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10-29-2009, 06:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Country: United States
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Let me put it this way. I've been a loyal Michigan fan ever since I began watching sports. For 95% of that time, it was watching Lloyd Carr take that team to the top of the Conference and even winning the National Championship in 1997. Only to watch him leave 2 years ago and a new guy, Rich Rodriquez, come in. Instead of the typical powerhouse defense and explosive run game, the new scheme is more on a mobile QB and spreading out the defense to allow for yardage. In RR's first year, that team was absolutely destroyed by every opponent (to include a warmup MAC game) because he didn't have the tools in order to make his scheme work.

In that long drawn out thing, basically what I am saying is Richards does deserve the benefit of the doubt at this point. Players like Burns, Schultz, Koivu, Harding, Backstrom, Clutterbuck, Sheppard, Pouliot, Bouchard, and even Boogaard have never played in an open minded offensive system at the NHL level. How can you literally expect them to pick up on something within even the first month of playing it? How can we expect the chemistry to begin when so many of these prolific players have been injured or are still injured??

Fletcher and Richards are doing the best they can at this point in time to try to stay competitive with so many of these players not used to what he is expecting from them. He doesn't have the fast defenscement all around he needs to forecheck in the offensive zone. he doesn't have the quick forwards to generate oddman rushes. He doesn't have a #2 Center that is actually a relevant #2 Center.

Richards AND Fletcher deserve at least 2-3 years to get this team going. This was a rebuilding year and people need to start thinking that it is as well. Just because Colorado and Phoenix are doing fantastic right now doesn't mean this team is the biggest failure of the year. I believe most Toronto fans would attest to that one.

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