oldnews

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  1. It seems somewhat unfair that a GM like Yzerman, who had a whole lot to do with the current Tampa success - wouldn't be recognized as much as the current GM. Taking nothing away from Brisebois - who has made some good tweaks, but the foundation of that team has a whole lot of Stevie Y fingerprints on it - perhaps his name also belongs on that Cup.
  2. This Tampa team has a really solid combination of speed, puck pressure, and grittyness - the will of even their talented players to play a harder game and be harder to play against - a pretty deep and balanced group, probably moreso than in the past. Not hard to see why Dallas is having difficulty handling them where they managed to get by Vegas. Tampa just looks like a team that is always transitioning so quickly as a group - with a 5th gear that no other team can really match in the present.
  3. I'm not sure I can tell you exactly the point - there isn't one point - it's more a general context where - if you want it generalized - as I said in a different post - I prefer young players that handle hard circumstances like that differently - ie that do whatever they can to improve themself and their team-mates, who make working hard their first and foremost concern -and their own performance. If you want me to elaborate on the question of his critical disposition towards multiple management groups - for me, when you indicate that you think your managment group is failing or incompetent, by implication you are questioning the players they bring in, the contracts they give out - in the end, it translates into questioning the quality of your team-mates in the room. It's really problematic, imo when a principal critical voice of your management group - comes from a 21, 22, 23 yr old player - that is in the dressing room. Not his job - and even if he feels that way, it's counter-productive at the point it becomes public. Repeatedly, when it becomes a recurring dynamic - it gets to the point of looking pretty much dysfunctional - so what are the options? Fire each subsequent GM until Eichel is happy with one? Or recognize that not only he, but their young emerging core in general - is still young - and perhaps his expectation/entitlement to play on a winning franchise - is a bit premature, and possibly unrealistic. I know if I were the owner of an NHL franchise, the 21,22 yr olds would not be instructing the management decisions - (unless of course, that 21 yr old is an exceptional thinker, a fn genius and alien, like EP.)
  4. That is true - and the difference with him in the lineup, vs Benn - was obvious and significant. However, the Canucks won the Minnesota series - with two rookie D in the lineup in the elimination game. They then also knocked off St Louis - in spite of a key injury to Myers. If you ask most Canucks fans who've been around long enough to see them lose a Hamhuis in the SCF - as well as a host of other injuries to their blueline - and all the M.A.S.H. years since, I think most people would take a single injury to the blueline -and run with it. The blueline is not why they lost the Vegas series. So what was it? Is it a fundamental fault in the build? Was it Green's coaching. Or are we missing some of the organic elements of what happened while getting abstracted into hypothetical space that explains little? I think there has been a lot of smoke on this issue - some of it muddied by the comments of people like Friedman - who don't really know the team - and doesn't really know what happened between the period they were dominating St Louis, and being hemmed in their end of the ice for the vast majority of the Vegas series. His storyline - of the need to chase goalposts, again, and 'overhaul' the blueline - is misleading, but seems to be getting parroted a lot on these boards. I don't know why this remains such a blindspot - but the real challenges to the team that emerged - were what was happening in their forward group - not on the blueline. 1) top line - Miller was hobbled and forced to the wing. EP played great, Boeser busted his ass - and that line still produced admirably, but two fundamental things were limiting them. First, Miller is an 'elite' faceoff guy, so his inability to win the faceoffs he normally does, means a fair measure less 'possession' from the get go. Second, Miller is the principal heavier presence on that line - he's by far the most effective forechecker, something the team as a whole started to lack towards the end of the Blues, start of the Vegas series. Additionally, Miller was shooting the puck far less and looking instead to playmake - again because of his injury - and he did an admirable job - but when you combine that with Boeser also appearing to favour his wrist - and instead playing a hard areas game where he typically looks principally to find open spots to get his shot off.....the cumulative effect was a top line that was still good, but it wasn't quire creating the forecheck, puck pressure they need, nor did it have the weapons at it's disposal that it does when it's healthy. 2) Horvat's line relatively disappeared between the Blues and Vegas series. In the Vegas series, Pearson produced next to nothing, and Toffoli was so badly hobbled that he was, unfortunately, a liability. Did his best, but it was patently obvious that he was gutting it out to the point that Eriksson might have been as good or better an option. Easy to hindsight - when a player of his quality/ability wants to play and appears able to, I'm not going to second guess their decisions. Bottom line - the 2nd line was unable to create or sustain a forecheck, they wound up with horrible 'possession' numbers - they were beaten by a healthier opposition. Symptomatic of the forward group in general - the puck pressure, the relentless pressure they applied to St Louis - they simply were unable to muster vs Vegas. You can also note that as these problems overlap, the taxing of those remaining standing gets that much more to shoulder, and the team grew progressively more challenged to dictate pace at any point. 