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11-15-2011, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Av-merican View Post
I'm tiring of the "we're waiting for the new CBA" excuse. That's no reason to hug the salary floor like an action movie hero on a helicopter landing skid.

I'm also not expecting these guys to be Stanley Cup contenders this year, nor am I expecting it next year, or even the year after that. What I AM expecting is progression, and what I'm seeing is regression. True, Sacco got these guys to overachieve and maybe raised our expectations a bit prematurely, but I keep hearing about how this team has been working toward being an up-tempo, puck possession team. The personnel I'm seeing now are absolutely NOT a puck possession team, nor or they dynamic, nor are they up-tempo. But they're not really a defensive-oriented team either. Frankly, I don't know what the hell they are. And given the fact they changed their mind about naming a captain, it appears they might not know either. This is a team missing an identity, partially because management abruptly changed their approach last season when they realized they went overboard with speed and skill at the expense of size and strength. IMO they overcompensated in that regard, getting rid of every last undersized puckmoving defender in favor of bigger, tougher blueliners. There was no reason to jettison Liles if they were going to surround him with bigger bodies. He only became a liability when we lost Quincey right after trading Hannan and had guys like Shattenkirk, Hunwick, Cumiskey, and Holos rotating in and out of the lineup. Conversely, we traded away a lot of forwards who gave us a semblance of a puck possession game and replaced them with unskilled grinders (in the case of Kobasew, unskilled is an understatement). No surprise, the few forwards who actually do thrive on a puck cycling, puck possession game (Duchene) have struggled.

You want a team that needs to chip it in, grind it out, and score garbage goals? Fine. Then put the personnel out there who can do that. Guys like Lindstrom can't do that. Guys like Kobasew can't do that. And to have put so many eggs in the fragile basket known as Peter Mueller for actual finish is (and I'm going to keep saying this) inexcusable. Even a rebuilding team needs to have some kind of blueprint for success in the here and now. I don't see that right now. How is this team supposed to score consistently? They're not playing well enough at either end of the ice right now, and that's not just coaching, that's management icing an inadequate team when they know damned well they could've done better.

I am glad this team isn't spending like drunken sailors. But I'm also concerned that this organization, from top to bottom, is missing an identity, and frankly I've lost confidence that they have a firm plan in place. A lot of the moves of late simply don't mesh together well. There's a lot of finger-crossing and places where I feel management is completely contradicting themselves. That doesn't speak well about a rebuild. I feel more and more like these guys are turning into hockey's version of the Rockies, with a General Manager who seemingly changes his "plan" every season and when they don't lead to sustained success, making panic trades to try and fill in the very holes he created through botched deals, bad drafts, and over-reliance on prospects who simply didn't pan out. Thankfully it ain't THAT bad yet, but I feel it's moving toward that.
*shrug* well that sucks for you. I'm happy to wait on this team to grow into the well balanced well rounded team that this core should become. What you describe as lacking an identity is faulty to me since you're gripe seems to be that we're opting for balance rather than putting all of our eggs into one basket of being either a high scoring team or defensive team, which IMO is stupid since the best teams do both very well. We didn't overcompensate going for size, we focused on adding size in the offseason because we had speedy blueliners coming up the pipeline quick, so finding some big guys who could play in the NHL when the kids made it was very important since we only really have Gaunce as a guy who's close in the pipeline and now Siemens as another big body that'll be added to the fray down the road.

I want a team that has a great goalie a very tough Blueline that has offensive flare and can roll 3 quality scoring lines up front...that's the team we're assembling, everyone still needs to get better, some kids need to make it into the show and we need to bolster our winger depth, but those aren't massively complicated problems for a team to solve over the next 2 years or so we have before we'll be serious about making a deep playoff run.

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