Topper wrote:A few comments;
When Luongo was pulled, I was looking for AV to call a time out instead to regroup the troops. Instead the goalie change to waken up the forwards and defenders that there are two aspects to the game. However, the play of Schneider in relief highlighted there are serious issues with the leadership of the team.
Are you implying that the leadership needs a kick in the pants when the back-up goaltender comes in early in the 2nd period, stands on his head, shuts the door, and the SCF runner's up can't put it together against a bunch of 3rd line plumbers and a line of kids? Just wondering, because if so, I agree.
A I understand it, while Henrik is the captain, much of the leadership is by committee of the core groups of players. Luongo, Daniel, Kesler, Biesksa, Malhotra, past captain and the associate captains being primary to the leadership committee. For the most part, these players are all stinking the joint out!
If this is the case the team needs a shot from some shock paddles. Leadership should never be by committee, if it is then that committee should be taking it's cue from the guy with the "C" and not having a vote. If the committee is playing the way this one is, it's time for a new committee.
Daniel and Henrik have completely forgotten the defensive aspect of the game. They were once two of the better defensive players on the team but now are completely unwilling to back check or take a man inside their own blue line.
It is time for Henrik to stand up, take charge and kick some folks in the balls for their play. And he needs to start with his own scrotum. He and his brother were given a bit of a pass for their ugly defensive play in the SCF because of Henrik's injury, but they have taken up right where they left off. Remember that these were the folks who shut down the Toews line in the first to games of the opening round before Bolland returned to the line up.
I don't think the Sedins have ever been all that great defensively, at least not in their own end. They generally don't end up out there having to shut down another team's top line, when they are head-to-head against the opposing team's big guns, they often appear to shut them down because they control the puck in the offensive zone for 2 full minutes. Last year it was Kesler who was shutting down Toews, Kane, and Hossa. There were games where he was doing this almost single-handedly with a hard forecheck and an unseen before back-check. One of my biggest issues with the Sedins has been their play in the defensive end where, when the other team gets setup, they spend an entire shift chasing the puck until it gets cleared or our goaltender covers it for a whistle.
I have seen enough of Cody Hodgson. It is time for McT to teach him that his silly OHL dipsy doodles will not work on NHL calibre defenders. You never know, he may even learn to win a puck battle along the boards.
At this point, I think sending Hodgson down would be more detrimental than beneficial. He was a first round pick with a fair amount of hype and has battled through some injuries and fought to meet Vigneault's expecations. The cheeky bull-shit I can live with if it isn't every shift, I like that it adds another dynamic to our 3rd line that defenders at least have to be aware of. The down-side is that our 3rd line is supposed to be the line that goes out to counter an opponent's attack, fortunately our second line is well equipped to do that. Nothing would please me more than having 3 lines that could control the puck and keep the play in our opponent's end. Put a bit more punch and speed into our 4th line and roll all the lines. Without CoHo, our 3rd line is nothing more than a dump and chase line with minimal puck control. If this is an adjustment phase in our overall strategy, I'm ok with it and patience will prevail, if this is just a plug-in position for Hodgson and he is expected to be a shutdown center on an energy line then it is a waste of time.