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01-09-2014, 09:52 AM
SingnBluesOnBroadway's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Originally Posted by Ola View Post
The alternative to take three steps back and pray on four hail marys to go your way to be able to take four steps forward, is the following.


1. Fix the defense

We are 10th in shots against, but we are 21th in goals against 5 on 5. Last year we were tied 1st in goals against. 11/12 we were 3rd in goals against (Vancouver was 4th). 10/11 we were 5th in goals against. In 09/10 were were 7th in goals against 5 on 5. 08/09 we were 6th. And so forth.

I know, I blamed Torts for his transition game and now I am blaming AV. But I am just calling it like I see it, I thought Torts transition game was horrible and I think our man-man experiment is working horrible right now too. I really do.

Early in the season we gave up goals because we screwed up in the transition game. But that is not the case any more. We are just constantly blowing our coverge in our own zone. We rarely seem to be in good positions to block shots and pick up rebounds. we loose players in absolute no-go areas on a regular basis. We are just running around all over the place way way way too much.

I see no reason what-so-ever for why we can't be top 10 defensively. We were No 1 last season with the exact same roster. We now have a transition game, that can cost us a few more goals. But not so the jump is to go from 1 to 21, maybe 1 to 7th overall or whatever. Very few of the better teams are playing some version of man-man defense, and we seem to try to play some kind of NBA version of it that just looks absurd at times.

McD, Staal, Giradi and co has potential to form the basis of a very strong blue line and infront of Hank we should have one of the better D's in this league. We had just that under Renney and Torts, I just can't see what have changed now.

Fix it!

2. Make Nash work

You make your own bed. You just can't always go with the opt out-option. Nash might not become the franchise player we hoped for, but at least make sure to get scoring from him. He is on pace to score 28 goals and 56 pts. Last year he was a PPG player.

We are coaching him. We are training him. We are providing him with his linemates. We are deciding how he should play. I don't care if Nash is to be blamed or not. You just can't on a regular basis bring in players and not get production from them.

We can't opt out yet again.

Make Nash work!

3. Turn McD into a Norris candidate

McD's development this year has been remarkable. We have started to ask him to move the puck and be involved in the offense instead of just throwing the puck away, and he is starting to look like a top 10 D in this league. Keep developing him into a top 3 D! Ask for him to make the passes every shift. To learn to master the blueline every shift. The defense is already there. A little more strength will also come with age.

4. Develop Kreider, JT Miller & Co!

Kreider is really finding his way in NY. JT Miller might not have the consistency yet, but he is past showing flashes of belonging. He has for full periods played really good hockey in this league, and he is still only 20 y/o.

Fast made this team out of camp, while doing so he was a full year younger than Callahan was for example when Cally was one of the first cuts. O.L. will need some time to develop in HFD, but I think he is coming along. McIlrath will also need time, but he is improving for sure. Skjei got some gods for sure. We have some depth on the farm and some assets for sure.

College kids and European UFAs are often a bit hesitant to sign with the best teams since it seems unlikely that they will make it right away, we shouldn't have that problem. We should have a good shot on the next J Schultz or Zucc that becomes available.

We have a few spots open in the coming years. Make them count.

5. Make sure that Hagelin, Brassard & co. turn into players that count, every shift

Hagelin and Brassard are examples of very good hockey players that right now doesn't seem to be able to establish themselves as 2nd line scorers in this league. Instantly we are starting to hear talks about dumping them.

The best teams in this league always however manage to make these guys really count. Filpulla for a long time was a 3rd line player for Detroit and definitely played a big part in them making it to the SCF's two times and winning the Cup once. Det regulary had Hudler on a 4th line. Bolland in Chi became a pro after a 2.2 PPG season in the OHL. He was much more of a finesse player when he came up. 6'0 175 lbs.

Brassard is a very talented hockey player. Not many teams in this league got a Brassard in their system to spare out side the top 2 line. Had Brassard been drafted by Chicago, I am sure everyone would be in love with him. Ohhhhh they are so good can even play Brassard on a 3rd line. Eventually I am sure Brassard would have turned into a 2nd lineer like Pat Sharp. I have a hard time seing Pat Sharp becoming a star had he stayed in Philly. Sharp was a year older than Brassard is today when he scored 35 pts in 80 games for them. The best teams get the luxury to be consistent with what they do. We can't compete with that with a wear and tear mentality. We can't expect to just have a Pat Sharp fall into our laps by taking a step back and getting some C-tier guy that a team is willing to spare, we have a heck of a talent in Brassard. Does play a style right now that fits a role open on a contender? No. Make him play that style then.

6. Tweak the roster

We got a roster hand picked for Torts and AV has a very diffrent philosopy. The diffrence is clear with a kid like Pouliot, I am sure we all can agree that Pouliot is miles ahead of Torts favorits Asham, Powe and co.

We need more puck moving ability from the blueline. We need players that are more comfortable with the puck. Given that we now spend time in the attacking zone, we could use a sniper. A PF woudn't hurt (wouldn't have hurt under Torts either...).

See what you can find on the trade market. Look for hockey trades. Hockey trades always seem to be the last option for this team and its fans. Its always 4 for 1 pickups of stars or dumps or whatever. We have 20 roster players and 3-4 guys on the farm. Deal a player that is good for another player that is good but fits you better.

7. Pray on -- one -- hail mary going your way

Be it a trade, pick, unsigned kid, UFA signing or whatever, our core lacks a bit of "it"-factor that we must find. By just fixing our defense, going back to being a team that at least is very hard to score goals on, we should definitely have a roster that really can support players and let a creative guy do his work.

Vancouver got Näslund for Stojanov. Philly got Giroux with a late first. Tampa got MSL for free and BR with a late round pick and Dan Boyle almost for free. Detroit picked Z and Dats with 7th rounders. Franzen was a late round pick. Boston signed Chara as a UFA. Ottawa got E Karlsson with a mid-first. NJD picked up Kovalchuk for Oduya, Bergfors and an avg prospect. Duncan Keith is a 2nd rounder that Chicago developed. Calgary made sure to get a real grade A prospect when they dealt Joe N, Jarome Iginla. Ottawa picked up Daniel Alfredsson with a 6th round pick. Teams that made it to the SCF's with some core players that they got real cheap. Sj is a long time contender and got Jumbo Joe for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart.

Boston built their entire team with out-side of the 1st round picks and never had top picks in their core. Bergeron, Lucic, Marchand and Krejci. 2nd-3rd round picks...

If we run this org really well, accomplish a lot of things that are set out above, and somehow can find a player that really comes here and thrives, you know, say a Giroux like steal that excels on a top line with Nash and Kreider and pot like 90 pts or whatever, while we have tweaked the roster some by say picking up a younger right shooting PMD that can grow into this team, we could certainly be a contender. We would be really strong in all areas.

I am not saying that we should not consider real hard whether to deal G and Cally or buy out Richards. But I am just not at all sold on the thinking that if the current roster we have now the way they play right now won't win the cup, lets just take three four steps backwards and play the lottery again approch. That's opting out and more of the same as we always try to do in NY. We have assets on this roster and opertunity's are always there. Its tougher when more players are getting trade restrictions in their contarcts, but vets can agree to be traded. If its a trade that really make sense, we have assets to give up.
Oh, is that all?

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