Sweat n' Balls - all guts and hard work on this pairing
Hopefully Shirokov comes back quickly. I actually thought Volpatti should have been sent down as he hasn't much played much lately anyway, and it's good to have some skill on the 4th line, like Tambellini for example if he's not producing.
really... after the last 7 years you're asking this question...
I've been really impressed with Tanev's play though I am quite fearful that it may mostly be due to the fact I don't expect much out of a kid who's playing in his first NHL games. I can only help to draw comparisons to Aaron Rome (who admittedly had a few more NHL games under his belt) impressed me in a similar fashion (under the radar, simple effective game) until this season when under a microscope his play seems pretty awful in most facets (though I'm pretty sure he's not playing quite as well as he did last season).
Nevertheless... I've been impressed with teh Tanev.
I too have been impressed by Tanev...especially how much he's improved game-to-game. His first he was extremely tentative (which is understandable), and always very uncomfortable.
Last game, he played with so much more confidence in his passes, his positioning and his skating. I hope he continues his strong play, and maybe allows us the ability to ship out Rome if/when Salo comes back.
I liked the way they treated Shirokov, and I'm a fan of his.
He had a good first game, but his compete level just wasn't there in the second game, especially along the boards. There was one moment where Kesler was fending off two guys along the boards and I saw Shirokov just tentatively poking his stick in there trying to fish it out. I sort of knew then that his stay wouldn't be a long one. That style of play just doesn't work with Kesler, and where else do you put him?
He's a good player and he has some top-6 potential, but like Grabner, I just don't think he fits on a potential Stanley Cup team, especially at this point in his career. I expect him to be gone by the deadline.
i don't really see this working out great. sucks we have injuries, but another RH d-man isn't the best option at the moment. Sweatt is NOT going to replace Bieksa, so why bother trying to pretend he is?
i would have gone with Sauve despite his incredible lack of polish and pro experience.
1)LH guy versus RH guy.
2)SIZE. and Sauve knows how to keep it 'simple' if he really needs to.
but the main issue i see is...if Bieksa can't go...there's no way in hell Tanev fill his minutes...so let Ballard do it. a guy who HAS played 30min nights as a top pairing guy on the right side in the NHL.
just roll with:
as 'rough' pairings. you've got a solid top-4 still for sure. and just try to make sure that for every 3rd pairing shift...you get a vet on the opposite side. not complicated, but also doesn't involve 2 incredibly inexperienced RHD.
Ballard is plenty capable on the RH side. certainly far more so than a raw rookie, despite the LH-RH shot dynamic. if AV does something dimwitted with the d-pairings and the extra RH-shot, i'm gonna do something ridiculous. like a cartwheel or something. UG.
There is no way Vigneault puts 2 rookie defenceman on a single pairing.
of course not. that would be a disaster. that's not really at all what i'm suggesting though.
just saying that you roll with the top-4 of vets for most of the minutes, and sub in the rookies one at a time. so you have a bottom pairing with Edler-Tanev one shift, and then something like Sauve-Ehrhoff, then you can go back to Hamhuis-Tanev, and so on.
just seems like it would allow AV to more evenly distribute those extra minutes without moving guys from side to side so much. But maybe he's just counting on the fact that we have 3 guys who are more comfortable on the left and he just wants to dump the extra minutes mostly on Edler+Hamhuis, rather than giving Ballard any more extra minutes on top of the increase he'll already be getting. Sweatt certainly brings more experience and is probably more ready for NHL level though. So maybe it is the best call.
and considering Bieksa is apparently alright to go right away, it makes more sense to bring up Sweatt if he's just going to sit in the box and rotate in-out with Tanev on the RH side.