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01-25-2013, 03:16 PM
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Lets face it. We are insecure about this team. Until they string together wins and look like a team that's playoff bound, we're going to see them for what they appear to be: Except for Weber, mid-range talent with some previous pieces missing. We will argue about Suter but when we had him, we had the best d-man combo on the ice for 48% of every game. We were comfortable with what he provided (solid D, outlet passes, puck moving out of our end, and passes to Webs on the PP). Josi has done great so far but he doesn't do any of those four things better than Suter. Not yet. So we're worse off in that aspect. We were better with Rads and AK46 than we are without them. I know we were good in the reg season without them, but they gave us an offensive gear we don't have right now. They have ........ talent. They don't play great D and they're not great for the Trotz system, but they have talent. Without them, our Top 6 (except Erat) are high-end grinders. Teams feared our offensive ability more with them. We're not feared now.

We also lack excitement. Say what you want about Toots, but he was a difference maker by playing the "energy" guy in a manner that drew penalties, not taking them, and shot the pucks from all angles just to get things going. We were also more physically feared because Toots intimidated. Clune is an awful version of Toots. Takes penalties instead of drawing them, lacks good hockey skills, and is never in a position to shoot the puck. Our 4th line with Ern and Clune may be the worst line the Preds have ever fielded.

I am confident we'll play more game like we did against the Wild, and fewer games like last night. Losing a bar stool leg like Suter makes shakier and has us questioning whether we're good enough without him to do it again. Because we're unsure, bad games get amplified. They support an inner fear we all have. Our run of getting max effort and results out of a talent pool that's shallow, may be over. I hope not. Beat Ducks and we're on top of the world again. Lose to them and Katy bar the door.

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