I don't see Howard getting moved. One, because nobody really needs a goalie of Howard's caliber all that bad. Two, Ken Holland (and Mike Babcock's) M.O. is to keep guys around for "competition". Remember two years ago when we had more players than roster spots and cap money? That would have been an ideal time to waive/trade someone and it didn't happen. As long as Mrazek is cheap (and he will be for a little while), they'll keep Jimbo around.
I think it is foolish to believe there is some magical combination of lines that suddenly turns this team into a top tier force...we simply lack the depth and personnel to compete with the Lightning, especially given how inept our top young guys like Sheahan, Tatar and Nyquist have looked.
I agree. I don't think we can compete with them no matter how we arrange the lines. But I do think that you can arrange players in order to maximize your potential, even if the ceiling on that potential isn't as high as another team.
Babcock's job is to make the Red Wing be as good as they can possibly be. If that's still not good enough to beat Tampa, so be it. But if we're not the best "us" that we can be, then he's doing something wrong. So far, I honestly don't even think he's done a bad job. We had some key injuries, and you had to know that Tampa was coming out strong. Now we're in the adjustment phase. We're very much in this series, but we need to find a way to get guys like Tatar, Nyquist, Sheahan involved. I agree they've looked bad. But we know they aren't bad. So whatever the problem is, fix it. That's partially the coach's job.
The jets are not that good honestly. Them and Sens don't belong here and it shows.
I think the Jets ARE that good, I just think their goaltending is suspect. Pavelec is like Howard, when he's on he's pretty good, but he's off way too often. He doesn't seem to be able to make the big stops that the team needs so far in his career.
This is only suggested because last year when they paired Smith and Kronner together, Smith's play went up. That's it. it's not about Smith being a number 1 d man. Its' just that when he is paired with Kronwall, he's a better overall D man.
No he's not better, he just looks better.
It's like back when we had Ian White paired with Lidstrom. The only thing it did was make Ian White look better than he was. But it didn't make him, or the team, perform better.
Putting Smith (or White) on the first pair doesn't make him a first pair defenseman. And no matter how much you dress it up, you're still advocating putting a third pair defenseman on the first pair.
Kronwall probably makes Ericsson look better than he is too. But that doesn't seem to be working out. Why would it work any better with a guy who's worse than E is?
Well this has been a tremendously satisfying series. Try as they might, the Sens just can't seem to get past the unavoidable fact that eventually they were going to have to play actual hockey games against Montreal. And in an actual hockey game, with real players, in the real playoffs...Ottawa was just completely, absolutely, 100%, outclassed.
Maybe next time they should make some adjustments after the first loss? Switch up the game plan? Identify weaknesses and mismatches?
Well, that or spend all our time threatening injuries to the other team and deftly using Chris Neil (Lol.) as a decoy.
Here's a crazy though. Instead of trying to shut down/shot suppress the best offense in the league, a team that couldn't be shut down all year, how about taking the puck out of their hands and making their (questionable) defense win or lose this series for them?
We're not going to win this series by trying to shut down their offense. Because our defense isn't as good as their offense is.
BUT, maybe our offense is better than their defense is. I mean, it's not like they're defensive stalwarts.
Or we can just keep doing the same thing over and over.
This game is not an improvement over last game. That's just more Babcock doublespeak. If you "played better" and got murdered 5-1 then you really didn't play better at all. We got dominated just as bad this game as we did last game. Sure the shots are closer, but if you ever believed that we were in this game you're nuts.
If we lost then next game 10-2, but the shots on goal are the same for both teams, is that an improvement? Of course not.
Danny Dekeyser is freaking awesome. Do people pay attention to all the plays he busts up with his positioning and his stick work? He is going to be a very, very, good defender as he hits his prime. He'll probably not score a million points, but he'll be excellent defensively while giving you 35-40 pts.
He's like a young Jay Bouwmeester, who's not worth his contract, but good nevertheless.