I think they know what they're up against. When you're Latvia, just getting here is most of the battle. Their goal is to hopefully ruin another team's chances. They brought 8 defensemen as they did in 2006, and tied a weaker USA team 3-3. Probably save everything for the playoff game.
Naw, they're going to go all out every game. They qualified pretty easily (and had they not given up a two goal lead in the last 5 mins. against Germany two years ago at the Worlds, they would have qualified automatically). They always use 8 d-men, that's their style. Bart is definitely not going to be getting top minutes just cause he's in the NHL. I'd be surprised if he gets even the second shift. (P.S. Latvia actually beat that US team 4-3, they just had a good goal disallowed, for which the IIHF had to apologize afterwards. It ended up costing them three spots in the standings)
If you stick him right in after missing 3 months, there's definitely going to be an acclimation period, I don't see how you can say otherwise.
I don't think it's fair to the guy to put up in the lineup after missing a lot of time with a back injury and expect him to play 18 minutes per game at a high level and play PK time.
I really like Parent, I think that if his back holds up he's going to be a quiet stud for us and could be a player around here for 10-15 years with his D, but I don't want to throw him into the fire of a playoff race right after missing 3 months with a debilitating injury.
Ideally, he's ready to go by March 15 or so, we can have him play some conditioning games in the AHL and then ease him in and get him a few NHL games before the POs. My issue is sticking him right in on April 8 and expecting him to perform right away.
You're right, I can't say otherwise. But to suggest this acclimation period will cost us a playoff spot? That's completely ludicrous.