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10-30-2013, 01:10 PM
  #51
Sethis
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4 things from where I'm sitting, and reason for hope with most of them:

1) Goaltending - This shouldn't have been a strength but it shouldn't have been a weakness, either. Dubnyk should be league average. He definitely was not that to start the season but seems to have rounded back into form before the injury. Labarbera has been awful, but Bachman has shown well enough (and has the track record) to be decent back up. Not a dire issue, but something that will have to be improved if we want to move from 'pushing for playoffs' to 'contender'.

2) Injuries - It should not be lost on ANYONE that we were missing our 4 top LWs and our starting G in last night's game. That. Is. Insane. We were without our top 2 Cs for a stretch, then one rusty and one on the shelf. We finally have em both back but our best player is gone for a month, and people have been hitting the shelf like crazy. We aren't in the clear here but basic laws of probability have to shift in our favor soon. Hall's poor start to the season was a product of playing out of position the whole preseason and having to shift back.

3) New System - For the first few games you could see players trying to decipher where they had to be on the ice rather than just reacting. The 10-20 game range is where they'll start getting it. You can lump in 'new coach problems' here too, and I feel guys like Schultz and Yak's struggles have something to do with sulking at the loss of easy-going Krueger. They'll buy in eventually, and they'll all be better for it.

4) Losing Habits - This one just has to be learned. The guys need to hit that extra gear, develop that killer instinct and hate to lose rather than fear to lose. There is no swagger, no confidence, it's just toxic after a few years of losing. The only way to turn it around is to win, learn how they did it, and keep on winning. Watching the Flames play, they have that pride and combativeness of the early 00s Predators or even the 06 Oilers. Honestly, it might hurt to say it but they're a joy to watch play. That's what we need, and I think that's what Eakins is working on as well.

I'm not at the ledge yet, I see reasons for optimism. There's issues, but apart from maybe the personnel in net they are all workable.

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