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04-12-2007, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
last season more than this season Jagr and Lundqvist made Renney's job very easy. He was able to send Jagr out there 20-22 minutes per game, with Straka and Nylander, which enabled him to be extremely flexible with the rest of his lines. Lundqvist afforded the team an opportunity to win on most nights, despite play in front of him on many of those nights. Not too many coaches in the league can say they had the most dangerous offensive weapon in the league, one of the top lines in the league, and a top 5 goaltender in the league. It's like giving a 5 meter head start to a sprinter in a 100 meter race. That contributed significantly.

This season he tried the same plan as last season, and the results early weren't as good as last season because he didn't have the most dangerous offensive weapon in the league and the goalie was playing like a middle-of-the-pack goatender rather than a top five goalie.
I don't agree with that, we outshoot the other team something like 55% of the time, thats pretty convincing evidence that we ought to have been in the run with a mediocre goalie, right?

Jagr scored a ton, but how much does that help Renney, when our 1st line as a unit didn't score more then the avg 1st line in the league? Jagr gave Renney a 1st line, but he didn't alone give him a great first line compared to others around the league.

Renney himself said last season that he weren't suprised about how well his team played, but that he were suprised about how some of the other teams played. Renney clearly hit bullseye with the style he wanted his team to play, all successful teams this season hangs on to the puck allot, got bluelines that can move the puck, trys to play a controlled transition game. Last season allot of teams tryed to play like they did before the rulechanges, lifting out the puck, not handling it. Trying to minimize misstakes in their own end and in the neutralzone at all cost, at the expense of the offensive game, that didn't work, most of thoose teams pretty much only spent time in their own end and got run over.

Renney didn't have many quality players besides JJ and Lundqvist, thats a fact that we all can agree on, but I just don't get the argument that thoose two made our team? There aren't many teams in this league who could survive without their top 2 players. You talk about headstart, I don't get it.

Take away Hossa and Kovalchuk from ATL, Brodeur and Elias from NJD, Alfie, Spezza and Heatly from Ott, Richard, LeCav and MSL from Tampa, Crosby alone from Pitts, and all thoose teams would struggle, the list can be made long. Take away Mess and Richter from the 94' team, would Keenan have won a cup with that team with Nemchinov as his 1st line C and Healy in the net? He still had a ton of great players, but I wouldn't have called it easy to win a cup without thoose two.

We played well last season at times, had allot of weak stretches, but thats not strange since we pretty much had a expansion roster with Jagr, had started from scratch that season with only 3 returning players from the start of the season before... Its also takes 3-4 years for a coach who starts from scratch to implement his ideas. But for a vast majority of the time we actually outshoot the other team, and we all know how little we shoot the puck. That can't be credited on one forward and one goalie.

If Renney's job was easy last season, I don't know what to call the job of the other coaches who made the PO in the east? Hartleys team only out shoot that other team 45% of the time last season, and he had Hossa, Kovalchuk, Savard, Holik, Kozlov and co.

This season we have looked allot better after a weak start with a shaky Lundqvist, a onearmed Jagr, three banged up D's who really sucked, and a huge miscalculation that left us without a 4th line... Our defense is the best in the east 5 on 5, that says alot. We give up less shots on goal then NJD, that says allot. If Renney didn't do a good job last season, he sure as heck must be the most improved person in the game of Hockey this season.

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