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2015/16 In-Season Talk

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So I was going to make this part of my last post, but when I actually wrote down the numbers my jaw dropped. Eric Staal, may or may not be the right Captain for this team, but he is NOT the problem. The problem is lack of production from every other dang forward on the team. No one is helping him. At all.

 

But staying with the theme that frankly outside of Eric we have no one creating much (Rask maybe #2 there), and the cup year.

 

Winger Assists 05-06:

 

Stillman: 55

JWilly: 45

Whitney: 38

Cole: 29 (in 60 games)

 

Winger Assists last year:

 

Lindholm: 22

Gerbe: 18

Semin: 13

Skinner: 13

 

it's the same with goals, but assists also show creation of plays, of cleaner offense.

 

Points: I'll do parings of 1-4 wingers.

 

J Willy: 76

E Lindlholm: 39

 

Cory Stillman: 76

J Skinner: 31

Ray Whitney: 55

Nathan Gerbe: 28

 

Eric Cole 50

Jiri Tlusty: 23

 

Total points from top 4 wingers:

 

2005-06: 254

2014-15: 121

 

Delta: 133 points.

 

Then that team had Brindy: 70 points vs Jordan: 41 points* at second line center.

And Cullen 49 points vs Rask: 33 points at third line

 

Delta at 2/3 center: 45 points.

 

 

* prorated to Brindy's games played since J missed half the season.

 

 

So my contention is that the main problem is not E. Not the coach. It is that our attempts to draft and find top six wingers has been far too weak. Part of this is the turtling of Skinner's numbers, and the (still very early but not happening yet) inability of Lindholm to get to that level of a #5 pick.

 

This is exacerbated by Jordan simply not finding offense either. (Though, like E. if he had better wingers he might (he did in Pitsburgh for two years and two playoffs)).

 

Looking at the elite teams and most of them have supporting firepower. It does not all come from one player. Chicago and Tampa, last year's cup finalists are perfect examples of this.

 

The cliche that great players make those around them better just doesn't work when the players around them are way way over slotted. That and I am not saying Eric or Jordan are "great" players anyway. But Eric was pretty great when he's had wingers. As we know, the cup year in question Eric outscored all of the guys listed above, by 24 points to the next guy.  And, once more, he was on nearly that pace with Semin in the lockout year, when Semin was actually playing.

 

 

So, we have shorn up the defense of the future. When Fluery is ready, we are in good shape there. I say the easiest road to recovery is to keep E on the right deal. Then move heaven and Earth to find 4 wingers. Now that said, Lindholm and/or Skinner could be two of them IF they find their games. In that case we need two more.

 

It will be very difficult until then though. We will need Lindy and Skinner to find offense soon, or we wlll keep trying to win 0-0. Versteeg could be enough to scrape by if Lindholm and Skinner and Rask find it. But that's just to scrape in, and even that is fading fast.

 

You might want to look years in the league when comparing those guys from 05/06 to the crop of new guys we have. 

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You might want to look years in the league when comparing those guys from 05/06 to the crop of new guys we have. 

 

It does matter if we are trying to blame Lindy or maybe Skinner.  It does not matter if we are looking at the net effect of having those guys vs. not having them. Though Semin and Gerbe and even Tlusty had enough years in.

 

The utter disaster of Semin is part of it. He was supposed to be one of those guys. So far, not having him glide around hasn't made much difference, but that whole thing was a big swing and miss on the idea of getting an elite winger in here, that will take some getting past.

 

Also, some other teams NYR, Chicago, Minnesota, have been able to find the legit guy in UFA, which is also a disadvantage to us. For the cup team JR was able to find a couple of guys as UFA's under the radar, and that helped.

 

Anyway, my point is that the biggest thing we (and I) go round and round and round on here is the role of especially Eric Staal on our futility over the past several years. Even more acutely an issue as he is in his last contract year.

 

 

I guess this is my take: Eric Staal is not a classically "great" generational talent that can play with your great aunt and get her 60 points. But he is pretty dang good, and capable of 90 points if you put him with one elite and one solid winger. None of our wingers were ready for prime time last year. None. (Yes, Lindholm was still a teen, so it's not his fault, but that doesn't change the outcome). So far this year it is the same, with the possible exception of Versteeg.

 

I still have great hope for Lindy. Skinner has the talent, and can still break out. But to this point it is not happening yet. Until it does, get ready to keep trying to win a lot of games 0-0.

