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08-30-2010, 09:30 AM
  #21
Jarick
Doing Nothing
 
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Country: United States
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I just took a big mental break from it all. I played a lot of hockey last year, and I think I've only been on the ice four times this summer, down from about 1-2 times a week.

I really like the moves we made. Nothing smacks of panic, we didn't make any big trades, we didn't overpay crap players to big contracts, we aren't bringing in any depth players and telling ourselves they are top skill guys...just added a lot of depth and veterans to the team.

Has anyone here read The Game? It's so eye opening. I firmly believe the locker room can have a much bigger impact than I've ever given it credit. Dryden basically chronicles the downfall of the Canadiens dynasty from within, and you can see just how big a difference a couple guys in the room can make.

Richards and Russo talked about the locker room problems from last year affecting the team...and I don't think many people are giving that enough thought. They brought in some good locker room guys in Madden and Nystrom. The team changed drastically last year, and it's going to be unbelievably more cohesive from the get go. That's a big factor. There's a lot more trust with guys you've gone to battle with than when you're trying to prove yourself and show your worth. A lot of guys were probably "gripping the sticks too hard" early on last year and I don't see that happening.

Not to mention bringing in the veteran assistant coach Rick Wilson. He's going to be charged with strengthening the team defense, which was horrible last year, but also helping Richards adjust to being an NHL head coach. That could be a bigger impact than anything. I know we've all ripped into Richards a lot, but I don't think any of us have a real good understanding for his coaching style in terms of personnel management, not just the on-ice stuff. And that's another key factor. He might be a fantastic coach with the players who needs some help with the strategy of the game, and Wilson might have been brought in to do just that.

Anyways, I'm not saying this team will be winning the division, but I think a lot of the big problems last year were understood and attempts were made to correct them. We'll have to wait and see if it's successful, but it's not just a matter of "we need a 2nd line center and a winger for Koivu"...it's bigger than that

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