Well, we're a chance?
For what its worth, critique of our D may be unfounded. Our D is amongst the league leaders in goals by a defence. And its considered capable of being a lock down unit. Assessment on any improvement required in a moment.
A few things have to go well. First and foremost; Kesler has to stay healthy and round into form. Take away his goal mouth blunder against Dallas; 4 points in 6 games is not bad. He's played pretty well.
But the barometer of Kesler and the team is not just whether he is going well, it's whether his line mates are also a threat. Not just Kesler getting PP results with the Twins; his LINE has to be dangerous 5 on 5. The Twins will always be dangerous. If Kesler/Booth is going, teams have NO chance of stacking all their big guys on the Twins, because these guys will, well lets say they should with their size and speed, eat small or slow opposition. When Kesler and his line have been hurt, being able to stack the Twins has been successful.
The related question surrounding this, is whether Kassian manages to establish himself on the 2knd line. Or the first, because then Burrows is available for Kess/Booth. Again, the #1 one barometer will remain if our big, fast and nasty 2knd line can draw the match up's which free the Twins to do their thing... Kass is a rookie, we should get veteran depth to lighten up pressure on him and cover the inevitability a RW gets hurt.
2knd; Bieksa and Tanev CANNOT get hurt. Nor rely on Tanev too much as he is small. We're already playing left side D on their off side routinely, and all have shown some vulnerabilities doing so. It is a concern! But I suppose we could go an average 23 play off games without a right D getting hurt???
So our D is a concern! But also, we're not great in getting the puck up ice against pressure. There is a very good chance Kesler will come to form with our line up as is. It has not happened yet, but I think it will. It's not our ability to score from the back end, or defend, it's our D's ability to break pressure. I believe it will be the achilles heel if something goes wrong, and the top priority should we make a move > a right side defender who can rush the puck!
Barring a puck rushing guy; just depth right D or maybe a prospect who has already made it but can chip in.
I think another winger, a depth RW who can snipe at the deadline is an afterthought? It's so obvious, and these type players are routinely available for picks. Think a Kovalev or Boyes. That way, we're still dangerous if we lose Kassian or Hansen. Just count this done, and don't even consider it a move! And consider MG's sanity if it does not happen!
I value concern over centre last. I am not enamoured with Schroeder as a 3rd line centre. But I also think he is getting the job done. And he'll improve. Hansen and Raymond have been effective, Schroeder has been a factor in that, and he has not cost us with mistakes that end up in our net. But perhaps we are better served by getting a depth centre that also plays wing instead of a winger?
So yeah, we could win status quo. But I would like our chances a whole lot better with a puck moving right side D! It would be the signature move of GMMG's career, as these guys are HARD to get! It will cost us Lou! And I DOUBT we go forward without a deadline move for a depth forward!
Edited by Canuck Surfer, 26 February 2013 - 04:47 PM.