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08-27-2011, 01:52 PM
Gilligans Island
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Originally Posted by SJeasy View Post
No stats except to say that I have tracked movement and its effect on standings points, GF and GA for more than the Sharks. It takes quite a bit to change any of those. The specific moves tend to relate very well to the long term results. I specifically leave out playoff performance where matchups become an issue. I generally get my playoff predictors about 3/4 of the way into the season.

My take on the defensive holes going into the off-season was puck movement from the backend and lack of a shutdown pair. Elite shutdown guys are almost as hard to come by as elite offensive guys. Barring a system change or an extreme off-season improvement by the current blueline members, the defense still has the shutdown hole. It wasn't the lower pairing guys who were causing the issue. It was primarily the Boyle/Murray pair. The numbers indicate they would make an elite second pairing defensive pair, just not a shutdown pair. Vlasic isn't in the game unless he has a perfect fit partner. It is getting to pipedream territory to think that Burns could be that guy. The other small hole they have is lack of offensive skill on the left side of the defense.

I have already gone over the issues I have with the offense elsewhere. I don't think any team is perfect. All teams have holes. I am more concerned with fatal (cup-prevention) flaws than the minor ones. I make my points on the other issues because I dislike hyperbole. My biggest issue for the Sharks is offensive depth and that looks to me like it is a fatal flaw. That doesn't mean I wasn't in favor of this summer's moves; it just means that I think that DW has more work to do. I also think some of DW's (read DW and the rest of the suits, it wasn't only DW) previous mistakes would have avoided the shortcomings with which the Sharks are currently faced.
We are where we are and I like where we're at heading into the season.

If you believe the reports that DW went after Vrbata and Gagne, then you know DW recognizes our lack of forward scoring depth as well and will assuredly address it at some point. Agree that it could be fatal - I think most of us fans see that given how much it's been discussed this offseason after DW made his moves.

On the shutdown issue, yes, we don't have a bonafide shutdown Dman in like Chara, Weber or Pronger (in his prime) but teams like the Hawks, Wings, Penguins and Canes all won the cup without one so I think that's not as big of an issue. We'll just have to see how Vlasic/Burns handle top comp. Maybe White/Burns become the shutdown pairing.

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