Blair Betts, Oskars Bartulis and Matt Walker
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10-05-2011, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Wrong Town
Originally Posted by
Sure scoring goals on the pk is nice, but so is keeping your top line guys fresh and healthy throughout games in the season. It is give and take.
Look, I can see this... but if you want to avoid having your top players on the pk, then wouldn't you want to keep a guy like Betts on the roster? I mean, Gagné was one of our top pkers, and did a damn good job of it, but in Tampa he didn't see the ice while shorthanded because they had guys like Moore, Thompson, Hall, Tyrell and Bergenheim on their team.
Betts is not as good as he was in the 09-10 perhaps, but his main problems is when the play is 5v5 as I see it. I mean, he was the forward who averaged the most time shorthanded in all of the league last season. Either Laviolette was a poor excuse for a coach last season or Betts dropped off real bad over the summer, if he is as bad on the pk as some here suggests.
It's not that I think that Betts is that great a player, he is certainly a replaceable one, it's just that I haven't seen guys like Rinaldo or Nödl or Simmonds show that they can replace him just yet. Betts' skill is an area where I would say this team has an obvious need (and has lost a lot of experience the past few years), it makes no sense to waive him to me. Doing a good job on the pk in preseason is one thing, doing it when the scoreboard actually matters is something completely different.
Maybe there are some injury concerns over Betts' shoulder again or something, then I might understand this decision. Otherwise it would have made a lot more sense to wait and have the other guys prove themselves some more before making this decision.
Btw, these players saw a fairly significant amount of time shorthanded last season, and I'm sure I missed one or two guys that you could slot in here:
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