Washington has a legit #1C in Backstrom. Great defensively, money on f/o's and an elite puck distributor. They have a top tier playoff caliber third line. But after that, it gets shaky.
Semin just needs to go, Green has yet to prove his worth in a playoff atmosphere, Ovi looks destined to be an albatross of a contract, they have no #2C and they seriously are lacking in quick puck moving D-men.
That team is going to get blown up by the start of next season, mark my words.
I agree with the rest, but imo, the bolded is too premature to call. He could definitely regain his form. Who knows what is at the root of his decline this year, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him turn it around. Whether it is this season, or next.
It's not a matter of regaining his form. He's in great shape from what I've seen and still has a laser beam shot. He even is looking to pass more. I just don't see him as a multi-dimensional player. He's been god awful as a puck carrier, can't maintain zone time nor can he disappear in coverage like the greats do.
If a team is going to take away your shot off the rush, you aren't getting back to 100+ pt form until you round out your game.
Plus his physicality is something that simply can't be maintained over several seasons in the NHL.
I understand we want to respect what is still probably the most lethal weapon the NHL has seen since Mario when given time and space, but I just don't see how he can get back to where he was without a radical change in his style. And given his personality, I don't think that's happening anytime soon.
I think the coaching change should help AO. It is ridiculous that his ice time is ranked 73rd in the league among forwards. You gotta give your stars the ice time to turn it around. I think it was crazy of BB to decrease his time.
I think AO's decline has more to do with himself than what teams are taking away from him. Not like they didn't try in his previous season. Whether it is mental, or physical or who knows. Not really "out of respect" that I think he will turn it around, but more of small sample size that he has been less productive, compared to what he has done prior. But we'll see. I just find it hard to believe that he won't return to being one the league's best. Off seasons happen.
But I do agree that he should ease off the ultra physical style that he plays, because that will indeed take its toll.