Down to the Nitty Gritty
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10-03-2010, 10:26 AM
I love GoOoOlD
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, NY
CGC: I just don't have a ****ing clue
I WAS supposed to be in Pittsburgh. I WAS supposed to be finding ways to get myself a sandwich at Primanti Brothers with the artificial sweetener laced Italian dressing cole slaw. I WAS supposed to have a clue about this roster. But then, I can't even get a ****ing clue on what I would be good at in my life. The Nashville Predators as built are familiar yet so unexplainable. Like dating a sweet girl with schizophrenia, you think you know her, she looks the same but then something happens and you are asking yourself, "Why is she buying handcuffs and smiling at me."
The moves the Predators made seemed to make sense on the face of it. Lombardi as a replacement for Arnott. Kostitsyn as the mystery top line player with all the skills and a troubled past. Johnson at the variable 7th defenseman, enough skill to play PP and PK time while not needing a majority of minutes. Parent to be the defensive defenseman for Franson on the 3rd pairing. Jonas Andersson as a 4th line plugger who may replace Smithson. O'Reilly was out the door with Sulzer, Laakso, and many other 'right now' disappointments. The allure of the unfamiliar grabbed at us but we, and I include myself in this, forgot about BFC's answer to everything; time and money.
Lombardi statistically could be seen as the answer to Arnott, but the shear fact of the matter is that the answer is layered. The question of, 'Who will replace Arnott's offense?' was really a superficial facade to the real question, 'How does Nashville ramp up the offense?' Lombardi may start as the #1 center, but unless Wilson shines as a wing, time will answer the question with Wilson at center and taking over the #1 spot. Even if Wilson is a wing full time Nashville has the depth at center to steady the ship. Offensively, Wilson could be the key. The projected line combinations are odd and scream 'cherry picking' but isn't that the Predators way anyway? Splitting up the speed and confusing the coaching staffs of the other teams as much as Trotz is confusing the **** out of me.
Sergei Kostitsyn, what an enigma. I can usually read a player's position from your posts. An informal polling of suck versus un-suck usually tells me the answer. SK is so odd. He's the George W. Bush/Barack Obama of the Nashville Predators. You either love him or loath him. He's like an Escher painting, you just can't get a handle on him. He has offensive skill but I think SK's defensive ability may just be his strength. I wouldn't be surprised if he plays on the 1st line feeding passes to Hornqvist or sitting in the press box with Belak comparing fist size and see who can get the most toppings on their BBQ nachos. Which coincidentally could be the difference between me or 29dryden29 in BC Pronose clown nose at the end of the year.....
Johnson has been waived and it's because of money or specifically, resources. Johnson is on a two way, Sulzer a one way. Johnson has half as much of a chance to be claimed as Sulzer. It is a matter of mathematical chance. Johnson may have been better but by how much? 5%? 10%? And even then it was for the position of 7th defenseman which I have been known to call the 'doormat defenseman'
Parent and Franson seem like a perfect pairing; until the matter of time came in. Parent grew into his potential of being the next Hamhuis and Franson, by all of your accounts, disappointed. Now with the commentary about Weber and Suter being split up now I would not be surprised to see Weber-Klein, Suter-Parent, Boullion-Sulzer/Franson. More and more, Franson is looking like a Zidlicky with less D. Last practice Trotz was double shifting Franson on the PP. It sounds like an attempt to salvage him as a purely offensive defensman. Parent on the other hand is sounding more and more like he's exceeding expectations.
O'Reilly is my binky......if my binky was made of rusted razor wire coated with Lye and fecal matter. I honestly was expecting him to be out like Chuck Lidell's lights in a fight. But time once again strikes. The problem with vets is that they are done developing. They are a known quantity. A lot of the Preds we have are still young and growing. And by SLake's accounts, it looks like O'Reilly will be the #2 center on this team. An unexpected gift. With O'Reilly's playmaking ability you can have him center two of the more offensively gifted wingers. If fact, O'Reilly's development might make WIlson's move to wing permanent.
My new questions are this for the roster:
1) Do we really need to worry about developing the PK?
With the team's discipline on penalties, is strengthening the PK a priority? The common quote of football is that there are three phases of the game; offense, defense, and special teams. Nashville last year was strong even strength. Special teams sucked like paying taxes sucks at your soul. But what if you can influence the amount of time you will need for those special teams? Nashville averaged 8 penalties a game last year. Can they get lower than that? Can Nashville lower the PK time below the 15-18 minutes per game? How does Nashville drop this 20-25% of a game down to 15%?
2) What does the PP look like?
THIS does need developing. Franson looks like a PP specialist. SK with his passing skills could help the PP. Lombardi might be a push with the absence of Arnott. Will Hornqvist continue to be a PP animal? Where do the pieces fit in?
3) How many games does Lindback/Dekanich/Pickard/Smith play?
Just because we EXPECT Rinne to play a lot does not mean that we will panic if he doesn't. This is Nashville boys and girls. This team uses goalies like Hollywood uses starlets. Once the wrinkles and sags show up, in comes another. I'm not too worried about it because Nashville had a hell of a fight between Lindback and Dekanich and if Lindback falters or Rinne is hurt Dekcanich is a few percentage points lesser than Lindback. (And let's face it, if Rinne goes down the season is FUBARed anyway).
4) Trade deadline, what's the move.
The owner talked about having extra money for this season for moves. Ok, how much and did Poile blow the budget with the depth? Even then the team could make a move to free up money. Even Jordin Tootoo admitted that his job is on the line. Imagine if the team moved him? Imagine what will happen when the frustrated fans toss their Tootoo whistles on the ice and then, nothing. If the team wins the fans will be placated. Just a simple fact of human psychology. Everyone loves a 4th liner because they show a level of character unlike most of the first and second liners. But the sad fact is there are a lot of 4th liners in this world and character is never short in the NHL.
Fact is that there are players who will be coming in next season who might bring an interest to the team. Ryan Ellis, Charles Olivier-Rousell, Jeff Foss (Who most likely won't be immediately signed to finish his degree in RPI), Mike Latta, Taylor Beck. Milwaukee already has a top 4 in defense who can play in the NHL. The top 2 forward lines in Milwaukee have 5 players with NHL experience. I have 8 defensemen on Milwaukee's depth chart and that's not including defensive try outs at camp.
This season has a feel of all in and I could see Poile making a move to pick up a rental at the deadline.
There are still two more skaters who will find themselves in Milwaukee or on waivers. Who will they be? Don't ask me. My title says it all.
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