Meds wrote:Hate the fact that he endorses Vigneault the way he does. Is he blind? Usually stats are telling and worth going on, but to hell with them this time, the guy can't adapt and get wins out of the deepest team in the league when they face a tough defense.
Do you think that this perception (deepest team in the league) might be just a little exaggerated?
I have heard this from the media pundits for months and I have always been skeptical of that claim. In what way is this team so deep? Is it scoring? Well, they were #1 on PP for a big chunk of the season. And they also were the highest scoring team in the West...But, do you think that playing 24 games in the weakest Division might have helped? Also, most of the other top teams in the West were not scoring machines! And how about those depth guys being able to slot into the top 6 or 9? Not really, eh? If they were, indeed, the deepest team, why did secondary scoring disappear in the 2nd half of the season? On that note, we can be grateful (again) for our high scoring D corps!
When I look hard at this team, the most troubling deficiencies are with the 2nd line. Neither Raymond nor Higgins are bone-fide 2nd line wingers. Kesler is not a great play-maker, but he has other qualities that allow him to be 2nd C. I am not sure what kind of player Booth can become, but he is worth keeping for another season, at least. They need a real 2nd line, scoring winger, who is preferably a great passer too. Of course, we have the ideal role model on our 1st line - Daniel! So, we need someone with the skill set of Daniel (no prob, right?).
And then there is the 3rd line...I am not a fan of keeping Pahlsson. He is just does not have enough offensive skill for that 3rd C. We really need a good two-way guy here. One of the problems with this year's roster was the lack of development of Cody in his defensive game. He was often a liability in his own zone (not strong enough on the boards). Because of that deficiency, they had to use Kesler much more in the shut-down role against opponent's top lines. That is exhausting - especially when he was trying to get back from injuries/surgeries in the off-season. Playing an average of 22 (tough) minutes/night would have been grueling in his condition. So, they need a 3rd C who can be relied on to shut down opponents, but also has some offensive flair. Preferably a young guy?