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03-11-2013, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by FlaggerX View Post
As much as I'd like MacKinnon et al, I'd rather we keep winning. This is really the team I hoped we'd have at the start of the year, only without a preseason the Jackets had a hard time figuring out who they were, which strikes me as pretty much a team Ken Hitchcock would really love, hard checking and deep, with Bob's emergence we have real NHL level goaltending. Even Mason has played like an average NHL backup, which makes a huge difference.

The truth is if we keep playing as we are and come close to the playoffs we won't get MacKinnon. But we will get a team that really believes it's on the way up, that wants to be here as a result and is willing to work hard in the offseason to make that goal happen. Brad Richards and his staff have done at outstanding job making this team competitive despite limited talent and lots of injuries. Springfield coach Brad Larsen also deserves credit for bringing the kids along and sending them up ready to play.

One big reason is the play of our grinders. Mackenzie is a fine 4th line center with speed, defense and just enough offense. Boller is having a career year with both his stick and his fists. They've earned the time they've gotten late in games by bringing it hard, fast and responsible. In many ways they've set the tone for this team.

A lot of credit is due to Scott Howson. Howson got us Foligno, AA, Dubi, Erixon, Bob. He drafted the Johan, Johnny Moore, Calvert and Atkinson, and he (with Davidson's help) signed Larsen and turned it into a place where our kids learn how to play and win. He got us enough depth to absorb injuries and not collapse. Our kids are alright.

We playing hockey the right way. We roll four lines and they all contribute. We don't have to hide anybody. And we have three first round picks and management with the patience. When we lose it's at least good competitive hockey. I don't see the 'what were you thinking' so common over the last couple years.

Even if we have to wait for our prospects I'd rather we keep on building on course. I want our draftees to think they're going to a program where they will be held accountable for their work effort and will be given the time. And I want them to come to a team that expects to win and to compete and will hold them to that standard. That's what I see, and that's a team to build on.
Howson did bring in most of the team we are currently watching but he also brought in the team we saw play five, four, three and two years ago... No one here knows what is going on behind the scenes with John Davidson in the organization; he could be impacting the room in a way Howson never could.

There is more to winning than a list of players, there is an organization behind players on a daily basis... A simple positive attitude knowing you are being led by a guy (JD) with bona fide experience and confidence could be the difference...

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