Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hope Never Faileth

This in response to Pat's newest at BDHS:

Consider the fact that next season Greene will probably be solidly on his way to being a dependable player, if we make a deal with Gilbert and Pitkanen we're more solid on the back end than we've been since Pronger. Who knows? Smid may settle down, too. Staios and Souray provide the stability. (I never thought I'd say that about Souray, but he's been playing much better than my expectations)

Up front, Brodziak and Cogliano could take steps forward, so now we have (with Penner, Hemsky, and Horcoff) five highly skilled workers. Do we keep Stoll? I don't know, but better the devil that you know. Torres, Moreau and Reasoner are all solid guys.

Garon in know, there is a chance we tear up the second half of the season.

Can we do it?

Most of our losses last half were still pretty close, just like the majority of our wins. With a relatively healthy squad, is it too crazy to think we could tilt the ice in our favor more often than not?

If we can learn to avoid the infamous 3rd period meltdown, we could be legitimate contenders.

I look for a steady climb this second half - in contrast to our free-fall last year after the trade deadline- and I wonder if Lowe will have to make a trade at all?

If things click and gel, do we have enough right now to make the playoffs?

If we do well enough before the All-Star game, SHOULD Lowe trade up? Will we need some experience to survive the playoffs should we make it that far?


Black Dog said...

I think that next year they are a better team for sure.

You forgot Pisani.

Penner, Hemsky, Pisani, Horcoff, Moreau, Torres, Stoll, Cogliano, Brodziak.

I think that's nine NHL players up front next season and I would think that you could pencil in Thoresen, Nilsson and probably Gagner as well.

And the way Greene progressed early this year I think we're looking at five legit top five Dmen and then your sixth man is Smid or Grebeshkov.

This is definitely the year where we have to suffer with all of the kids up front just as last year we saw that on D. But I think there has been improvement lately and likely we will see a decent second half.

They are on the right track. I can't see Lowe moving anyone at the deadline unless its guys like Pouliot and Jacques and probably guys not in future plans - Tarnstom and Sanderson.

grease trap said...


I can't believe I forgot my cousin Fernando Pantsani. And of course Thoreson...he's not lighting it up, but he's also not really making any big mistakes as far as I can tell.

Yeah, looking at this team for next year, basically with the same roster, and I'm feeling good about things. At trade deadline, a package of Sanderson, Pouliot, JFJacques...for what? Who's taking that?

I'm not sure I see Transtrom going anywhere just yet, we need that insurance too much.

As for Gagner, I think next year we're still going to see a lot of growing pains, and Nilsson...I don't know yet...he's not bad, sometimes great, but inconsistent. I see good things for him if he can keep knuckled down and focussed, which is way harder to do than it sounds. However, to have both those guys in the line-up along with our new "core" makes for dependable, if not downright remarkable offense.

Could it be that next year Kevin Lowe is hailed as a genius?

Smid, Grebs, Stortini...all guys that hold a big question mark for me, but apparently not for MacTavish. These are obviously a few guys they want to bring along and feel that they can. Greene is a good argument for their ability to do so, and despite the friction, I think MABergeron became a far better player under MacTavish/Huddy, so it is possible.

All we need is some stability in the back-end and that means signing Gilbert and Pitkanen asap. What's it going to cost? 3 million a year for Gilbert..4 for Pitkanen? The numbers are climbing way too fast with all these recent signings.

Black Dog said...

I'd say more for both but Lowe really does have to sign them. A young pairing who can play top two minutes and do it well. That's a no brainer.

I think this year and next is really where they winnow out the D. I think Greene has progressed and also gets cut more slack anyways because he is big, tough and RH. For Smid and Grebs its the remainder of this year and then next to see if they can cut it. For all of his issues, Smid is really just a baby by NHL standards. One only has to look at Greene to see how quickly a guy can progress. Smid has the physical tools. Its just whether he can master the learning curve. If not then Chorney, Petry, Wild and Peckham will get their shots.

Sanderson gets you absolutely nothing. Pouliot and Jacques not much more at this point really.

Nilsson is intriguing. I think he has done better then expected - if he can improve over the remainder of this year we will see him again next season. Its all about progressing. As long as guys keep moving forward then they will stick.

So next year I think we see up front a similar situation with the D this year. Less kids, maybe Schremp and Reddox move in. Then we see if guys like Stoll and Torres or some of the kids get moved.

I'm thinking this summer Lowe does very little.

grease trap said...

More than 3 and 4...that's getting pretty tight. Where do we draw some quality discounts?

Agreed about a quiet summer. At least I hope it's quiet.

Schremp: do you really think he makes his way up? I know he's tearing up the AHL, but it's almost as if he can't match the speed or intensity of the NHL. Everytime he's gotten a shot he's looked hopelessly lost.