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06-08-2008, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MisterBouw View Post
Exactly, we need to improve both our transition from defense to offense, and also our skill up front. But we only have the money to address one need through UFA. We have a lot of forward skill coming up to the big club soon, but we don't have a lot of puck moving skill from the backline coming up soon. It seems like Martin is counting on Matthias to make the team next season. I don't think it's a bad plan at all. I'm not expecting Matthias to light the world on fire, but he can at least contribute. Maybe Repik and Frolik come up at some point in the season as well, who knows. Maybe Martin moves a couple bottom six forwards during the season to make room. Look at what the Kostitsyn brothers did for Montreal last year. Also, Grabovski and Chipchura for brief stretches. They went with a youth movement at forward last year and they wound up being the top seed in the East. I doubt they even make the playoffs without the Kostitsyns.
i think you sum it up nicely. obviously we need help in both places but i agree with JM - we can make a jump quicker, cheaper and better (for the long term health of the club) by acquiring that help on the backend right now.

wrt your mention of montreal, we can also look at the bruins for an example of a team that benefited from an infusion of youth - krejci, nokalainen and lucic along with consistent defense enabled them to jump into the top 8 and give the habs a run for their money. imo, the panthers have more talent offensively than the bruins, even with bergeron (granted, though, not by that much). that should say something about the immediate needs of this team. also, whoever comes in as coach absolutely must be able to get this team to play better and more consistent team defense, regardless of personnel.

Originally Posted by Coolburn View Post
Remember Martin's system is based on defense first (not unlike Minnesota). So preventing goals is of most importance to him. He's thinking, "we scored 216 goals which was only 7 less than Minnesota and 6 less than San Jose and they were playoff teams, we just need to cut down on our goals against and get int the plus side of goals differential (last season -10)." You dont have to agree with it but thats his basic thinking. Bring in a new coach that will continue that and help the transition game on defense, and JM believes he's got a playoff-caliber team. Is he right? Who knows (like many of you, I agree that he's wrong for not acquiring a forward) but you can see why he believes that at least.

Expecting Matthias, Repik or Frolik to fill a roster spot is not good but Matthias prob could handle it between the 3. The buyout period begins in one week so you will see a lot of changes going on around the league at that point, with new possible targets as well.
i'm generally in agreement with you here but... ALL systems start with defense first. less skilled/slower teams tend to spend more time working on the nuances as this increases their chance to defeat a team with more speed/skill. however, you MUST start with a solid defensive posture and system whereby your Fs and Ds (and goalie) know where each are and what their responsibilities are. if anyone here doesn't think the wings work incessantly on defense and neutral zone play, they are fooling themselves. same goes for anyone who believes this year's wings don't start from the blue line out.

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