Past the halfway point and only 3 points out
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03-23-2013, 01:09 PM
This is not my hat.
Join Date: Nov 2007
Originally Posted by
Having given up hope for one of the top 4 through the standings (still hoping Jarmo pulls off a stunning trade or a lucky lottery) I am now firmly in the lets make the playoffs club. They will either prove we are a good team or expose weakness. Both ways would be helpful.
The strengths I see beyond the obvious one of Bob are:
1-better than average overall team speed
2- great hustle
3- team defense - forwards back checking
4- penalty kill
5- taking minimal penalties
6- interchangeable parts (Wiz, JJ, Dubi, Arty, Dorse, et al miss a few games, so what?)
7- coaching (gotta give Richards & Co some props)
8- minimizing turnovers
1- Power play - what power play?
2- lack of first line talent
So 17 to go, 12 on the road. It will tell the tale. If the Jackets keep the attitude on the road they have a real chance. However it turns out (barring something like a 3-12-2 finish) I think Jarmo has some interesting decisions to make regarding re-signings. Re -sign all the FA forwards and there is no room for a new guy. Let Letestu & Vinny walk you risk breaking up the chemistry. Stay put and the recent run turns out to be another Jacket head fake and you look dumb. Throw in the trade deadline issue and he will be earning his $$$.
If it were me, I'd keep both Letestu and Prospal. We're not going to get anyone in the draft that can step in right away, and they both have taken huge roles here. Letestu especially is on pace for a career year, and nearly twenty goals (19.8). Prospal is on pace for twenty goals (over 82 games), and Letestu has done great in the shootouts for us. He's versatile and can play up in the line up without missing a step. Plus some guys just don't hit a stride until they get in their upper-twenties, low thirties.
I think one of the Rangers' problems, for example, is they're in the midst of a culture change. They had too many guys who were instilling their culture move out. When you have one or two new guys come in and have a different attitude, the rest of the team can instill that team culture. When you turn over half of your team, then it's up for grabs.
I'd look to the trade market. I wouldn't be surprised to see Dubinsky or Umberger, and Nikitin gone at the deadline or the offseason.
Which still gives us good depth at D with Cody, Murray, and Savard.
I'm probably in the minority on this, just as I was with Johansen, but Murray should at least start the year in Springfield next year. He's been injured almost all year and he's AHL eligible. I say let him start there.
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