Here's a new way to evaluate Holland's performance here since Bowman left: How has he replaced what we've lost from the 2008 Stanley Cup Championship team he inherited? It might not be an all-inclusive method of evaluation, but it's certainly an angle that's at least worth looking at.
*Keep in mind that we're talking about the player we had IN 2008...and then what we have now.
J. Hudler----------D. Brunner. I'll have to see it to believe it, but from what we've been told, Brunner now shouldn't be much of a drop-off from Hudler of 08.
T. Holmstrom----------G. Nyquist. Very, very different players, but I really, really like Nyquist, so I'll dare to again say "not much of a drop-off."
K. Draper----------J. Abdelkader. Abby might never be what Draper was, but isn't much worse now than Draper was in 08...aside from faceoffs. Not much of a drop-off.
D. Drake----------T. Bertuzzi. Again, very different players. Drake did some things Bert doesn't. Bert does some things Drake didn't. Not much of a drop-off.
D. McCarty----------J. Tootoo. Tootoo's not the intimidator McCarty was, even in 08. McCarty wasn't the skater that Tootoo is. Not much of a drop-off.
K. Maltby----------D. Miller. See the Draper/Abdelkader comparision. Not much of a drop-off.
M. Hartigan----------P. Eaves. Probably the one instance amongst the forwards of actual improvement. Too bad it's the 14th forward.
N. Lidstrom----------J. Ericsson. I won't even dignify this by attempting to compare.
B. Rafalski----------I. White. Not even close.
B. Stuart----------K. Quincey. Not really close.
A. Lilja----------B. Smith. Perhaps an improvement?
B. Lebda----------J. Kindl. How in the world do you not improve over Lebda in 4 seasons?
C. Osgood----------J. Howard. Not quite there yet. But not that far off either.
D. Hasek----------J. Gustavsson. Backup goalies don't matter enough to get into this one.
1) The forward group remains more or less the same, though older. I'd say that age has had more of a negative impact than development has had a positive impact.
2) The defensive group has been completely wiped out and not even close to replaced in most cases.
3) The goalies are more or less the same.
So, there you have it. That's what Ken Holland's done. Hasn't improved anything since he's been here. Has let us get A LOT worse on the back end. That's it. All there is to it. Bottom line. Period.
Smith is a big improvement over Lilja, given enough time (esp on the PP) and if he doesn't get injured he should be a Calder candidate and our second best d-man by season's end. His inexperience will obviously lead to rookie mistakes but he will learn from them and it might result in a few more goals against but there is an advantage to that other than being a learning experience for Smith in that it will result in Howard's stats not being quite as good as they would had we acquired Suter, so he will be more affordable to re-sign
Quincey is comparable to Stuart he is not quite as physical (although he is physical as well) but is more skilled and a better skater. Stuart made a lot of mistakes out there and is overrated by many Wings' fans (but still a very good top 4 d-man)
Kronwall is much better on the left and with Lidstom's departure, I think he will finally establish himself as an elite d-man as long as he doesn't get injured.
As it stands even if Kronwall breaks out, Smith proves to be Calder candidate and Quincey is much better than some believe I do agree there is a drop off on D but I don't think it's nearly as much as most would think.
We will be able to give youngsters an opportunity to show what they got (Nyquist, Tatar (he was one of if not THE best players on the ice in the 2 games against Canada at the WC) and Smith are ready)
And we have cap space to do something significant if the right opportunity presents itself, if not we will have space to pursue one of the UFAs in next years bumper crop which should yield some big physical skilled players.
I think not overpaying for Suter and Parise will enable us to eventually get the right players we need to be a Cup favorite again and continue our domination of a league that strives for parity (and other than the Red Wings this parity has been achieved)
I would also try to land Svitov who's contract with Ufa in the KHL expires at the end of their season
I think even without a significant acquisition (although i do believe we will make one or more before the season's end if not before it's start) we could still challenge for a Cup.
As much as so many people whine about our playoff failure since we last won the Cup 4 years ago, I don't think any team has won as many playoff games or series as we have in that time frame
Edited by Johnz96, 11 July 2012 - 05:06 AM.