and Brandon Saad ...he is correct of the coaching staff--but the fault is not as he implies improper systemms or the comptency of the coaches but rather the ATTTITUDE of Q in letting certain star players get away with lazy play too often as if working hard for 60 minutes as professionals should and like they do on lots of less talentd teams who got further in the playoffs is beneath the values of higly paid fat cat cheque-casher "stars" ... Q is responsible for a country club atmoshere of laxity ---refusing to bench certain stars when they get lazy,refusing to bag-skate the team when they produce fiascoes like the poundings EDM gave them,or in that 9 game losing streak.. The players TOO a lot of responsibility THEMSLEVES for not excecuting the system Q and his staff gave them-BUT they can't concentrate on that and get any success UNLESS they are prepared to work harder more often.
IF Kan or anyone else plays with disinterest from mid-nov though to March 1st as if it is a chore to get through games and concentratingmore on the cheques arriving for deposit to their fat bank accounts AND Q does nothing about it this year--THEN
that coaching staff will have to walk the plank.Q knows this-therefore THIS YEAR i expect far less tolerance of lazy disinterested play . Players will have to work harder and be more responsible both for their own roles and in support of teammates..
So we shall see if the pessimists are way off and the tougher coaching ATTITUDE will make our team much more competitive...
AS to the failure of STANBOW to address the needs: 2nd line C,#3 D,elite goalie--well NO TEAM in the NHL has everything--BUT STANBOW shouild have solved at least 1 of these 3 needs...
Maybe he does --there is still time before the season starts (Perhaps starts late if CBA not signed in time) to make trades-or MORE LIKELY we have cap room to make a trade deadlkine acquisition IF the needs still are glaring..
The lament that STan never replaced the essential ingredients that got us a CUP --LADD,BUFF,VERSTEEG,NIEMI ---is a valid critique except for the cap problems forcing their departures..ALSO CAMPBELL was a part of that CUP success and he has not been replaced though his cap savings do help us now IF we can add something of real impact back...IF STANBOW's add from within/"position of strength" mantra fails AND he also fails to add an impact guy via pre- or mid-season trade or by the trade deadline--THEN if the season fails the pessimists will shout that they were correct all along. That we were doomd from the getgo this season...
FInally the trashing of SAAD and other pipeline kids by the skeptics.. JJ cites SAAD as only a 2nd rounder so we cannot expect impact,and how all the other GM's passed on him till we took him at #43 and this because of some implied consensus tht Saad could dominate against smaller kids in Jr. but NEVER would do so in the great NHL ....OR JJ skoffs at SAAD's experiment at centre..and accuses him of sleepwalking through Pospects Camp ----but didn't SAAD score 2 goals and an assist in the final scrimmage ? This after asking the coaches to let him play centre? MAYBE HE CAN PLAY CENTRE? Don't know about his face-off work BUT surley I don't se why he is any worse choice at centre that PAtrick Kane ---who was not good on face-offs and due to size (which is not a problem for SAAD) will have problems defending bigger stronger centres...BUT we shall see... EVEN If SAAD plays LW--- JJ skoffs at him being reaady fr a top six position and cites all the big Jr. scorers who failed.. BUT he leaves out the big Jr, scoreers who succeeded ,but SAAD can't because he was not a first rounder? Also that the Hawks have not yet seen SAAD impact in the NHL
(so because t hasn't happened it cannot happem?) ...Q and Bowman say SAAD is ready --to the skeptics this is mere hyping as a PLAN B after the fail to land a "splash" in the UFA sweeps...
THE pointabout SAAD is this: AT the time of his draft I myself pleaded to AVOID drafting him--but I did not realize his poor play in the 2nd half of his draft year was due to lingering effects of his groin injury...I had expected that if his dctors cleared him for play he could go "all out" to his normal level of effectiveness (remember Central Scouting had him #8 overall at mid-season rankings in NA skaters-so at that time no hockey "experts" thought he wasn't anearly first rounder candidate--that he feell so much in the 2nd half with poor uninspired play and little effectiveness caused his big drop to be taken only at #43 ---but obviously the explanation ( lack of motivation and effort-not the talent level) was wrong as the next season he doid play hard and dominated the oHL ...THAT to me was the REAL SAAD -the difference in play was like night and day .I was wrong to buy in to the "experts" explanation STILL advocated by skeptics like JJ (who i doubt ever saw SAAD play in the ohl last season and tear it up) that SAAD is inconsistent with his effort or can't dominate at the next level against stronger players--the first objection is wrong,the 2nd ignores the abilities/talent i did see from him last year. OF course he doesn't have the burning desire of an ANDREW SHAW--neither does PAT KANe and he can succeed (WHEN he wants to -but that want is the issue) because he has talent. JJ is a fool if he thinks SAAD had no talent...
CAN SAAD succed for us as a top six guy? WELL don';t expect the 2nd coming of Corey Perry--but if any rookie can prodice 20+goals and 25-30 asssts I think you would call it a good rookie year-- I do not see why he can't do at least that -more IF his star teamates decide they will play harder this year..
Now if they do not give SAAD PP time you cannot expect 30 goals ..BUT if he does
then somebody else in the top 6 will be failing on the PP --and THEN what will JJJ say-that that guy can't impact in the NHL? BTW--how are ONLY 5 PP goals from Toews and ONLY 4 PP goals from KANE "impacting"? MAYBE SAAD can do at least as ell or BETTER?
LEt us not but "hype" but let us not also state categorically that SAAD will fail..that seems ridiculous . I saw BOBBY RYAN PLAY as JR.--so too SAAD- I can tell you I was more skeptical of RYAN ever impacting in the NHL than I am of SAAD doing at least as well as RYAN--but that SAAD failed to impress in his late NHL playoff "experience"
-well it is a small sample of games plus the nerves of a first NHL playoff experience--don't think it is fair to write off a career just from that tiny sample of a couple of playoff games ..THE HAWKS had other problems affecting team play too at the time.
IS SAAD the "saviour"? NO. Can he be an impactful top six guy? WHY NOT? Let us wait and see . I willnot write him off before the season even starts.
2. THe optimists: These types are hopeful that with a better ATTITUDE and less toleance for laxity by the coaching staff AND a RE-OCUS by certain core "starrs" who did not bring their best OFTEN ENOUGH last year but willthis year,AND luck with injuries,AND some valuable conributions from newbies (SAAD,a full-year of SHAW, BROOKBANK ,and a full year from Montador,improvement from KRUGER though maybe he plays 4th lkine) -AND declines in the CENTRAL ( the Hitcock effect starts-as USUAL-to wane for STL and they won't be as dedicated as last year;NASHVILLE losing SUTER and WEBER if he stays turnig "fat cat" ; DET --loss of Lidstrom,Hudler,
Holmstrom geezerd out--and Zetterberg and Datsyuk another year on the geezer meter--so IN DECLINE----why not be more optimistic for the Hawks?
3. The cautious: the will be contributions better than expected;there willbe disappointments providing lesser contribution than we expect...LUCK with injuries-- maybe /maybe not...Rebound year from Crawford..maybe,maybe not?
THe point about a CUP run is the timing of meshing and catching the wave at the right time just as the playoffs begin,not getting injuries in the playoffs, having at hot goalie,and everyone buying in and contributing_IF we get all of these---WHY NOT?
WE cannot count on all of these but if they occurr -we have as good a shot at anyone. AS to our needs-we probably willneed a trade deadline infusion --so at this point the cautious remain only that -not willing to be over-pessimistic,nor overly optimistic.