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Lawless Calling Out 5 Key Players Of The "Atlanta Association"

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Old
12-07-2013, 12:52 PM
  #1
sawchuk1971
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Lawless Calling Out 5 Key Players Of The "Atlanta Association"

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/spo...234867221.html

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The current leadership group has allowed itself to stagnate. To hover around .500 and to accept mediocrity. We've seen it this week, with the Jets supplying a superior effort in a win over the New York Rangers and then playing soft, uninspired hockey in a loss to the dreadful Florida Panthers.

They know they are better than their record but they're unwilling to push one another to the next level. They're a comfortable little club and they're going nowhere.

Effective leaders don't stand idle when their peers are inconsistent.

Players can demand more from one another in the most effective of ways. In three years we have not seen this from the Winnipeg Jets core leadership group.

Guys like Olli Jokinen and Mark Stuart know the right way and it's great when they voice their opinion, but if there's to be change, it must come from higher up.

There is a hierarchy in the Jets dressing room and at the top is a group of players who bonded together in Atlanta. Those friendships are taking precedence over results and they are rotting away any chance of success for the Jets.

Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Toby Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien. All talented, all well-paid and secure. And all at the top of an underachieving team.
continued..

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About five years ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs had "The Muskoka 5," a group of players that held their inner sanctum's interests above those of the team. That group was comprised of five key players: captain Matts Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Bryan McCabe, Thomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina. "Muskoka 5" implied these players were comfortable merely playing out the season and spending the summers in lake country.

Here in Winnipeg, we have the Atlanta Association. A clubby set where calling one another out is forbidden.

Don't tell me Ladd can't see the difference in the work ethic and will to win between this group and those he won Stanley Cups with in Carolina and Chicago. Ladd is both perceptive and a player, who for the most part, personifies the characteristics required to win.

He works hard at practice, goes to the tough areas on the ice and is willing to put his body into the action. Maybe he has his off nights, but if the Jets had 10 Andrew Ladds they'd be a playoff team.

And I don't think Ladd is a bad captain. But I have to question whether he's the right man for this situation.

Ladd isn't the problem. But he hasn't been able to effect a solution. Given a couple of veterans who could demand respect in the room and push for change, Ladd might succeed.

But his support group isn't helping him. They don't have the personalities for it and it's not going to change.

Good people? Sure. But leaders? The type to stand up and tell his best friend he's not getting it done? Nope.

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12-07-2013, 12:56 PM
  #2
garret9
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Good players contribute to wins.

Bad players contribute to loses.

It's a tug-a-war as ALL teams have both.

More good players relative to bad players equal more wins.

Culture solved.

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12-07-2013, 01:00 PM
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Flair Hay
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Maybe the most scathing piece he's written to date. Worst part is he's probably right.

These guys at the end of the day are our team's best right now. So it gets kinda tough for Claude to call any of these guys out.

That said, I think our 3rd line is weaker compared to other teams' 3rd lines than our 1st is to others'.

The lack of even one defenseman that excels at shutting down a team's offense once they are set up in our zone is another big issue that has nothing to do with LLW or Enstrom/Buff given everyone's roles.

This team has some tough choices to make sooner or later. Something is going to give eventually.

No beef with Lawless on this article though. Save for a bit of exaggeration on his part.

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12-07-2013, 01:04 PM
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Shakey Rustie
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Interesting that he would lump Wheeler in there, he played like what, 20 games as a Thrasher?

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12-07-2013, 01:06 PM
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Flair Hay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garret9 View Post
Good players contribute to wins.

Bad players contribute to loses.

It's a tug-a-war as ALL teams have both.

More good players relative to bad players equal more wins.

Culture solved.
Isn't the article trying to address the "good players" not being the best they can be?

Or in garret terms: good players having as many good games as other teams' good players should equal more wins?

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12-07-2013, 01:10 PM
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garret9
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Originally Posted by bhay1987 View Post
Isn't the article trying to address the "good players" not being the best they can be?

Or in garret terms: good players having as many good games as other teams' good players should equal more wins?
I'm saying that this article is in response in falsely addressing the reason for not enough wins.

The problem is not enough good players (and not a good enough system).

Good players have as many good games as they are good. I don't see a difference in the standard deviation of players. I do see a difference in the average.

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12-07-2013, 01:23 PM
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Ryan Giggs
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errr.... haven't Ladd, Little and Buff been our 3 best players this season?

I agree that Wheeler, Enstrom and Bogo (and at time Pavs) have been massive disappointments... but Lawless doesn't actually say that.

