Agree.. JJ has been a good addition but the defense still needs at least one defensive defensman added to the group. Nash, Nail and Brass are a good start for a top six but not enough and I don't think RJ, Letestu and Atkinson are the answers to fill out that group if winning a playoff series is the goal.
You are quite a bit premature on that front. RJ, most certainly, is more than adequate to win a playoff series in a second line role. Atkinson is very competitive. Not sure what to make of Letestu yet.
I would say that there are too many question marks going into the off season to run with those forwards if winning a playoff series is the goal. However, it's way too early to make a long term judgment.
Depends. How has the team played earlier? A team that's played pretty well for much of the year and, for one reason or another drops out of playoff contention, might play poorly from lack of motivation. We're not in that situation, though, this team has been out of contention since Halloween. The record throughout the year stinks. Even this brief spurt of relative competence has not raised us to within 10 points of #29! I just don't believe that the addition of JJ, no matter how much we like him, turns this team from garbage to contention. Again, look at that top six, does the addition of Yakupov really make that much difference? As much as I hate it, a successful Nash trade is the only move I can see that would bring in enough to have any significant effect. That and/or trading the first pick in the draft.
You hit the nail (no pun intended, on the head).
The reason this team struggles when inevitable injuries happen, is a lack of depth. Depth is not something you can create overnight.
Now, we could trade depth in a Nash trade...but it still isn't going to be immediate. And, we're going to give up quality in the short term hoping to gain it in the long term because the best player we get back in the Nash trade won't be equal value on the day he's received.
As you point out, JJ wasn't enough to solve the defense. And here's the problem with solving it simply by one more addition--chemistry. When healthy we arguably have two pairs that work--Wiz/JJ and Tyutin/Nikitin. If we brought in a top dog shutdown defenseman, do you split those pairs up? Put him with Moore as the "bottom" pair and simply divide time more evenly? And, if you split up Tyutin and Nikitin do they struggle paired with someone else--Nikitin has been -3 since Tyutin went out and I've got some concerns about his communication abilities.
And then there is the goalie situation. There are not that many options in free agency and I'm still not sold on making a goalie the centerpiece of a Nash trade. What is the likelihood this gets resolved in the off-season or, like a #1 center and a #1 defenseman, is this something we can't assume will easily be resolved in one off-season?
Which is a long winded way of again stating that I agree with you--it would take an Executive of the Year performance from whoever is GM come June to get this team in a position to make the playoffs next year.
The solution is pretty simple and obvious to me: convince the NHL to change the point scoring system to include 1.5 points for a game when playing opponents "toe to toe" even if you lose, and then ....... it's playoffs baby !!!!
Below is a list of the active players on this rosters.* "Above the bar" are guys who are on track for a career year in points. "Below the bar"*are the guys who aren't.* I've listed*what each player is currently on pace for in points*and in parenthesis are career best in terms of points.
Thanks to John for putting this list together. I agree with his conclusion:
I hear folks say that this group is playing much better.* We've been so close lately.* We should keep the band together for another year.* Mase is comin around.* If it weren't for those injuries, suspensions and soft goals this team would be right in the mix.