rockalt wrote:On that same note, I'm a little irritated with the Luongo got outplayed by Niemi schtick. I get that it's very easy to say given the stats and outcome, but don't kid yourselves, the Canucks were completely outchanced and outclassed in this series. They didn't generate anywhere near the same number of quality scoring chances that the Hawks did. When they did apply pressure on Niemi, he was very average. Switch the goalies' teams and he would have been lit up, I have no doubt about that.
Look I get that Luongo was sub-par (great games coupled with some real stinkers) but Niemi was no better. Difference is, he didn't need to be.
Couldn't agree with you more. Anyone who knows anything about goaltending could see Niemi fought the puck the entire series and got luckier w/ his scrambling than Lu. The Canucks failed to crash the net, get in his sight lines like they did with Quick the previous series and did absolutely nothing w/ the rebounds that were there. Contrast that with what Luongo faced. Lu wasn't good but neither was Niemi and Luongo could have been the difference maker for us but he got very little help. Its far to simplistic to look at the stats/win-loss results and conclude Niemi outplayed Luongo. Perhaps he did but it was marginal at best.
Island Nucklehead wrote:Bieksa... ohhh what to do with you? Forget trading him for anything with "young, potential" associated with it. MY hope, is that Bieksa is resigned to a lower cap-hit. I like his tenacity his "fuck you attitude" when he plays with it. With the likes of Salo, Edler, Ehrhoff this team is already dangerously soft on the back end. Fans are pissed with Bieksa because they expect him to play to a level he's not capable of on a consistent basis. Fine, I say adjust his salary for another year or two. Give us a number four guy who is paid as such and I think things will be a lot better. The only way we move KB is if we take back salary (re: underachiever).
My issue with Bieksa is will he ever play with that edge again? Will he ever put together a smart game longterm? The guy plays like a pussy half the time and no one is scared of his glare....no one is scared of him glaring *and* grabbing their jersey. When he played tough and on the smartish side he was a formidable force for us back there...he was our only blueliner who was mean back there. Perhaps injuries have gotten to him and messed w/ his head. I wouldn't be adverse to trading him but it would create a void as I can't think of anything we have to replace him with....problem is, if he doesn't play with an edge then we won't be missing anything we already didn't have. Thing is, can he get that toughness back? I'm sceptical to say the least.
I'd like to see a few things changed.
A tough energy crash 4th line much in the style of our '94 team. Antoski-MacIntyre-Hunter. Those guys used to start the game and soften the other team up....they could skate and man could they ever hit. We need a solid defensive player who can kill penalties (perhaps Johnson can still fit the bill) and 2 wingers who can skate and hit like mofos. Rypien could be one of them so realistically we need an upgrade over Hordichuk.....since we've got a fighter and a checker we need the ultimate banger who has wheels. Who that is I don't know but thats Gillis' job to find him. I know its not Grabner, Hansen, Demitra or Bernier.
The 3rd line center spot should be Hodgson's to loose. We know what we have with Wellwood and there is no upside there. Enough of the posturing crap, Hodgson is a blue chip prospect, its time he is shown some respect by this organization. The sky is the limit with him, do the right thing with him. The Sedins made the team before they were ready
, and they were given every opportunity to succeed....look at them now.
Time to give Schnieder the backup role and let him play 20+ games to give Lu some relief. If Luongo can't get his game back then at least you have someone coming up through the system who can potentially challenge for that spot. If Lu does find his game and Schnieder proves he's the real deal THEN you have some serious trade bait. Either way its a win-win situation and regardless of which goalie the team eventually moves (most likely Schnieder) we'll get a decent return coming our way. Either way Schnieder is an asset & needs the opportunity to show he can deliver. The salary saving jig is up; he can no longer be returned to the minors so the Canucks hand will be forced and my money is on them not resigning Raycroft as there's no value there in terms of potential or trade return.
FINALLY time for a BOLD move. If I was Gillis I'd make a run at a winger like Lucic or in that mold and do my best to make that deal happen...who knows, after their collapse the Bruins might be in the mood for a shakeup. Naturally that would cost significantly but thats the type of winger this team needs. If not Lucic, someone in that vein. Gillis is the guy who said he was going to be the opposite of Nonis and make "bold" moves. Well this, or something of that ilk, would fit the bill.
Revamp the blueline. Edler & most likely Ehrhoff aren't going anywhere, Salo has a NTC so that will be rode out. Alberts should be packed to Manitoba and used as relief help or relegated to the 7th spot. I don't mind Alberts as long as its spot duty. Worse than all those dumb penalties to me was that ridiculous backhand up the middle in the slot where TWO Hawks were swooping in (I'm sure he kissed Lu's butt in the dressing room over that save). If Alberts can be moved or dispatched to the farm team then Rome could easily fill that 7 spot. If and I mean IF Mitchell is healthy and would come back at a reasonable price then I'd bring him back. He brings a steady defensive presence we really need. If the price is too hefty I'd rather take a chance on Volchenkov or someone like that. I'd bring Baumgartner back (is his deal up?) as a depth guy in Manitoba again and if we run into injury issues again. Guy is fairly solid and despite getting out muscled he is above average w/ his outlet passes and brings some offence to the table. Rome should be retained as a depth blueliner but should not fit into our top 6 or else it will be a long season. So if its him & Alberts as our 7 & 8 guys w/ Baumer as 9 we'll be ok for depth.
That brings me to Bieksa & O' Brien...clearly updating our blueline is much easier said than done. Bieksa has no NTC so if he should be moved only if a physical mobile blueliner can be brought in. I have no faith he'll ever play w/ the same toughness he used to....unless there's an injury reason that we don't know about. That said, he could use a change in scenery. Before the playoffs I'd say O' Brien should be cut loose after his boozing antics and lack of training/professionalism. In the playoffs he showed guts and I loved his emotion. If his spot can upgraded then Gillis should bid adieu but otherwise he's earned his spot on this team and deserves a second chance. I think he still has upside that is yet untapped.
Whats out there via free agency that fits into our cap structure? Who's out there via the trade market? This is not going to be an easy task for Gillis but it is nevertheless an essential one. Its possible even Ehrhoff may have to be moved (if he can be upgraded and he def has more trade value now - and you have to give to get) in order to pull this job off but this is imo GIllis' most important task this summer.