Doesn't Lawless actually say that Buff play this season might make him an all-star?

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12-07-2013, 01:37 PM
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roccerfeller
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Flawless Lawless research....even if there is some truth in there somewhere, ugh

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12-07-2013, 01:54 PM
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I agree with him, which is very rare. I said this earlier in the year, that our leadership group needs to be better, whether it be on the ice or off the ice. Holding eachother accountable was the big thing I was trying to get at. Im sure Ladd is a good captain but he may need to take Wheeler aside and kick him in the ass. I think the culture of the room has accepting losing, and I think changing the coach will not change that. I enjoy watching our squad but think Chevy will eventually need to shakeup the team and trade one of Ladd, Kane, Wheeler, Buff, Little, Enstrom. Guys do seem complacent, which is concerning. The patient approach is fine, but eventually a trade may be needed to put the fear in a few players, and once new blood continue to roll in like Schief and Troubs, they made need to trade a few guys for some fresh faces to change the complete culture. Olli seems to sound like the only guy that tries to hold guys accountable. We will never know as we are not in the room but I think Gary is on to something.

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12-07-2013, 01:56 PM
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Are ratings down for Lawless on fridays.He seems to cry chicken little a bit extra when the team is on the road.Can`t really tell if he is flipping or flopping but know he will twist it to get people to agree with his take on things.

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12-07-2013, 02:09 PM
  #11
Hank Chinaski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakey Rustie View Post
Interesting that he would lump Wheeler in there, he played like what, 20 games as a Thrasher?
Plus Ladd and Byfuglien were only there for a season. But Lawless can't let facts get in the way of a good narrative.

Bit of a strange article. If Lawless were to approach it from the angle that the "Atlanta Five" stacked up as a mediocre group of players compared to other teams around the league, fine. I think there are reasonable arguments to be made for and against that line of thinking.

Trying to paint it as a leadership issue without looking to one of the strongest sources of leadership (coaching staff) paints a very incomplete picture.

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12-07-2013, 02:29 PM
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If lawless is correct buff needs to be traded asap.

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12-07-2013, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Giggs View Post
errr.... haven't Ladd, Little and Buff been our 3 best players this season?

I agree that Wheeler, Enstrom and Bogo (and at time Pavs) have been massive disappointments... but Lawless doesn't actually say that.

Doesn't Lawless actually say that Buff play this season might make him an all-star?
Wheeler has gotten better each year since coming to this franchise and Enstrom has been our best defenseman for most of the year. So you're out to lunch on this one. I'm hungry.

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12-07-2013, 02:53 PM
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surixon
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In general I don`t like the article because there are many ways to lead in this world and lawless seems to only be addressing an Authoritarian leadership style. He pretty much slags guys like Little and Enstrom who game in and game out bring it on the ice and present strong examples on how you should play the game. Maybe they aren`t vocal in the room but their strong play on the ice is a form of leadership.

Maybe the Jets need a couple more alpha types in the room to help Ladd out and hold others accountable but that why should we think any less of more reserved people like Little and Enstom who lead in a different way.

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12-07-2013, 02:53 PM
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Romang67
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The hot Atlanta weather was obviously enough to destroy all will to win in Buff, Ladd and Wheeler in a season or less!

Also, haven't Enström and Little been our best d-man and forward so far this season?

Yeah, Lawless is stirring things up and getting people to read his stuff, good for him I guess.

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12-07-2013, 02:59 PM
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sipowicz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakey Rustie View Post
Interesting that he would lump Wheeler in there, he played like what, 20 games as a Thrasher?
Wheeler needs to be called out on a regular basis, guy is the poster boy for an overpaid, underachieving athlete!

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12-07-2013, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BigTuna49 View Post
Wheeler has gotten better each year since coming to this franchise and Enstrom has been our best defenseman for most of the year. So you're out to lunch on this one. I'm hungry.
Wheeler gets more ice. His career-high in goals came as a top 9 forward for Boston as a rookie. Hard to say he's evolved much in his time as NHLer or has even come close to realizing his potential. He plays with better linemates, he gets more ice time, he plays on the first PP, he disappears for 20 games, struggles with confidence, gets bullied off the puck in all zones.

Maybe we should pick 48 games we really need him and dress him for those. A shorter season seems to work for him, although we'll never be able to simulate that compressed schedule.

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12-07-2013, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romang67 View Post
The hot Atlanta weather was obviously enough to destroy all will to win in Buff, Ladd and Wheeler in a season or less!

