Am I the only one who thinks our defense looks fine? I expect Streit/Coburn to impress this year. Gus/Gross is a pretty great 3rd pairing.
On paper they look just fine. Not great but not a liability. However, if the forwards don't do a better job in the defensive zone and in the break-out then I think our defense will be made to look much worse than they really are.
This is wrong. Schenn didn't "replace" him at all. Coburn is by far the better dman of the two and if Coburn had been paired with Timonen and Schenn left with scraps on the 2nd pairing like Coburn was last year then we'd be talking about how good Coburn played and how terrible Schenn played. Of the two, Coburn was deemed the more capable of them to carry the 2nd pairing.
Coburn wasn't given much help on his paring. with either Streit or a healthy gus next season, Coburn and our 2nd pairing should be just fine. without Timonen Schenn would not have looked nearly as good as he did.
From where we stand right now, once Timonen retires I think our best option for a top pairing would be gus + Coburn, provided Gus continues to build upon how he progressed last season (and in the WC's).
Nail -> Head.
Not sure about Gus on top pairing yet, but hopefully he has a strong campaign and warrants such consideration.
I think the health (or lack thereof) will be more of a determining factor on whether or not we are a top 10 or bottom 10 team
I think the off season has gone about as well as it could have. We didn't make any major lineup changes (other than Bryz) and we addressed areas of need (streit, VL and Razor) while being able to keep even Meszaros who, if finally healthy, makes our defense much better (personally if he's healthy the entire season I'd take Mesz over Grossman). Timonen is a #1, Coburn a #2, Schenn a #2/3, Meszaros a #3/4, Gus a #3-#5, Streit a #4/5 (depending upon how much workload he can handle) and Grossman a #5/6. We may not be as strong as many teams but that's far from a "BAD" defense.
Now all we have to do is to get our forwards to play more defensively responsible, lol. THAT alone would make our defense and net minding look much better.
Streit led NYI in Time on ice/game for the last several years. He only slipped down a bit in the recent playoffs because he was playing with a sore knee. I would rank him much higher than a 4/5, probably a 2/3 since he has proven he can play 23+ minutes/game for the last several seasons.
I disagree with you on Luke Schenn too, he really blossomed last year. And I love Coburn too, I want to keep them all.
The D is going to be better than people think. Streit can take some PP time off Kimmo. We'll have 3 pairs we can use. The goalies are better at puckhandling. We got the best UFA forward available too.
I'm optimistic. We just have to see what happens with Meszaros/Gagne/Laughton, most of the other questions, aside from line combos/Dpairings, are already answered.