Note: Schmeling was married to a czech actress, had a jewish manager and refused the Nazi order to split. They exploited him for their s*** like many other sports- and show stars, but he was never one of them. Just a good guy, he partially paid for Joe Louis funeral too, if I recall correctly.
A fitting end to our season...Kronwall is too slow (was begging to get scored on the whole game anyway....), which is why Petr has to play it, Ericsson just stands there and waits instead of moving towards the puck, bang...
I know you really like Smith, but he's in his 5th year here (3rd full year) and still gets scratched when healthy. I think it's reasonable to think that the organization doesn't view him as a permanent part of the D corps in the future.
I'm sure if we were to trade him it would be for a puck moving guy.
P.S. I think Green is definitely a better puck mover.
That is not a valid argument, because all advanced statistics tell you that Smith is one of, if not the, most beneficial defensemen we had this year. Apparently our organisation is run by people who simply cannot read or count..
- I would prefer Mrazek in net, even though Jimmy was solid. But the "Nov/Dec/Jan"-Mrazek saves the first goal and doesnt give up the rebound on the 2nd. With Mrazek I had come to a point where my basic assumption heading into every game was "he'll stop everything". I've never been that positive about Jimmy, in all those years.
- so "playoff Richards" can play physical, hit, block, be a pain in the ass of the opposition? Ok...some effort like that in the RS would've been nice..
- the Euro Twin Reunion didn't work at all. Pavel looked better than Hank, but that's not that hard to do these days..
- looks like coach/GM rather get us swept then play Smith over E and/or Kronner (to me, both should sit right now. Call up anyone from GR, it can't get worse...)
The point is that Mantha has produced more next to Datsyuk, on a per-game-basis, than Helm and Richards who still get paired with him too often, despite their "performance" . I could understand playing experience over talent if the Vets were even, or almost even, but that's not the case. I don't blame neither guy for their lack of production, don't get me wrong, it's on Blashill (and Babcock, all those years before, regarding Helm..). Richards is old and done, and Helm...the guy just isn't a top 6 forward. He's a bottom 6 guy who is an exceptional PKer, and it's not his fault that he gets overused by his coaches all the time..
Pavel is the reason I stuck with the NHL after watching a couple playoff games 6 or 7 years ago. Simply for the reason he did things I didn't get immediately, waiting for replays to understand what he just did. Amazing, amazing player, unique style and generational talent.
To me there is no doubt he should have his number retired when it's all said and done.
Those "you signed that contract, fulfill it" people make me wonder...what do you think, that slavery is still allowed? If he wants to go, and for good reason, while leaving the money on the table, then let him go. Everyone of us in every regular job can do the same. There isn't even a substantial approach for criticism. Not even that stupid "over 35"-rule, because he would agree to have his contract traded to help the team. If Holland is insane enough not to trade it, the blame is on him, not Pavel.
If he goes back to Russia, and it appears so, it shouldn't change our appreciation for him one bit. Just read that article...
7 games to go for us, not 6. For the Bruins it's 6, and that's the team to catch. Comparing the schedules, it really comes down to winning in Boston to get in, if you calculate the likely results for the other games:
If you go with W-L-L-W-L-W, it's 6 more points for a final 94.
Winning against the 3 lottery teams and the Bruins gives us 8 points, so it would be one more win (or two OT losses.. ) out of the three games against Wild, Flyers and Rangers to get to 95.
Which isn't all that unrealistic by numbers and records...but right now, I wouldn't bet against us losing vs Buffalo, either.
EDIT: Oh, I thought Philly had 87 points, but it's 85. Their schedule:
6 expectable points vs lottery teams, but then again..a win for us could get us in, because they could easily lose three of their other four games.
"Coulda, woulda, shoulda", yeah, I know...we would prefer to have 95 right now, not 85, that's for sure. On the other hand, without Petr's outstanding play for the majority of the season, we would sit at 75 points right now, at best.