Right now we are 20-16-10 with 50 points. Under the old scoring are we even a .500 team? We could have as few as 40 points under the old scoring and be 26th in the league. yes I said 26th. if you look at win totals there are only 8 teams with fewer wins. There are 3 others with 20 wins. So just from a win total we are somewhere between 18th and 22nd. Now and this is real scary, where are we as a team without D and Z carrying us? That should run tremors of fear through every RW fan. The fact that they turn 36 and 34 before next season starts should set off red lights flashing everywhere.
We are not a great team right now. In fact we are not really a good team right now. We have to make player changes in a big way. We can't sit back and wait for 1 or 2 prospects to be ready every year and expect to get to the top of the mountain anytime soon.
Loves to hit and never stops moving. has a good heavy shot as well. At this point likes to skate through the D and force home the puck.
Ryan MacInnis 6-4/190 LH LW/C
Would you be surprised to know Al's son can shot the puck? He has all the skills to be a superstar, hasn't found the consistency yet. But he is only 18.........
Aaron Haydon 6-3/200 RH D
A true modile tough guy. No he isn't a scorer. But he loves to hit, fight, check, and has the speed and skating ability to get there and bring the pain.
Christian Dvorak 6-1/170 LH LW
Great skater and a great shot. needs to add muscle and strength. Currently he has to hang onto something in a stiff breeze and gets pushed off of the puck. But when he has time to shoot, he is deadly......
Ok boys and girls it is time to start thinking about the draft. before we get to the fun of who we draft, let's cover some other things first.
1. As of today we would be picking 14th. We have 50 points and there are 13 other teams with fewer points than us, 1 team with equal points but a game in hand. In other words-middle of the road again.
2. Quick review of last years draft. I loved and called for mantha in the 1st. the last week or so before the draft I started to doubt that we would take him if there, boy am I glad we did! Nat is the second round was also a good pick. The brain trust did a great job moving down and adding an extra second round pick, then IMHO completely pissed that pick away on Tuzzi. he was a 6th round projection t best, and there were tons of guys available for that pick that would have been better. other than that, a good draft. No reaches, covered all positions of need.
3. Ok let's talk needs. What does our team look like say 5 years from now?
We have a nice pool of G's to pick from. Howard's career will be near the end, Marzek should be in his prime, with JP close behind him pushing. In other words, G is not a position of need early in the draft. if there is someone they like in the last 2-3 rounds, then grab a G. otherwise wait until next years draft.
Dmen. Our strongest position. 5 years from now Kronwall and Ericsson will be at the end. But Kindl, DeKeyser, Smith, and lashoff will all still be 31 (Kindl) or in their late 20's. A nice deep core to work with. But it doesn't end there. On the LH side we have Almquist, Oullett, nedermol (speling), dehaas, Wheaton and McNulty coming. On the RH side we have marchencko, Sproul, Jensen, and maybe Nicastro on the way. No all of these guys will not make it. But 2 or 3 will. They are all also playing really well at the AHL level, which means we can make moves if/when needed-like now! Point is, we are really deep on D. have guys with size, speed, skill, toughness, RH and LH. A great young group that we can develop.
Forwards. This area is much more of an issue. There are of course 2 groups when talking forwards: grinders for the bottom 8 and top 6 scoring forwards. We have plenty of the fromer and very few of the later. Look at the grinder tyoes that could be here: Abby, helm, maybe Miller, Andersson, Callahan, McKee-for a$$ whippings, Nat, little Tuzzi, plus whatever additional picks we have over the next 2-3 years. Plenty of bodies for the bottom 2 lines. Now when it comes to scorers it is a little more interesting. I see 4 guys: Nyquist, tatar, mantha, Jurco, and that is about it as of now. yes frk and Jarnkrok could turn into something, but both have a long long way to go. Now when looking at the scorers, there are 3 issues here: 1. All are LHed, 2. None are true centermen, and 3. There are only 4 guys! this is and should be our main area of focus in the draft, UFA, and trades for the next couple of years.
Ok moving into the order. For now let's assume we finish 15th or so. It makes the math easy if nothing else. Our picks are then: 15th, 45th, 75th, 105th, 135th, 165th, and 195th if I have done my math correctly.
so, who are the guys that could/should be available for each of those picks? With a focus on RHed F when possible........ Stay tuned.......
neither is going to get fired. yes I expect Holland to retire sometime over the next couple of years, but both will be here as long as they choose to be.
Now the Holland vs babcock debate over who is responsible is a solid both. Holland builds the roster. he assembles the team. Babcock then takes the roster and fields the best team in his opinion. So when a Cleary gets 15 mins of ice time who's fault is it? babcock for playing him or Holland for not having someone better on the roster to play? It does become a chicken vs egg debate.
many reasons for it. helm for example. His body is too small for the style of hockey he plays. he will always be a guy that is fighting through injuries. yes being on the small side doesn't help vs bigger guys. Having a bunch of over 30 guys don't help either. Players tend to get hurt more and take longer to recover the older they get. having guys with years of injury issues just adds to the problem.
Oh yes the injury card. we are hurt. yes. have been for 5 freaking years! It is only getting worse! You would think someone would try to change that, wouldn't you.......... yes some of the injuries are new-datsyuk, DD, and Abby. but Z has had back issues for a couple of years, bert for about 6 years, Sammy is always hurt, Weiss has been injury prone the past couple of years, franzen always misses 10 games per year, on and on and on. So with this bunch of old and brittle group we move to the east, were the 10 of the top 15 in PIM and 10 of the top 15 in hits are located at, and some wonder why we are not healthy????? LOL This isn't a surprise.
Then Holland is remembering wrong. We started to win Cups when guys like Shanny were added, McCarty and Lapointe matured, Kocur was on the Grind Line with Draper and Maltby (that was the original version), all of which were tough pesky players and most would drop the gloves when needed. we scored a lot of goals and raked up record number of wins and points prior to 97. but we didn't win until the team had the right balance of skill and toughness. This formula worked in 97, 98, and 02. 08 was were our organization began drifting to the all skill side and we haven't won a cup since, nor are we going to for a few more years. heck even our skill is as good as it was 5 years ago.
Again injuries are not a surprise. many of us talked about that happening in the east. guess what, it is. we did not add enough size and toughness just to make it through the grind of more physical play. Forget about fighting, that is not what I am talking about. How about some forwards that can actually stand in front of the other teams G and pick up the trash. None of our current group can do that at a high level anymore. bert is to old, franzen is well....., and the rest are to small. Same thing with crashing into the corners for lose pucks. These are things that the best teams do every night all game long. We don't and we don't have anyone coming over the next couple of years that do it either. That means trades for guys like Ryan that we passed on or signing UFA's like Clarkson that we didn't even talk to. Instead we go out and spend more money on guys like Alfie, Cleary, didn't buyout Franzen, etc......... Don't get me started on Weiss......
It might be getting to that time. Holland has been great for a long time. But he is making far to many mistakes lately. Every player can't play until 40. he also seems to be building teams based on the idea of how he wished the NHL was, not the way it actually is.
Why does it have to be someone from the inside? Time for new blood. An outsider would be great. New fresh ideas and perspectives.
Instead we spend our money on Cleary who brings NOTHING and cy to shanny about people picking on us. crying like a bunch if little BITCHS! They missed the call........ he should be suspended........ we need to remove fighting from the game........... PP is our enforcer...... Even if every goon is removed from the game and every play worthy of a suspension is caught, who is worse off? a 4th line checker that is suspended or a star C like Datsyuk? Most teams and coaches would make that trade in a heart beat and not think twice about it.