First of all, you're overplaying your hand a bit. Tatar was a regular in the lineup after 9 games...so it's not like those three guys were all getting huge playing time for the first half of the season...they weren't. After the first ten games any two of the three were scratched on a given night.
Secondly, that doesn't really address my point anyway. Cleary, Bertuzzi, and Samuelsson weren't the reason we got butchered by Boston in the playoffs. They weren't the reason we blew a 3-1 series lead against Chicago the year before that. They weren't the reason we couldn't beat San Jose for two years. And they definitely weren't the reason we got embarrassed by Nashville in 5 games.
But here's the kicker...neither were injuries. In only one of those series (Boston) did injuries play a significant role. There are fundamental issues with this team that haven't been addressed in a LONG time. Acting like those issues have been resolved because we let a couple of frequently scratched third and fourth liners walk is the equivalent to burying your head in the sand.
I wasn't arguing your point Kip.
I was only saying that this year's team should have less plugs than last year.
But yes, if this team continues to play on the outside, have crappy D, suck on special teams, and have average goaltending then they're screwed.
But, an improved Smith and DeKeyser combined with hopefully more Ouellett/Marchenko and less Kindl/Lashoff, and the D should improve.
The small forwards should get stronger.
Jimmy has nowhere to go but up, after last year.
- haroldsnepsts likes this