3) Perhaps as critical as any other development imo - Gaudette wound up centering a line, and needed fundamental sheltering, particularly against that opponent = Gaudette's line was getting pinned constantly....Sutter on the wing / limping / lingering shoulder issues or whatever in fact were the issues - was absolutely inopportune in my opinion. It's difficult enough to provide shelter for a line like that in the best of times, particularly when your priority is creating/providing the best conditions for EP's line - and Hughes. Factor the first two realities - a top line with Miller on the wing, and a Horvat line that was in rope-a-dope - along with a rookie centering a necessary-to-shelter 3rd line - and I think it should become fairly clear why the team was not executing the kind of forecheck they had earlier, why they were unable to get in and hit Theodore and Schmidt with the regularity they hoped, why they weren't as able to separate Vegas from pucks inside their zone, why they didn't exert as much pressure in the neutral zone...For the most part, the only line that was rolling - was the 4th line - a dzone start, shutdown line....yeah, Motte and Beagle managed to produce some counterpunch points and forechecked effectively in the rarer opportunities they had to attack and forecheck in the ozone, but the point is the rest of the forward group. So, given the above 'underlying' realities - and a bit of misfortune that their biggest, most physical D was playing with one arm, limited them. I was impressed nevertheless with how Myers handled guys like Tuch - but to the point - the harm reduction approach - the altered gameplanning - imo is impossible to understand outside the context of the above. Add to these factors - the loss of their MVP goaltender - and a ridiculously compressed playoff schedule - and it's not hard to understand why they prioritized protecting Demko. Trying to do so - as if Green 'didn't want to play a possession game' or as if the evidence was that the blueline was inadequate - whiffs imo on the role that the forward group as a whole plays in initiating that puck pressure up ice, in generating ozone 'possession', and also in playing effective defense. I don't disagree with the strategy of limiting access to the hard areas and second chances, while 'planning' to rely on counterpunch scoring. Sometimes your opponent carries the play, and these are critical 'harm reduction' defensive measures. Would an AHL substitute have made the difference? First of all - the problem was not the fourth line, or what winger was skating with Beagle and Motte. Second, none of them were both healthy and NHL middle to top six centers. I'm just not seeing much real engagement with the on-ice dynamic that emerged, or why it emerged - and that's not a pointed response to your post - it's just a general 'truth' imo.
  5. I actually read that start to finish - but what I see are a few 'prescriptions' - 'play a possession' game, change the lineup, but I don't really see any engagement with what actually happened in the Vegas series. First of all - the one 'technical' point you make is the claim that what you perceive as poor execution, and entries, on odd man rushes - are 'on coaching.' I have to fundamentally disagree with you on this - if you have to teach NHLers what to do on an odd man rush - they are not NHLers. Period. This is stuff you learn as fundamentals throughout your entire life, long before you ever arrive in the NHL - and it's true of every comparable sport - ie if you're playing in the NBA, you do not need to be taught how to execute a 2 on 1, period - you've been doing so years and years. The story that 'you'd see all 3 guys skating in the same line every single rush' just doesn't represent - I think you'd need to elaborate on and evidence what you mean by this. The claim that Green "didn't want his team playing a possession game" is downrigh odd. First, you're pretending to speak for his state of mind, and second you appear to be deducing this from what you perceive as their gameplan. "The sooner coaches realize possession wins games" is a one-liner that literally would go over the head of not a single coach in the NHL, and particularly Green. Most of what is referred to as "possession" - is a misnomer - and the idea that Green didn't want his team to play to possess the puck - is as bizarre a claim as I've read in any criticism of him. Gameplanning to reduce the chances they give up in the high danger and hard areas - is not the equivalent of 'not wanting to play a possession game.' What you haven't really done - is notice the difference in the team's gameplanning - as the playoffs progressed. It's a whole lot of 'prescription' with no teeth. What actually happened - for example, between the St Louis series when the team was rolling - and the Vegas series, where there's a kernel of truth to what you're saying - they did make concessions - they were playing a relative 'harm reduction' style of hockey. Why was that? If you don't dig into the reality of that question, it's hard to take the prescriptions seriously. We can pretend that a change in the lineup would have/could have/should have made the difference - but what is it the team was failing to do that a bottom six substitution would have solved? I don't think you've actually looked at the lineup - what was happening in the lineup - analyzed what was happening - and therefore don't really have any real prescriptions to offer - 'sub in an AHLer wadr is not a prescription to the 'possession' game.
