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  1. I don't blame Bieksa for signing the contract, or for taking the ice time. Of course he does. He's being badly managed, which is typical of AV. But, if you're looking for players that are not good enough to be on this team or players who harmed their team tonight, Bieksa is one of them. Bieksa's mistakes are magnified so much because they are so frequent and so costly. Look, every player is going to take dumb penalties once in a while. The first penalty Bieksa too was simply stupid and undisciplined, but it wasn't at a crucial time and can be forgiven. The penalty he took in OT wasn't the most black and white call, but it was interference, it's been called regularly in the NHL, he's a veteran player, and, perhaps most importantly, it was obvious he knew it was a penalty the moment he did it (a good sign of guilt is the 'what did i do?' hands in the air BEFORE the refs arm goes up). That said, is it the worst penalty ever? No. Would it have been as 'magnified' if another player did the same thing? Probably not. But, the reason it is focused on is that Bieksa so consistently makes errors at important times. And that's a player you don't want on the ice for 1/3 of every game.
  2. If you are worse than four other d-men on the team, that means you are NOT a top four d-men. You know, I really, really wish Bieksa would get traded out of here because I think it would be good for the team, but my beef isn't really with him. The problem is coaching. Bieksa has not played well enough to warrant the ice time he gets and that's the coach's decision. Do I blame him for signing the contract? No. Do I blame him for playing when he gets the call? No. It's the coach's job to recognize that the player isn't good enough to play 20+ minutes a game and AV is not doing that. I've said many times before that I think more often than not this team wins despite AV, not because of him. So, the 'hate' for Bieksa is really a wish that he wasn't being mismanaged. I'd love to see him as a 5th d-man at 5th d-man money playing 5th d-man minutes. As a top 4 guy, he's a liability. Edit: I really think it's worth noting that even those people saying he played ok often qualify the comment with "for Bieksa." That tells you something. If he doesn't royally screw up, it's a good game. He needs to be a positive contributor to warrant the minutes he gets and, mostly, he gets credit for not being a detriment. Not good enough. Even when he does do something good, it stands out from his disinterested or poor play so much that it looks amazing when, really, it's what should be expected of a guy who plays the minutes he plays, with the guys he plays with, at the pay-grade he's in.
  3. 1. He coughs up the puck in his own zone on a regular basis due to casual play or bad passes. He also enjoys killing a rush behind the net. 2. He does have some speed on occasion and can contribute on the rush, but usually doesn't due to (1) 3. What grit? He makes an angry face, that's about it. He doesn't throw many good hits, he doesn't fight, and he doesn't clear out the front of the net, so what is grit? 4. Nothing. He did relatively nothing. And when you're eating up the salary he is, you shouldn't be given a passing grade for doing nothing. In fact, I thought tonight was a pretty good game for him and the only notable things he did were take two stupid penalties. 5. I don't really care if he fights. In fact, paying someone his salary to fight seems silly, but I keep hearing he's tough and 'has grit,' so I'm wondering what it is. It's definitely not fighting. 6. I don't know what he brings to the dressing room. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy and the other players probably like him just fine. He's wearing the A, so maybe he does have some leadership. But, you know what, so do a lot of other guys and I would hope they would bring it on the ice, not just in the dressing room. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Bieksa isn't an NHL d-man. He's just not a top four d-man on most teams, and definitely not on this team. Is he really better than Edler, Erhoff, Hamhuis, and Ballard, not to mention Salo when (if) he returns? So, if he's not a top four guy, why is he making top four money when that could be spent elsewhere and and why is he eating top four minutes (doing things like taking penalties in overtime). You could say that was a tough call in OT and maybe it was, but they've been calling the pick regularly in the NHL for years and it was obvious that Bieksa knew it was a penalty the moment he did it. He's just not a smart player. Add that to his list of skills I guess.
  4. Like what? I keep hearing this? What did he do tonight, or any other night over the last season or so, that any 5th d-man in the league could not or would not do? He coughs up the puck. He rarely makes good hit. He's 50-50 at best on getting the puck out of his zone. He doesn't fight. He takes bad penalties. He rarely scores. What is this mythical skill set? Every other d-man on the team outplayed him tonight, including the hated (playoffs last year) Alberts, so why would you waste nearly four million dollars of cap space on him? I suspect it's because the rest of the league has seen how overpaid he is and won't eat the contract for a 5th or 6th d-man. At that position in the depth chart, I think he's an asset, but he is so very clearly not a top four d-man on this team. Maybe on the Giants....
  5. When a player is paid nearly 4 million dollars a year and it's a credit to him that he was average at best, that's a fail. The only notable thing he did in tonight's game was take two stupid penalties, one of which was in overtime. That's not what you want out of a highly paid d-man. Hmmmm, what was the problem with O'Brien? Oh yeah, undisciplined....and at half the price....
  6. I watched the first two seasons on my puter from downloads. Easy to find. It's a good show, but the overall story arch is starting to drag. It's really the same problems and plot twists being recycled over and over. That said, very well written and acted, but needs to get novel again.
  7. I think it reruns a few time during the week.
  8. Agree with all of this. Dexter is still about the best series on TV, though Breaking Bad is wonderfully acted, but not as well written (in my not so humble opinion). SOA is great - I wish I could get it some other way than subscribing to Superchannel or downloading it) -- though it was getting a little lame at the end of last season. Like Walt and Jesse, some of the SOA gang needs to improve their criminaling skills...they have very short attention spans. But, great shows, head and shoulders above almost anything else on TV these days.
  9. Great show, but I find it so tense to watch. It's not so much enjoyment that keeps me watching as it is having to know what will happen....because Jesse and Walt are the worst drug dealers ever! They've really moved away from the early portions of the show that relate more directly to the title...I'd like to see Walt do a little less wimpering and recapture some of the strength in the character from the first season.