Mondi wrote:But come now, pointing out that the team is bad or struggling or declining or not showing signs that they might snap out of it is perfectly legitimate criticism. And, it does not make people non-fans.
Is that what RoyalDude is up to posting Leafs player stats and publicly fellating the GMs of other teams?
The team's offensive production is awful right now and has been below average most of the year. The powerplay has been brutal and has been the subject of a lot of criticism here on this board by posters like Listercat (comes to mind because he wrote an excellent post on the subject quite recently) whose 'fan credentials' aren't being questioned by anyone. It's because he's not a god damned whiner which as rats points out gets old in a hurry.
And you can say "yeah they are injured but that doesn't," all you like but the fact is those injuries have hugely exacerbated the problem we already had which is not enough scoring depth, key scorers in some degree of decline and falling scoring in general.
To wit: since the league stopped calling obstruction (and particularly in this Conference) scoring has fallen markedly and while a player like Henrik still led the West in scoring his numbers have declined like everyone else. Since then (two years ago now) we've seen Daniel lose a lot of his finish and fall a step behind Henrik, and Alex Burrows has struggled as well (his goals/game fell slightly last year and this year obviously he's run completely dry, I don't it is permanent but I doubt he reaches his peak again either). So that's where we stand in general.
Now saddle our best player (Henrik) with one and then two moderately serious injuries and take Burrows out of the lineup completely and is it any wonder the line struggles to score? I mean who have they looked their best with since Burrows went out - Dalpe for one game? It's a brutal situation and that makes it imprudent to project their future performance (while healthy) from this most recent stretch.
(Despite all this they have still been middling at even strength - 17th in goals per 60 minutes of ES ice time - and their powerplay has been dragging them into the bottom third of the league.)
Anyway throw in an injury to the starting goaltender, a good defensemen, a few more forwards and it's little wonder this team looks badly underskilled. Because they were already underskilled and then lost a bunch of players forcing others to play over their heads.
As for the "we have a bad GM," "they are awful this season" stuff - are you surprised this is a bad year? Because that tells me you're not paying attention. Gillis spent what, $2-3m on free agents this offseason? And he got a top six forward and a middling third line center with that money. The fact that the team isn't doing worse is actually pretty remarkable.
If the team can't create enough flexibility to make significant improvements in the offseason, I will certainly question what's going on with management. But - and I've said this before, I'll say it again now even though people who want to believe the GM is incompetent will continue to do so regardless - it's not surprising that a team spending as much cap money as they were three seasons ago (and with remaining players eating up an additional 10% of the cap on extensions) has been unable to keep pace.
edit: and since you bring up Hodgson.. 10 goals at $4.5m vs. 9 goals at $870 000. You think Cody brings five times more utility than Kassian to the table? Tell us which $3.6m in salary you'd cut from this team to make swapping the two players back an improvement.