I can kind of understand going into the season with what we had last season, on the back end I mean. Last season was a half season and we overachieved in some areas. So, before making a big change, give the group at least 20 games to see where we're really at. Thing is, it's been pretty clear for most of the season that our D corps - even when fully healthy - is not where it needs to be and is in fact a pretty serious weakness.
It's weird, right? Kindl last year vs. this year on the PP confuses the heck out of me. Last season he was probably our best player in terms of getting the puck on net, through the PK'ers. Yesterday as I was watching him on the PP, his mobility seems to be so off and he can't seem to find the passing/shooting lanes. He was off by the half boards at some point and just looked confused.
Kindl and Smith were both projected to be top 4 guys. They were given the chance to do that instead of signing a stop gap. You either want kids to have opportunity or you don't, simple as that.
Which is fine, and I think the idea was to address this at the deadline. The issue was that prices were too high, and the need for a center outweighed the need for another defender (in the eyes of management). Giving an opportunity for the kids to jump into the top 4 is all well in good, but it hasn't worked to this point.
Personally, I would have liked to see the team try out Smith-Dekeyser as a pairing more. Perhaps it's just me, but I don't think I've seen them together often, if at all. Quincey just sort of exists - he's made some stand-out plays throughout the season, but he's not a top 4 guy, in my opinion. If the team's going to go through rough patches trying to mold the kids into top 4 guys, I'd rather have them paired with someone they're going to play with in the future (since Quincey hasn't seemed to stabilize Smith's play).