I would sit, or trade Higgins personally. But if its Brouwer and MoJo; its not an issue for our cap this year. Watch top cup favorites; they always have seriously good players, even in the press box as healthy scratches. But then they come needed.
Raymond does look very good this year; burst and stop then an added element of puck control and passing instead of just going wide for a weak shot or getting knocked down. He's added an element of deception to his game.
Booth is just such a match up problem for other teams; lightning speed and he's very big and strong. Go back 8 (?) years and look at Edmonton's last cup finals team. They were slammed for having questionable talent, Pronger aside, but had so many guys like Booth who were big and fast (including Torres) to control match ups. So when his scoring or passing is off, his line still draws big guys in match ups which free's the Twins.
You guys, Ossi and yourself, are great hockey fans. I come from a coaching background. You get excited by the best talent, which is fair enough. If I don't have anyone as good as the Twins, I look at how many guys i can beat up and take out of the picture; ref's swallow come play off time. I look at our team and see ways to put them in positions that are hard to deal with.
- First thing I'm doing is sending guys to chat with Bieksa (who can't resist) and pound Tanev who is small. Then we all see what happens when Edler or Ballard play on their off side; they start making mistakes. And I lick my chops when Alberts plays or when I see Raymond alone in a corner.
- I'm loading big guys on the Twins and daring Kesler's line to win the game against my top line.
-I save a big behemoth to sit in front of the net on the PP when Garrison is not on the ice, nobody else can move him. (And this btw is the biggest benefit to adding Garrison not his shot, we had no one last year).
- I send a big fast for-check but zone off the neutral zone at the same time. Vancouver has numerous dangerous passing D, but nobody who can lug the puck out against pressure.
FYI I did not make these idea's up; observed them being executed by Quenneville, Suter, Trotz and Julien. And watched as we ran out of bodies who could compete.
Look, if Kesler, Booth and ? can stay healthy playing hell bent hockey for 16 wins, great! But what has looked like a cup winner has broken down right there the last 4 play off years! A little extra depth would do it!
I'm with you on Booth and Raymond, I love how you broke down both & what they bring, especially Booth.
Here's the thing though, the argument is this team was too soft against Boston, which perhaps we were. Against LA? I don't think so. But anyways back to Boston.
So we outhit Boston just as much as they outhit us, so though they had the advantage, we weren't dominated physically like some like to think, now look at how much different our team is.2011 Playoff Line-up:
Daniel - Henrik - Burrows
Raymond - Kesler - Sammuelsson/Higgins
Torres - Lappy - Hansen
Tambellini - Hodgson - Orescovich
Hamhuis - Bieksa
Edler - Ehrhoff
Ballard - Salo
(Might not be correct, just projected)Then ours today:
(Projected when healthy)
Daniel - Henrik - Burrows/Kassian
Booth - Kesler - Kassian/Burrows
Raymond - Schroeder/Lappy - Hansen
Higgins - Manny - LappyWeise, Volpatti
Hamhuis - Edler
Garrison - Bieksa
Ballard - Tanev
- Lets just say for the arguments sake Schroeder is kinda on the bubble in the playoffs, sometimes playing sometimes not playing.Okay now breaking it down:
Sedins, Burrows, Hamhuis, Edler, Bieksa, Higgins, Exc. are all a wash (All the players that were here before)Booth > Sammuelsson
, safe to say it is an upgrade. Booth isn't overly gritty but is bigger, stronger and more physical. Improvement made.Garrison > Ehrhoff
, Garrison is bigger, meaner, more physical, more tough. Another improvement.Salo = Tanev
, Niether players are tough, gritty, exc. It's pretty even.Kassian = Torres
. For toughness, size physicality it is equal, the advantage here is Kassian can play a skill game aswell and slot anywhere in the top 9.
Schroeder = or < Tambellini, both small that play bigger than they are, might give the edge to Tamby as he can be effective in a 4th line role whereas Schroeder is top 9 or bust basically.Weise > Orescovich
, Orescovich could hit the same but Weise fights more and is overall an upgrade.Now broken down as lines:
Daniel - Henrik - Burrows = Daniel - Henrik - Burrows
Booth - Kesler - Kassian > Raymond - Kesler - Sammuelsson
Raymond - JS - Hansen < Torres - Lappy - Hansen
4th Line + depth guys > 4th Line + depth guys
(Keep in mind for the 3rd line we still have Higgins and Lappy avaliable to use if we want a tougher 3rd line)
Then the defense overall is greater than the old one.
So really when you break it down, with the emergence of Kassian, the additions of Booth, Garrison, Weise, exc. We have gotten alot bigger, alot meaner and alot tougher. This team has much more depth in grit and physicality than the last did.
And in 2011 when we were apparently as soft a button, we still managed to make it the distance in the playoffs just getting to the finals then going 7 with the Big Bad Bruins and outhitting just as much as they outhit us in that series.
After all the improvements that have been made, I think we are just fine myself. That wont be why we don't win the cup and it wasn't the last time either.