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04-02-2013, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Richer's Ghost View Post
Just wanted to reply because you hit 3 points I wanted to comment on;

1) Clarkson is not even thinking at this point unless he is deciding to do the opposite of what would be a good play on purpose to try and surprise the goalie. He is stopping shots from the point to take weaker shots, stealing pucks laying there for a 1-timer from hit teammate only to take a stupid off balance shot wide of the net, and refusing to pass when he should and refusing to shoot when he should - then destroying all the cycle work with a dumb toe drag, wrap around, fall down stupefied look on his face back at the ref for a penalty. I have no idea how Pete thinks he's playing good hockey. I can take 6 stupid shots a game too and not score, especially when I'm refusing to pass and stealing pucks from my teammates.

2) Yes he was. Zubrus said as much in the post-game interview. He stated he wasn't 100% and summarized he was a little rusty and expected it. Pete said he overplayed him at 14 minutes too, so it was out of desperation he was even dressed and then overplayed. Credit to the guy for dressing and giving it his all.

3) Larsson should not sit when playing his game as he can, but he was stinking it up the last few games before he sat down. I saw it as fatigue myself and not a scolding, but rather the maintenance rest. I expect him back soon but with how compressed the schedule is and how he was getting beat to the outside again with slow first steps to the puck, I am sure that is the real reason he was sat down and I can't disagree with it. Problem is now half the team needs sat based on that trait.

Beyond your points, I just feel this team and this season have slipped like a loose belt in the engine. It may squeal and slip only to have a little spray put on and the squealing stop, but it's not really being fixed.

The team is aging at the most key positions (goalie, top scorers, top minute Dmen), and have lengthy injuries to the top players as well. You can't take a 4th line made up of role players that are composed of marginal skill and out of their magical chemistry expect them to become the 3rd line all purpose grinders that replaces your lack of talent as a permanent solution. Then to bring in randoms again to back fill injuries and poor chemistry in your bottom 6, promote what should be a 3rd liner in Clarkson to top line duties and not replace your star captain's departure to free agency, well you start pushing the attack to replace the lost offense. That leads to more exposure on the D, and this D is not built to handle that and you get massive fails at getting the first goal which is paramount to the team strategy.

Now toss in the Marty injury and failure of the backup to perform to previous levels and a total stretch that destroys morale and confidence like a hydrogen bomb only to be coming out of the bunker to survey the damage when another bomb goes off and your star goal scorer is out in what should be the recovery phase and going on a playoff push to get back up in the standings and here we are - losing games in the final minutes, shrugging the shoulders and seeing how close they were to what should have been and at a loss how to fix it.

This team needs a lot of luck to be successful in it's current form. 1st goal & playing with a lead, forechecking susceptible teams, pk unit scoring, great goaltending and puckhandling, rolling 4 lines and cycling in the offensive zone. Almost none of that is happening (bold is to a degree) and they're not built to win outside of that. Injuries and OT/SO losses have only compounded the pain.

I don't see Lou making a move - the team as a whole isn't just a few plays away from blowing up and taking over in the playoffs. They are a few plays away from falling down and out of the playoffs entirely. That's why I hope he sells a couple of pending UFAs for once and re-tools with major fixes, not bottom 6 band-aids and hoping for the perfect scenario to happen.

I'm still optimistic they can make the playoffs after probably slipping out for a few games, but unless everyone gets healthy, rested, and someone gives the Braveheart speech of all-time that motivates these guys to new levels, I don't think they go past the 5 games in the playoffs and that gives me a sad because it makes me look back to last year and realize that was the last gasp for Marty and Patrik probably.
It all starts with a questionable top 6. I think the roster is servicable everywhere else and the other secondary roles are more defined when the top 6 is solidified. But if you look at the inconsitency and carousel (Matteau, Poni, D'Agostini, etc.) which has characterized the top two scoring lines, it doesn't take a genius to extrapolate that this team is mired in the bottom fifth in terms of Goals For .

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