Thread: Speculation: Fire Todd Mclellan
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03-20-2012, 02:54 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Napa Valley, CA
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The problem to me sits with DW. He made a decision to bring in Niemi who is solid low but can be beat high and gives up big rebounds. He needs to have defenders there to block shots, clear rebounds, and keep enough connection with the offensive rush that high shots are held to a minimum, especially shots high on the blocker side. Play good defense around Niemi, and he will win because he won't let in shots low.

DW saw that last year so this year he gave up offense for defense, and never did pick up a scorer who could play a tweener role between the 3rd and 2nd lines in case Havlatt (or anyone else top 6) became hurt for an extended period. We've all known that was a need on this team. There had to be an aging vet out there who would be a utility player on the 3rd line, slot to the second on occasion, and take some PP time if called on? (Hoping Zeus wasn't DW's answer to that question.) We had the cap space for those kind of players.

The plan didn't go as expected. Havlatt did get hurt and the defense never did solidify around Niemi. Burns took forever to get his game going. Boyle was slow out of the gate and looked like he was getting old (before we discovered he was hurt). Murray got injured late and we've never put back Boyle and Murray together since. Demers has been up and down all year. Braun and Vlasic have taken steps this year, but the plan didn't work defensively.

Today, Niemi seems fragile to the point where I would rather play Griess who can at least start the offense and is more athletic. But in any case, I don't think TMac is going anywhere no matter what happens at this point. I would expect to see assistants change first, especially considering the massive drop in PK% this year. That might happen even if we do get to the WCF again.

DW will be forced to reevaluate his team again, but I would expect tweeks again not a cleaver. Niemi might be on the way out with the goalies we have in the system - no matter how well he does from here out. But I think the current players we have; their age, experience and positional slotting are sufficient to win still.

I believe any massive overhaul of the coach, system, or a gutting of the team reduces the chances of untimate team success next year, and the window with the top players isn't going to be open forever. If it falls apart next year, then I have no doubt TMac will be employed elsewhere. He still has a year of grace left.

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