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11-30-2010, 04:04 PM
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This team was winning games with its power play. Teams adjust at the start of the season. Special teams can be streaky. Young teams are inconsistent. NHL ready depth of our team is very lacking. (Therefore, injuries can become insurmountable quite quickly.)

There's no reason to believe that this team, minus Streit and KO, should be better than last year's team. Add to this an extremely raw crop of forwards, and you're going to get very inconsistent results. This is the type of team that can play well for 10 games and play like **** for 10+ games.

Our defense was never good. Our defense with Streit (and healthy) would have been average. Even at our best, we're not quite the right mix of personnel. We need a guy like Hamonic in his prime. A big/gritty top-4 guy who can get the puck on net (a huge problem of ours) and play physical (another huge problem of ours.)

Our forwards lack a top-6 veteran presence. I wanted us to add two legitimate top-6 forwards. We didn't even add ONE. There were 2nd-tier guys that could have made this team better. We should have gone out of our way to obtain a few capable guys for 2-3 years. Without a couple of additions, we're asking far too much from our young players and soon-to-be prospects.

Subtract injuries, add KO and Streit, and this team is better than last year's team. But by how much? We've been playing with fire, and that isn't Rome you smell burning. Even if the plan was to tank for a couple of years, this still would have been the year to add to the puzzle on offense. Let Bailey/KO suffer a bit for two seasons. Let Tavares suffer for one season. Good idea? No. A risk worth taking? No. Did we, mostly, get away with it? For the first two years, it would seem so. Any conscionable reason to let continue beyond that? None at all.

If this team gets healthy, then they'll win some games. Healthy through the season, and we sniff at the 8th seed. Minus two of our best players, while we enter an inconsistent stretch of offense? Straight to the bottom. I'm sure we'll see a few more stretches of games where we'll score more. We do have some good young players who will shine for smaller stretches; they just don't have much help.


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