The team seems to score more in front of mrazek.. honestly, it seems like they're too comfortable in front of Howard.
I think the team plays more relaxed in front of Mrazek because of how he handles the puck. He handles it with more confidence than Jimmy. He is also at times more confident and poised in the net. It is also true that sometimes Mrazek will really get a bit lost coming out too far and over-challenging. But, on balance, my opinion is that Jimmy has not played great since coming back from the groin tear (which by the way was caused by one of his horrific mishandles behind the net...resulting in him scrambling awkwardly back to the net). I think overall we played some of our best hockey when Mrazek was starting...perhaps his puck handling gets the offense rolling from the defensive end. I would let Jimmy sit and gather himself for an extended period of time...and go with Mrazek. This team needs a shake up and this would do it. Let Jimmy back up for awhile.
I also would get Marchenko back in there once he is healed and perhaps sit Ericsson for awhile...he makes way too many mistakes and needs a bit of a break.
Weiss should sit as well...he is inconsequential on a team that needs difference makers.
I think players go thru funks and when they are in a funk, just sit them. Rest them for awhile. Don't grind the same guys out there who are having problems.
Weiss is the worst player on this team. Soft, never wins a battle. Loses the puck if someone breathes on him when he's carrying it. He holds up all the time to avoid contact. I don't think he wants to get near the puck...he's a head case. Why sign a guy to a long term contract like that when he was injured the year before. Terrible signing. Unbelievably worse player than Filpula. How do you follow hockey, GM a team, and make such a horrendously irresponsible signing!
I am pis#%d off...please send Weiss to GR, cut him, or trade him for a box of tampons.
1) Identify my core players and sign them to high dollar deals for 3-5 years. If i really have confidence in one of them, maybe 6-7 years. Don't lock in for longer than that. Two guys on defense, five guys on offense and a goalie. 8 core guys in total.
2) Fill out the rest of my roster with average guys who are hard working, durable and not too old. Grinders that are young and not worn down.
3) Avoid older guys who have a reputation of being physical...they generally wear out at that age. My physical guys have to be younger guys.
4) Avoid trading cheap assets with potential upside for rentals or old guys...that's a losing strategy.
5) Identify the top 1 - 2 free agents every year or so and go at them very hard with a high dollar deals. The core needs to be replenished. If the core drops to a low level (like 5 or less), you have to replenish.
6) Bank on the fact that eventually a prospect or two will turn into a core player. But they have to be evaluated on the NHL level between the ages of 21 -24 regularly. No more over-ripen bulls**t.
7) Every year at the end of the season, some changes have to be made. It is like re-balancing your stock portfolio. You need to make some changes. Even if you win a cup. That's the best time to make changes because that is when your assets will be worth most...after a good season.
8) Don't be afraid of occasionally making a bad deal...but when you do, cut your losses. Don't hang on to a mistake forever.
The NHL with the cap system requires yearly re-assessment and adjustments to maintain competitiveness. As GM, you have to have thought all this out and made your moves during the off-season. Scrambling at the trading deadline is not ideal and should be avoided if possible.
I mostly agree. This is a different era of managing a team and Holland hasn't fully adapted. It is getting harder and harder to steal quality players from someone else and if you don't draft exceptionally well - then you have to overpay for a quality FA or give up some middle-of-the-road prospects and picks to take a chance on a proven commodity (even short term).
Well, he refuses to overpay for a quality player in FA, but certainly loves to fatten up the contracts of role players. For example, he wouldn't sign Jagr or Semin to expensive 1 year deals - but will give useless inflated contracts to injury prone and role players like Samuelsson and Colaiacovo looking for "value" that end up making roughly the same amount as one "star" player. Why? Because Cleary flourished here on a chance.
It would make much more sense to tie up some short term money in a star player and have to cut dead weight later if there are cap problems and let your coveted young prospects (that he refuses to trade) get some playing time. Instead he loses out on quality players, pays a ton for mediocre players, lets prospects overripe in the minors instead of gain NHL tangible value, and wastes the remaining years of our star players.... waiting... for something miraculous to happen. In the end he just says, "Aw shucks, we kicked some tires, but apparently you have to actually be willing to give something up".
Truthfully, injuries have been the best GM we've had this season. It forced out the useless older players and gave our prospects time to shine. Although, thats the good and bad of it because Holland is like Golem and now Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, and Lashoff have become the preciousssssss Wings property- which he would never let any go in order to upgrade NOW.
And let's go to the other extreme. Since he's not willing to wheel and deal, spend some money on FA, or let go of old players - then at least start a true rebuild and get some draft picks with our soon to be UFAs or redundant players.
You won't win in this league by being middle of the road.
PS - save the Hossa talk because we all know that Holland literally did NOTHING to make that happen.
I hate to bring this word up...but here it is..."core"...yeah, "core".
We mocked "core" concept a few years back...but i am now thinking we were wrong on this. The "new NHL" is about having elite core players and then some young guys who aren't getting injured every other day that fill the line up out. We have a small "core"...Dats, Z, Kronwall, and Howard. I think Howard is close to elite the way he has saved our as* this year. That's about it. Franzen was thought to be "core", but he is not (obviously). The "new NHL" in the cap era is not about "loyalty to older guys" who tend to get beat up as the season goes on and then run out of gas in the playoffs. It's about guys who have some jump in their step and can fill out the line up...once they start to show sustained bouts of being injured or ineffective, you have to move them on and move younger guys in. And all of that is a bit of a crap shoot, but it is how you avoid the mediocrity curse (stuck in the middle).
The salary cap has made it a very cut-throat, crass business...but to compete you have to cut your losses with some of these guys, bring in the younger/cheaper talent from the minors, and continually look for elite core guys in free agency. You can't be loyal to guys that are older and have been around awhile, but have lost a step and spend three-quarters of the time on the IR.
I totally disagree with the let them "ripen" concept. What is the physiologic peak of a human being? It is at 28 years old...at least from a respiratory physiologic standpoint. So after 28, it's a downhill trend from an athletic perspective. Leaving these guys in the minors forever is a detriment because they are not developing against the best talent (NHL talent) and you are wasting some of their best years from a physical standpoint in the minors. Andersson has been great this year. Without injuries, he would be in the minors. What about Lashoff? He would be in the minors without injuries.
It seems like our management can't even evaluate our young talent to know when to bring them up. If you can fill your line up on the cheap with the younger talent, then you can afford to break the bank in free agency to get a couple "elite core" players. But we have management who continually think that signing guys like Bert, Sammy, Cola, and Cleary is the right strategy when we have guys like Andersson, Tatar, Lashoff, and Nyquist wasting away in the minors. If you save the money you spend on Bert, Sammy, Cola, and Cleary you can then sign one or two elite players who have high skill and are difference makers. Yes, last year we crapped out on Parise and Suter. But unless we are continually re-evaluating our line up at the end of year and cutting guys who are not really producing or have a high chance of being injured, we are gonna be stuck in mediocre hell.