Also, haven't Enström and Little been our best d-man and forward so far this season?

Yeah, Lawless is stirring things up and getting people to read his stuff, good for him I guess.
I think the Atlanta five thing was just a catchy way to attach a monicker to the veterans who are supposed to lead this team. You are correct about Enstrom, as overall he's been our best defenceman. However this team has lacked a complete effort on too many occasions and are not playing to their talent level. Maybe this group isn't providing enough leadership and holding every player accountable. As I said I the GDT, maybe millionaire athletes should motivate themselves instead of blaming lack of effort on the coach.

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12-07-2013, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
Plus Ladd and Byfuglien were only there for a season. But Lawless can't let facts get in the way of a good narrative.

Bit of a strange article. If Lawless were to approach it from the angle that the "Atlanta Five" stacked up as a mediocre group of players compared to other teams around the league, fine. I think there are reasonable arguments to be made for and against that line of thinking.

Trying to paint it as a leadership issue without looking to one of the strongest sources of leadership (coaching staff) paints a very incomplete picture
.
whatever the reason, I have never read/heard lawless legitimately criticise the front office, coaching staff, or the gm. He's the opposite of the "player protector" journalist.


I don't listen to articles like this, not only becuase the whole "give-a-****" factor i think is ridiculous and a lazy narrative on the journalists part (as i've made clear int he past) but also I'm just sick of lawless never saying a bad word about coaching/management when they've clearly made SOME mistakes

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12-07-2013, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpgallday1960 View Post
I think the Atlanta five thing was just a catchy way to attach a monicker to the veterans who are supposed to lead this team. You are correct about Enstrom, as overall he's been our best defenceman. However this team has lacked a complete effort on too many occasions and are not playing to their talent level. Maybe this group isn't providing enough leadership and holding every player accountable. As I said I the GDT, maybe millionaire athletes should motivate themselves instead of blaming lack of effort on the coach.
Honestly, it's pretty stupid overall that he's attacking these 5 players. Since of these 5 players, IMO only Wheeler is clearly underachieving this season.

And you can say that about the coach, but what if the problem is that he's utilizing the players wrong? Maybe what he shouldn't do is look all lost and blame all the problems on the player not being good enough? Round hole, square peg and what not.

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12-07-2013, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
Plus Ladd and Byfuglien were only there for a season. But Lawless can't let facts get in the way of a good narrative.

Bit of a strange article. If Lawless were to approach it from the angle that the "Atlanta Five" stacked up as a mediocre group of players compared to other teams around the league, fine. I think there are reasonable arguments to be made for and against that line of thinking.

Trying to paint it as a leadership issue without looking to one of the strongest sources of leadership (coaching staff) paints a very incomplete picture.
Huh, I missed your post Hank. This is a great point, and I completely agree with it.

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12-07-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romang67 View Post
Honestly, it's pretty stupid overall that he's attacking these 5 players. Since of these 5 players, IMO only Wheeler is clearly underachieving this season.

And you can say that about the coach, but what if the problem is that he's utilizing the players wrong? Maybe what he shouldn't do is look all lost and blame all the problems on the player not being good enough? Round hole, square peg and what not.
Oh I agree if Noel is getting out coached he is part of the problem. What I see too many times is lack of effort and I blame that on players not Noël. Maybe what this teams is a an iron mike type coach to humiliate a few players to make them to play with more effort.i sure hope that isn't the case but the thought has crossed my mind more than once.

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12-07-2013, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romang67 View Post
Honestly, it's pretty stupid overall that he's attacking these 5 players. Since of these 5 players, IMO only Wheeler is clearly underachieving this season.

And you can say that about the coach, but what if the problem is that he's utilizing the players wrong? Maybe what he shouldn't do is look all lost and blame all the problems on the player not being good enough? Round hole, square peg and what not.
Enstrom is under achieving, sure he will have a good defensive game against sub .500 teams every so often but more often than not he looses puck battles in his own end, he is awful on the PP and despite major minutes and a ton of PP time doesn't have the points.

Can't wait until Trouba becomes our PP QB full time!

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12-07-2013, 03:44 PM
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The idea that the ex Thrashers players don't put in a consistent effort and are not really all that disturbed by losses was cemented in many fan's minds including mine when Burmi was caught on camera laughing and joking on the bench while the Jets were putting in a sub par performance and being blown out.

That pretty much summed up the country club culture.

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12-07-2013, 03:52 PM
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i hate Lawless but he's bang on.

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