We are pathetically soft, but I'm not sure what you're basing the no-chance-in-the-playoffs part on. We beat the Ducks in seven games last season with pretty much the same roster, and we took the vastly superior Cup champs to overtime of game seven. And so far this season we've handled the Big Bad Bruins - everyone's pick for the biggest, toughest team in the league - pretty well. And before we let the bigger, tougher, scrappier Leafs back into the game on Saturday, we were handing it to them in pretty much every way, driving the net on our first three goals and such.
Granted, the playoffs are a different animal. But I like our chances in the East. (I believe the West is the much tougher conference, physically and overall.)
Maybe we add a little sandpaper at the trade deadline?
I love the amount of skill and finesse this team has, but it needs to be complemented by some snarl. I'm not saying we should convince Peter Worrell to come out of retirement and think that's enough snarl, because ultimately, one-dimensional enforcers dont typically play in the playoffs anyway. There will be plenty of snarl available at the deadline. As it stands right now, I don't see this team being able to physically endure a long postseason. We're too fragile. Look how many players are hurt right now. Granted, every team goes through spells or injuries. We seem to go through a lot of them.
Unbelievable that Thornton is going to get more than Neal. That knee by Neal is a classic example of what the league wants to get rid of. It was intentional, he made no effort to avoid it, and the principle point of contact was the head. If Marchand was taken off on a stretcher, Neal would've got a hell of a lot more time off than he will. This is the problem with making calls and handing out suspensions based on the end result.
What Thornton did to Orpik was cheap. However, if Orpik gets up after that, Thornton might not even be suspended for it. Orpik throws big hits and plays on the edge, but he has his gloves superglued to his hands. He'll get into scrums and talk s*** but runs away when challenged to drop the gloves. He never answers the bell for anything.
I don't find myself agreeing with the length of suspensions very often, but I think the league got this one right. It was a dirty hit and McLeod knew exactly what he was doing.
On a side note, I love how Avs fans jumped right on the bandwagon with their dolt of an announcer, saying Kronwall throws dirty hits all the time. Show me a dirty hit from behind by Kronwall. Avs fans are just as dumb as they used to be. Granted, not all Avs fans subscribe to this kind of idiocy, but it seems like a significant portion were quick to scream "LOLOLOL SERVES KRONWALL RIGHT".
I want Tootoo to beat McLeod's ass March 6th. Its no secret that McLeod is a certified punching bag.
I would like to think that too, however I am a realist and as such know that getting punched in the face does not stop Matt Cooke, or Chris Simon, or Raffi Torres, or any of the like from doing anything!
This is typically where the instigator rule debate starts.
Seeing as most of the pro-fight crowd use people getting run to defend their position, where do you stand on fights after clean hits?
Fights right from the face off?
Fights because both enforcers are simply on the ice?
Fights where a the guy who "Ran" or committed the egregious act is no longer on the ice, so 2 guys go at it who were not involved in the original act?
-I can't speak for everybody, but fights after clean hits drive me nuts. It serves as a deterrent for clean, hard hitting.
-Fights right off the draw are not necessarily "staged", in that both players are fighting for the hell of it without any reason or passion. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the Georges Laraque-esque scrap off the draw. However, I couldn't get behind additionally penalizing players for it.
-Fights between two enforcers simply because they're on the ice often, but not always, come off the draw.
-The last statement, I suppose, could be classified as guys, involved in the incident or not, sending a message.
Sabres/Leafs games are gonna be real chippy this year. Scott is gonna have hands full once these teams meet in the regular season. Orr and McLaren will be after him. I fear for the Sabres, because outside of Scott, who do they have? It's not a guarantee that Cody McCormick makes the team. Ott is a bad fighter, and Kaleta has his gloves glued on. They're gonna get pounded.