We'll learn a lot about this team over the next several games. We're near the 15-game mark where talk of "this team has not yet clicked/played up to their potential but are still winning" can be thrown out the window. We've lost 3 of 4, including getting absolutely pummeled last night. That loss could cause this team to implode and enter a nosedive. If we are serious about being contenders, this is where it begins. The vets need to step up and lead. And we must start playing defense as a team. I think we'll know over the next 5 games if this team is for real or not. They got their jocks (and then some) handed to them in Toronto and Boston and how they respond to this kind of adversity will be the real test. If they don't come together and play with heart, there is a strong possibility that the fan and media pressure will become too much to handle and they'll just plain flounder (that's putting it mildly). It all starts with Koivu, Kovalev, Komi, and Markov (assuming Komi's not out for 2 months or something). Plus I think it's time to call someone up from hamilton-- not as a savior (which won't happen) but to scare some of the boys into battling for their NHL lives and fueling a little internal competition. Beef up the lineup a bit. I'd call up Stewart and Pacioretty for 5 games (without specifying it's for 5 games). Let Sergei sit (he might be sitting anyway with an injury), pump up Lats (too inconsistent...and no I don't think we should trade him...he's young and we've got to be patient). And AK46, the time has come buddy-- time to step it up and show us what you're made of.
Flyers, Blues, Canes, Sens, and the Bruins over the next five-- no more BS boys.