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04-01-2013, 11:18 PM
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I don't understand all this hyperbole over how bad our defense is. Sure, since Coburn, Grossmann and Meszaros went down its been one of the worst, if not the worst, in the league on paper. But prior to that our defense really wasn't that awful. There have been an inordinate amount of odd-man chances and breakaways I think (more so earlier in the season than more recently) from inopportune pinching and slow defenseman, but they made up for it with great play in their own zone with blocking shots and keeping play to the outside. Also I think our odd-man chances against are only above average, not nearly worst in the league.

It's unfortunate Bryz is so bad handling odd-man chances. That's on the coach for playing a system that doesn't fit the goalie. It's also on the GM for finding a goalie that doesn't fit the system. And lastly, it's on Bryz for simply sucking at making those saves. It's not acceptable play for a goalie with his salary and expectations to fail so hard at those chances, stopping odd-man chances are an incredibly important aspect of a goalie's game, and they're the saves that keep teams in games. Those are the opportunities that determine if you're a game changer or not. And Bryz has certainly not been one.

Unless we do a complete 180 and play a defensive system that almost erases the odd-man chances (Phoenix) Bryz won't be good. He doesn't fit the offensive system we like to play. Upgrading our defense is a stopgap and might limit a few of the goals but doesn't address the problem. In my opinion, it's either the offensive style system or Bryz that has to go. Whether or not Laviolette has worn out his welcome is arguable, but with the forward corps we have I'd hate to see this team play a defensive style to accomodate the goalie. It would be a waste of the talent we have, and no guarantee in a division that has offensive superstars like Crosby, Malkin, Nash, Ovechkin (next year), Kovalchuk and Tavares.

And that contract, it's not worth it for a goalie that doesn't fit your system. I hate to look back, but getting rid of Bobrovsky is really starting to look like a terrible mistake. He would have been perfect for this retooling we're going through.

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