Svechnikov has looked great in his debut. Looked nervous early on, but has seemed to shake that off pretty quick and has made some nice plays since. Bertuzzzzzzi!!!!! What a beauty this kid is. Always seems to be in the right place at the right time...
Our penalty kill has been way too passive in recent years, using a smaller box, trying to take away passing and shooting lanes. In Boston, Houda's penalty kill has had a very aggressive setup, using a bigger box, pressuring the puck carrier. I think this is a much better setup, which is well represented by their higher ranked penalty kill every season over the past 5+ years.
Boston are always toward the top of the league in short-handed goals for, while we're always toward the bottom. Using an aggressive setup with speed and skill will create opportunities short handed. Houda's PK TOI leaders were Bergeron, Marchand, Eriksson and Krejci, aka skill and speed. I'd love to see our penalty kill with Glendening and Larkin on one unit, and Helm (Sheahan if Helm walks) and Athanasiou on the other unit. Speed kills.
Boston has also had better defensive numbers over the past 5+ seasons under Houda, with the exception of this past season where both were bad.
Of course personnel is a huge factor in all of this, so if Holland can bring in a top pair defenseman, I think Houda has the ability to turn the defense and penalty kill around in a big way...
I hate it when we collapse on the PK. Especially when we refuse to block shots. We give up too many clean point shots. I'd like to see a more aggressive style of penalty killing. If you're playing the 1984 Oilers, maybe that's not a good idea, but for most opponents, I'd be more aggressive.
Alright, Idk if anyone has really thrown up a way that they want this team to look next year, but I have a proposition.
Scratches: Jurco*, Pulkinnen*, Sproul.
*subject to trade to shed Datsyuk's cap hit that would allow us to sign both Stamkos and Radulov.
Ericsson and Howard are traded to Carolina and Calgary respectively for mid-late round draft picks and/or mid level prospect(s).
None of this is probably logical, but, I'm hopeful that Holland can grow a pair and pull this off.
I like that roster. However I'd like to see some combination of Nyquist/Jurco/D prospect(s)/pick traded for a top defenseman and add a physical 4th liner whether that's from the Griffins or outside. Kinda like this:
4 goals 4 assists = 8 points. Considered a secondary scorer
Pavel Datsyuk in his first 37 playoff games played :
3 goals 9 assists = 12 points. Considered a primary scorer by his second season.
Opinions? My opinion is that I know Datsyuk was heavily criticized in his first 4 NHL seasons because of his poor playoff performance. I'm starting to think it's a similar situation with Gus. Pav was a late bloomer. Gus might be as well.
Another reason I like Todd Richards is because young centers have tended to do well in his offensive scheme. None of Johansen, Jenner, or Dubinsky are superstars, but they've performed well under his offense, and I'd love to see what he could do with Larkin and AA. Then get a defensive coach that really understands puck possession and transition and we are set. Don't really know who I like for a defensive coach though.
I think that given the amount of roster and management turnover we are expecting right now, its a perfect time to take stock of what we have, identify what kind of team we want to be, and then make player and coaching decisions based on that new identity. I don't think its smart to bring guys in because of their names or previous experience (though I do want some experience, no rookies).
For instance, if we don't envision ourselves as a Randy Carlyle type team, then we would be dumb to hire him. Regardless of his experience. We need to figure our what we have, what we want to be, and then hire the right people to make it so.
Personally, I like Todd Richards. His teams play fast and aggressive and I like that given our lineup. But that's just me. There's also a connection there, he used to work with Tyler Wright in Colombus.