  6. in fairness to Eichel - it's fair to be frustrated with losing and perhaps there's a lesson there for teams that intend to get as bad as possible (that approach is not having a great track record in the present NHL) - it's also probably fairly difficult to keep all this stuff out of the airwaves - media are always looking for 'inside information', people discuss it all in social media - he's been on a bad team for years - and he's young... I'd still prefer players that handle that differently, but he could be a better team-mate than it appears, and/or he could grow into being a better team-mate - who knows. I think it does say something about young players that come into losing circumstances however, and nevertheless identify with their team, and have a different kind of determination to make their team better (than trying to 'manage' it as a 22, 23 yr old?). I'm always wary of the "I demand results" types....in favour of 'what kind of results do I produce'? In the end, you drive yourself - if you want to pull a team out of losing, is there a better example/effect? He may be producing, doing his part on the ice, but he's 23 and his team is also young - if he thinks he's/they've earned 'winning' at this point, maybe that's premature. They weren't that bad this year - 30W31L - top 5 scorers all 25 and younger....
  7. Pretty sure this was Horvat's 6th season - he did have a taste of 6 playoff games in his rookie season - but waited 5 more.... In Buffalo it's been a fractured process - that Eichel has appeared to be 'above' at each turn. Does Eichel know how to build a hockey team? At 20, 21, 22, 23? I'd take the player that asks "what can I do to help make the team more successful?" over the Eichel entitlement show every time. How does he think his public chirping and moping serves the team? It doesn't. Period. It repels people. It puts blood in the water that opposing GMs smell. He throws his franchise 'under the bus' whether he realizes it or not. That's not his job - to be hs own team's canucksmarmy. His leaking publicly doesn't help anything. Once or twice might be understandable - this is a repeating cycle that he's become part of the dysfunction of. His job is to be a player, to help improve the players he plays with. I'm not sure his massive ego enables him to do so. I've heard enough of him - and he's on the opposing coast....Just trade him. Or trade us a few of those devalued pieces he's surrounded by.
  8. Exactly. I said this at the time, repeatedly (not hindsighting this) - Buffalo traded the wrong guy (ROR). And precisely the truth - about character young 'stars' - you want your Boeser, EP, Hughes types - to worry about their own performance first and foremost - and they do - they work hard, they seem to highly respect their team-mates - they don't carry themselves like prima-donnas. EP throws himself in front of shots, he dives to break up passes, he gets infuriated only when someone takes the puck from him. Those are all signs of very healthy, most important 'muscles' in these young guys - can't be underestimated/undervalued. Btw - Eichel has no limiting clause - they could send him wherever they want - so if he doesn't buck up, he could find himself in a place like Snottawa. They don't owe him a thing - they don't owe it to him to send him to a competitive team or contender - they are responsible to do what's best for the team in the end.
  9. I've always liked Killorn - numerous proposals to take his contract when Tampa was tight (and didn't really consider Miller a realistic take - thankfully, the managed that). Killorn has similar heaviness -and drive - to Miller. At this point though - it would probably take a LOT of movement out to enable that - the team needs to move a few veteran wingers imo, and would need to move another to make Killorn possible. But if we could be first in on Cal Foote (as they re-sign those young roster D).....get on the phone.
  10. I think they let him go in a stage where they weren't terribly concerned about depth (and hadn't really integrated young forwards yet - were in the interim)- they did that a few years running - they didn't really build the bottom six as deeply as you would if you intend to compete deep into the season. I wouldn't have hesitated to bring him back - and still wouldn't. I hope they do - it'd be good timing to add him to this group imo.
  11. Montour's rights and Ristolainen are more interesting pieces to free from Buffalo...
  12. Eichel has a challenging attitude. This 'my team isn't good enough for me' thing has surfaced before, repeatedly. The whole 'he just wants to win' thing sounds nice on paper. But it's the kind of thing that doesn't necessarily translate into leadership, and can easily become and remain an underlying rift. Who knows how it translates in his relationships with his team-mates - but 'star' or not, I don't like the way he soapboxes his expectations. Call it what you want - it's a 23 year old throwing his team-mates, coaches, GMs under the bus. Not a fan. At the same time, his (former ) GM Tim Murray practically cried on television when Edmonton won the lottery and Buffalo had to settle for Eichel. Looks like Eichel has been taking it out on Buffalo GMs ever since. Maybe Eichel and Buffalo are a better fit than they seem. Whatever actually lies beneath all the Buffalo drama - I wouldn't be enabling any player to be projecting publicly, pushing his coaches and managment staffs around. Just trade him - whether or not he 'requested' it this time. Get the alternative assets and move on. Lots of work still to do there - but some good opportunities for Buffalo this summer imo. In case it's not already clear - no interest in him whatsoever. Some of the proposals inflate this player to insane proportions.