Sunday, January 14, 2007

litmus

first let me apologize for not posting much lately.... i have been working long hours away from home.

now, the litmus test for where this season will go is before us. the schedule has home and home against buffalo followed by pittsburg and ottowa. then everyone except z and kessel will get 6 days off for the allstar break. these four games, i think, will tell us exactly what they have and may mean the end to some wearing the black and yellow.

4 or less points in these 4 games will mean no playoffs- trades and call ups from providence.

4-5 points and the team looks competitive (games lost that they could have won)- perhaps a trade - to put them into the playoffs.

5-8 points everything looks rosey again, they should make playoffs and still a chance of picking up a relieable veteran to shore up the defense/offense.

we have seen two teams - when this team plays hungry for the puck and buzzes they look to be able to play with all but the best teams in the league. when they take a step back and play not to lose or when they look like they are just going through the motions- they can look mediocre to awful. why are there these two team identities?

i think it comes from playing with a swagger, from going out and playing with the belief that the loose pucks will come to you, believing you can outskate the other guy, believing you hit harder than they do and it is obvious that this teams swagger comes and goes - even from period to period. some guys i believe have it nearly all the time - savard - bergeron - thomas - axelsson- tenkrat - alberts. you can watch these guys perform and see the jump in their game - the twinkle in thier step on nearly every shift. you can see that they believe they can make a difference in the game. many others in this line up will catch the fire from time to time but can not seem to maintain it from shift to shift and game to game. i think part of this is that it takes a long time for a team to form an identity and to trust each others game, to trust that if you give everything you have your teammates will do the same for you.

i hate to say it but what this team may need to gain that kind of swagger more often is a darcy tucker type of guy. somebody that can get under the other teams skin and get them thinking about something other than passing and skating around spoked b's. anyone remember ken linseman? you put him in wayne primeau's spot in this lineup and i bet this team has 10 more points right now. of course linseman and tucker put up some points but there is a tenacity and bite to thier game that this team sorely needs. savard has a little of it, but they could use somebody with a lot of it.

this type of player is not readly available in todays day and age, but if one is available, who or what do you trade is the next question to answer. well first i guess i will give you my list of untouchables: Z, pj, bergy, savard,alberts and thomas. and now my list of players unlikely to get much in return (some of these are low value for contracts others are from performance): chistov, donovan, hoggan, mara, mowers, murray, primeau, stuart, sturm, brad stuart and york. i know some of you will dissagree that a murray has little value - but trading a murray or a donovan you will not likely be able to upgrade at what you already have - so this in effect lowers thier trade value - unless of course you are trading to build later for prospects- this is a slightly different story.

what does this leave for trade bait: boyes, jurcina, kessel, lashoff, mark stuart, tenkrat, rask, toivonan, prospects and picks.

well boys - (boyes) - four games to make or break the season and make peter C start making some tough decisions.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lashoff and Mark Stuart as a trade bait? Are you on something? Can you expend your thoughs.

5:02 PM, January 14, 2007  
Blogger neb said...

latrappe, i gave my list of untouchables, i gave you my list of guys that would be hard to move for value. that leaves the guys that you could trade for value if you want to salvage this season......i said it would be hard decisions for pc. what else can i say? these are my opinions and also as i said bait - you have to hang something out there to see who is available.

5:09 PM, January 14, 2007  
Blogger Doobie said...

hey, it's probably a pipe dream, but I wouldn't mind moving Lashoff or M. Stuart if they can get someone like Lubomir Visnovsky off of the languishing Kings...or another deal along those lines that would land us a top notch defenseman.

9:25 PM, January 14, 2007  
Blogger jimbuff said...

The only players I would not offer for bait (just to see what could come back our way) are Bergy and Savard.
I think that everyone else on the team is disposible. However, that said there are only a few that we could probably get a good return on - the ones neb listed are a good indicator.
Also, the team does have talent and potential but "the swagger" you mentioned has to be there. It is true we have seen two teams and the confident team (Nov. and Dec.) is a million times better than the early season team and the team as of late.
Maybe coaching stadegies or different player combo's might get it back.
I am not a NHL GM but something has to be done quick to right this sinking ship. We do not want to give up on this season b/c we proved for a month and a half that we CAN compete. We gave up last year and I don't want to go thru that again - this team proved it can compete and we have to get that back again.

10:01 PM, January 14, 2007  

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