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RationalHatred

Member Since 21 Sep 2013
Offline Last Active Jul 02 2015 06:28 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Things you would like to see for 2015-16 Season

30 April 2015 - 11:43 PM

I think the most critical needs are exactly what Holland tried to address at the trade deadline and in the last FA period but couldn't ultimately pull off:
 
1) A big, talented winger (ideally two)
2) A #2 defenseman
 
No Franzen and no Cole leaves the Wings playing exactly two top-nine guys with decent size - Abdelkader and Sheahan. The team struggles to generate offense because they're left on the periphery and they're just too easy to block out. Babcock compensated by pushing a grinding shutdown game at even strength and then taking advantage of power plays to create space for his smaller players, but it's just not good enough. They need the kind of bodies that can make room for 40, 13, 14, and 21 to work some magic. Clearly physical size isn't everything when it comes to success in hockey but I'm fairly certain that Detroit has the smallest top nine in the league. It has to be a priority this summer.
 
On the back end, it's time to end either (or both) of the Smith/Kindl experiments, admit that they're not going to get much better, and accept that they do nothing to address the yawning talent gap between Kronwall and everyone not named Kronwall. The best teams in the league play three (maybe four) very good defensemen and rotate the rest based on their specialty - the Hawks use Keith/Seabrook/Hjalmarsson, the Rags have McD/Staal/Girardi, the Ducks platoon four top guys, you see the trend. Meanwhile the teams going home early tended to lack that extra top-pair D-man and instead have a big drop in talent to their next best player - Ottawa has one guy, the Wings have one guy (DDK may be on his way to being a legit #2), the Weber-less Preds struggled badly with just Josi (Jones isn't quite there yet), and so on. I would venture that STL relies too heavily on Bouwmeester, he's overmatched in his role and it hurts them at times.
 
The Wings need another impact player taking 23+ minutes a night if they want to be a proper contender. Assuming they can get such an individual, room still has to be made for the kids to play a regular shift so they can see who among Sproul/Jensen/Marchenko/Ouellet is the real deal and who is the next Derek Meech. No Kindl and no Zidlicky creates space for Marchenko and Ouellet to fight for the #6 spot, ideally playing with Ericsson.
 
I don't see them trading Howard, especially not in any big NHL15-type trades. There's good reason to expect him to have a better season in 15-16 and the team's total expenditure at the position is only ~6mil between he and Mrazek, so it's not like they need the money. It makes more sense to platoon them for now and maybe deal Howard next year once Mrazek's contract is up. It should also go without saying that we have to hope Weiss is sent packing. 

In Topic: Peter Laviolette Hired as Predators' Coach

06 May 2014 - 08:58 PM

I think this is an excellent move. Laviolette is a good coach and a proven winner. The system the Preds have in place now has been good at maximizing returns based on minimal investment, but this speaks to some extra ambition on Poile's part. Sure, they could have kept Trotz, kept drafting well, kept losing their talent to other teams without moving past the first round of the playoffs. It would have worked but stagnation is no way to run a team.

 

Nashville needed a new voice. Combined with the right personnel moves, this could yield some pretty big results.