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03-02-2006, 09:06 PM
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All right, it appears that the carnage is over. I stopped watching after the first goal because I have a paper due tomorrow and it was easy to tell that it was going to be one of the games. Even when they were doing well in the first period, the defense looked shaky. Could anyone fill me in on what happened with Brashear?

In the meantime, here's my take on the team. First and foremost, I am not giving up.

A) Nitty is still a top 10 goalie in the NHL. He gave up 3 goals tonight, but he was playing with the flu which is extremely difficult. He was brilliant against Ottawa on the last game before the break and he was brilliant for Finland who actually put a decent team in front of him.

B) This defense needs somebody else. I remember predicting that Hatcher and Rathje would hit a wall because of all the minutes they've been playing earlier in the year and that time has happened. To be honest, I've never liked Hatcher (I just hate the way he looks) and his play has been steadily going downhill for the last month or two. We need a steady d-man who can come in here and give us solid minutes. I still don't have much confidence in Jones and I'm not counting on Johnsson being back any time soon.

C) We have no top line scorers right now. I would argue that the loss of Gagne might be more important than the loss of Forsberg because without Gagne, there are no forwards on this team that are capable of going over 30 goals. The state of our top 6 is atrocious because of injuries. We're also missing Handzus in a huge way. We miss his penalty killing, his minutes, and his solid forechecking.

D) Sami Kapanen has been crap lately. I really don't know if it's the injury or what, but he has not been up to par. He hasn't been taking passes cleanly or making good ones and his shooting has been woeful. I've also noticed that his play in the defensive end has gone downhill. Last night though, Nedved kept getting him into good positions and he would just waste opportunities.

E) Petr Nedved is a very good player when healthy and motivated. From what I saw in this game and last night, he's been a very positive presence.

A last fun fact, Jon Sim has 6 goals and 8 points in 9 games for Florida.

What do we need to do?

A) We need to trade for a solid defenseman who skates well. There are several options here and we have the picks to get something done.
Option 1: Mike van Ryn. I've always liked him and he's had a good year this year, however, I'm not sure what it would take. Probably Umberger and a pick. Would I do that deal? Yes. Will it happen? No.
Option 2: Eric Weinrich. Steady d-man who could probably be had for a midround draft pick. I'd do this deal. I'd almost rather see him than Rathje at this point.
Option 3: Filip Kuba. I like him and once again, I think he could be had for picks and maybe a guy like Potulny because I think that Minny are rebuilding. However, I can't see Clarke pulling the trigger on a deal like this.
Option 4: Denis Gauthier. Once again, solid in his own end who could be had for a 2nd or 3rd rounder I think. This is possible because Clarke loves to deal with PHX.
Option 5: Brendan Witt. He's pretty solid defensively although I don't like him very much. Probably could be had for a pick.

I think we need at least one of these guys or someone of their caliber.

B) We need another top 6 forward. If this club gets healthy and adds a top 6 player, they should score goals.
Option 1: Mark Recchi. I could see this happening, but I wouldn't like it. He's already shown that his loses his legs by the postseason and we need a scorer anyways.
Option 2: Shane Doan. I think he'd be perfect for the O and B. He's gritty and he has a nice goalscoring touch. He'd probably cost Umberger, but in my opinion, he's worth it.
Option 3: Olli Jokinen. I'd love to see this one happen, but first off, he's a C. He'd also probably cost at least Umberger and probably more. I'd rather have Doan personally.
Option 4: Brian Rolston. I really love the idea of him coming here. He's fast and both a good PPer and PKer. He's also been doing really well in the new NHL. I'd love to see this and he might not be too expensive, but I don't think we'll see it happen.
Option 5: Teemu Selanne. This is more just filling out the list, but I'd love to see him with Gagne and Forsberg.

C) I've been a staunch defender of Hitch, but some of the line combos and player selections are really starting to worry me. This team needs fire from somewhere, they desperately miss KP and Hatcher just isn't a very good captain.

Bottom line: I'm discouraged, but not giving up. This team put together a great run earlier and when healthy with a couple trades, I feel that they can be a force. But something really needs to happen.

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