Even 55 makes a nice play every now and then. This is a big opportunity for him to show why he should be pain like a C. I hope he looks better than last game. I never said he does not have skill. He just does not have the skill to play 2C like he is being paid. All his talk last season about going back to his natural position got him paid.
Laich has been on a scoring line for a team with a dominant offense for a few years now. And was a fixture on the PP for a lot of the time. There are no shortage of great plays we can recall from him. Sure, he has been here a long time and has had literally hundreds if not thousands of chances to show a nice pass or great shot. And he has.
But the time is now to keep proving it. He always says its on the players. Sure he hasn't played much with Ovi but I think any center in the league would relish at the chance. No excuses this time, make it happen Brooks. Hold down the fort until Nick gets back.
I don't blame Laich one bit for attempting to be something that he's not. If you told me a two years ago the plan was to move Laich to center and have him lead the second line and the top line if (when) Backstrom is injured I would have laughed hysterically.
The blame falls solely on GMGM for not shoring up the position for more than a few months at the end of a season.
I do blame GMGM for giving him so much money. I don’t think he has enough skill to be a full time top six wing. And we see he can’t play C in a top six role. His job is safe for being one of the only guys that goes to the net.
I love Knuble but his wheels came off a few seasons ago. He gets his goals from being in the right place when he needs to be. But Laich should have bumped him from the top line years ago.
Laich plays hard and has a two way game on a team that does not have a lot of either. And that what makes him stand out.
I just think 4.5 is to much for a jack of all trades and master of none.
Where do you go from here? It's no secret that C is a huge weakness on this team but without Nicky for any period of time it becomes downright laughable. Can we expect to see an upgrade? Or are we just going to keep throwing **** against the wall hoping it sticks when we all know it isn't?
This is the team George built for the playoffs. Last summer. Injuries happen (without trying to be gloomy), coaching changes happen. Weaknesses in the lineup appear. Goalies apparently play to their salary levels.
Its probably killing him inside thinking about it, but George must be contemplating to move THE spare part he has Sarge to address our lack of top 6 depth. Will he roll the dice and move his only spare defensemen to gain cap space to get a center? Or stay the course, savor his nuts including Sarge and the 1sts, and just call it all bad luck?
Our depth now is at RW. He could consider moving Knuble or Ward, but George largely only adds in normal years. Cap strapped, he may be out of his element. He doesn't like the roster trades but the time may be ripe for one.
I think that this current team can and will make the playoffs. However, I don't envision them going far in the playoffs, not with TV giving up rebounds like he does, the lack of overall physicality from the team and on and on.
So being a seller as they approach the TDL may be most beneficial for this team. The obvious
moves would involve pending UFAs.
- Alex Semin
- Thomas Vokoun
- Dennis Wideman
- Mike Knuble
plus would like to see them include the following in any transactions
- Jeff Schultz
- Roman Hamrlik
- Joel Ward
Yeah oops. We don't want a guy that doesn't want to be in Hershey. Wait, what hockey pro wants to be in Hershey. He was no kid.
I know most had George's back and laughed at the big baby, but I think if you were in his big skates you may have felt the same way. I think it was a mistake to expect a grinder to wow the coaches by scoring goals before getting a callup. We managed to get Eakin into 20 games! But not the guy that dominated Eakin in camp for a single 1. It was a mistake to not give him a shot. It's our position of weakness and we should have gotten him a cup of coffee at minimum so he could know what he had to work on, verify the AHL is what he needed. Keep him motivated.
We didn't have center depth. It's why we brought Sjogren here. Now we could sure use him to help out. It would have been nice having a big beefy center for once on a west coast trip.
Blow it up. There's no point in squeaking into the playoffs just to get knocked out in 5 games.
Let Nicky take all the time he needs. Green is done, move to LTIR.
Try to move (for players or futures)...
- TVo and get Holtby up
- Semin and get Eakin up
- bad contracts: Hammer, Sarge, Laich, Ward
Green, Beagle and Knuble will be off the books in a few months.
I would re-sign Carlson, Wideman and Halpern with the core of OV, Nicky, MoJo, Alzner, Orlov, Neuvy and Kuzy. MP, Hendricks, Chimera and Erskine have their uses. That means adding around 3 forwards and 2 defenseman. At least they still have the two first rounders.
With all this talk about moving out players, I'd like to add Laich to the list. I'm tired of seeing him use his average speed moving down the left swing shooting his average slapper or wrister right into the stomach of the opposing goalie to completely kill a trip into the offensive zone. I can't remember him scoring on one of those shots in the last several years.
He only has 4 ES goals this year, fewer than Joel Ward. Since he became a regular, he's averaged 13 ES goals a year. His PK skills do add to his value and he can bang in loose change on the PP, but there are much better ways to spend $4.5M.
The young d-men need to turn it around which is possible. George needs to add a couple cheap pieces up front. And if Vokoun gets hot, this team could come together during the last few months of the the season. Then, anything is possible -- perhaps even another first round series with NYR .