This year has 1000 less games in Bonk, 420 less games in Nichol, 320 less games in Fiddler. Don;t forget on d with DeVeries gone we lose another 1000 game player. Yes they are older and late in their careers, but the locker room needs guys like them and the young guys need players like them to learn from.
Experience gives your team stability, it will be interesting to see how our less experienced bottom end players fill the shoes of two of our best PK's and our best face-off man?
It would be nice to see Nashville add a solid veteran somewhere in the line up! D seems to be the best place to add to right now and it would round out our back end. Tampa is collecting a lot of d right now and should have at least one available after camp.
How would you rate our bottom 6 vs the rest of the division? I feel like if we have a strong 3/4 line and a solid d-core, we will be in a great position to add some punch to the top 2 lines.
I have formed an opinion Poile doesn’t move until he feels confident all supporting pieces are in place (building from the bottom up)....and we're in good position in the standings. I do believe there is a formula used to understand odds of securing a playoff position. I believe (probably naively) Poile doesn't make a move until he feels comfortable with that %..which most likely means right up to the trade deadline. The * to the opinion above is that I am a fan. I do not know how an NHL front office is run, and I'm sure it is vastly different by market conditions.
With that said, I am curios what the overall opinion is of the bottom 6 vs the division. This helps me understand where the club may be this year.
Now that we've acquired some depth, it almost surely means Wilson will start the year in Milwaukee. However, losing Pihlstrom does open up a spot on the team.
Speaking of bottom six players, I'd like to see Jones and O'Reilly sign their contracts. I know there is plenty of time, but I'm getting impatient
I think opening night will look something like this:
reasoning: we all know the organization still blindly believes that Tootoo is a legit scoring threat, so they will give him minutes. 3rd line also needs a responsible vet, and I'm assuming Guite can legitimately play center, but I'm not sure on that.
Hornqvist or Olvecky - gonna have to see these two play before making a call
2nd line winger will rotate between Ward, Jones, and O'Reilly
But I would not be surprised to see us sign 1 more player. We need some more competition in camp. Hopefully it will be a top six winger! </wishful thinking>
The problem I hope they work it out is having focus for our bottom lines. We have lost three 'defensive' forwards and really have no replacements for them other than Guite (who sounds like Ortmeyer 2.0). Santorelli, O'Reilly, Wilson, Jones, Hornqvist, Eaves, are all geared for offense, yet not ready for the second line (or haven't proved ready yet). I really hope that if someone like O'Reilly or Wilson makes the team, they aren't stuck on a line which hinders their offensive play / development.
As much as I've complained over the years about our bottom lines, we appear to be at an odd phase at this time. What do you guys think Poile / Trotz is looking to do with our bottom lines?
I have no idea SLake. Ward is the perfect third liner IMO, but it sounds like we expect him to fill a second line role. I think Wilson could easily slide in as a third line center. If you put Tootoo and Jones on that line, I think it is somewhat decent....Still, it is an odd assortment of players. You can make a case for Ward, Wilson, O'Reilly, Santorelli, and Jones all playing as a top 6 forward.....The problem is none of their cases are very strong.
I like toots as part of the grit and even "enforcer" lines. But unless the goalies grow holes in the pit of their stomach, toots won't be a scorer. His shooting percentage last year is listed as 3%. Ugh. But he can hit that bellybutton every time.
I'm hoping O'Reilly, Santorelli or Eaves can play more minutes than Tootoo. Someone. Anyone. Tired of our third line being the agitator line instead of a line to get some goals now and then. If Ward plays the second line, our year is going to suck. Not knocking Ward at all, but if he's second line it means we didn't improve up front. If we improve up front Ward could be a strong part of a capable third line. I see a third line of O'Reilly, Ward, and Wilson possibly. (I guess that's two centers, but whatever) Not sure though who's on the second line. We need to pick someone up so as not to waste Leggy and Erat another year.
I'm not down on our third and fourth line guys. I'm really glad some of those mentioned are gone. We weren't getting better if they returned. Poile doesn't want to spend for front line talent, so it's much better to try a lot of guys on the third line so Trotz can get comfortable with someone who maybe can score more then his previous old standbyes who couldn't score.
I hope Wilson makes the team for faceoffs if nothing else. We do need that.