Edited by remkin

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The term " capable " is a relative term. 10 years ago...yes.  Today.. lots of doubt and recent years are showing decline. I am willing to take a chance on the unknown rather than keep throwing money at the current diminishing results. What I'm saying is that our future is brighter on a new path.

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Well guys...I think we can all agree that this team is officially on the pain train to nowhere.

7 games in, dont think so..JMO

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So is it time to put Skinner on the 1st line with Eric and hope for the best?

I've been wondering since Washington why we haven't tried E.-Rask-McGinn as the top line. Then Skins-Jordan-Lindy (which has had some success in the past) and Gerbs-Nesty-Steegs.

 

Shorter: Slotting Lindy, Skinner and Rask out of the top six I just don't get.

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Hey what can it hurt? Put Skinner on one now the top 2 lines and just keep him there. Things can only go up from here. I guess it's time to seriously consider that this team may have the worst record in the league. Are there any generational talents at forward in this upcoming draft?

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What are you talking about?!! Apparently this was a great signing and when I questioned it due to never seeing him play a single regular season game with the canes I was told I was wrong. 3 million well spent.

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All right, didn't think i'd be saying this, but i think i want Khudobin back.

Nah...but can we convince Manny Legace to un-retire?  He was the last decent backup we had.

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Yep, put a cold goalie against a top 3 offensive team in the league. Makes sense.

 

In what alternate reality are the Sharks a top 3 offensive team?  As of this morning they are #12 in GF, and that's after scoring 5 on us last night.  Before that they had only scored 18 goals and were on a 3-game losing streak...

 

edit - Just did the math.  Before last night, San Jose was 15th in GF.

Edited by realmdrakkar

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Dear Ron Francis: 

 

Last night:

Captain: -3

Alternates: -5

Result: NEFC (Not Even Effing Close)

 

Year-to-date:

Captain: -3

Alternates: -9

Result: 2W, 6L

 

If you were previously unsure whether this team has leadership issues... ARE YOU NOW??? 

 

"Ridiculous" doesn't even begin to capture it.

 

Sincerely,

One of the people whose investment in this team pays your salary.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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What are you talking about?!! Apparently this was a great signing and when I questioned it due to never seeing him play a single regular season game with the canes I was told I was wrong. 3 million well spent.

Your not seeing him play doesn't mean he didn't play great last season for Vancouver, Blue. He did.

 

Unfortunately for us, however, he is now in the StAaL VoRtEx, where previously effective, great-in-the-room players come to die.

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Nah...but can we convince Manny Legace to un-retire?  He was the last decent backup we had.

 

Stats wise, Khudobin was the best we ever had for one seasons work during 13/14

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The good thing is that Lack  is THIS bad. Because he can't be this bad. It is literally impossilbe. Therefore, he is fighting it. Therefore he can find it again. He started 41 games last year and had the 12th best save % in the league: .921. The year before he was .917 over another 41. That's 82 starts.

 

Last night he was .692.

 

Simply put, no one is that bad. Not even the worst, waiting in the AHL 4th option guy.

 

Right now that's the best I have, but the odds favor Lack finding his game. The trick is how. He needs to get back in there. But after that performance, it will be hard to swallow. Stlll, we need him to have any chance. We need a win streak. We need two strong goalies, or we will be in the Austin Matthews race.

 

But far too early to give up on him.

Edited by remkin

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I agree that although Lacks game last night was wanting it is far too early to give up on him. Lets wait and see. I can't imagine he won't find his game.

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I agree that although Lacks game last night was wanting it is far too early to give up on him. Lets wait and see. I can't imagine he won't find his game.

I agree, but I will say this: He had incentive to find it last night, playing in his former conference. That he did not, and that our presumed next Captain was on the ice for four of their five goals, all of which came at even strength, does little to encourage me that these two will one day be the backbone of our D.

 

I know, I know - everybody has bad games. But I'd be feeling a lot better right now if these two hadn't thrown in such a clunker at a time when the incentive NOT to should carry the day.

 

And don't even get me started on what, optically at least, seems to be Eric's selfish response to being put back on the wing.

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In what alternate reality are the Sharks a top 3 offensive team? As of this morning they are #12 in GF, and that's after scoring 5 on us last night. Before that they had only scored 18 goals and were on a 3-game losing streak...

edit - Just did the math. Before last night, San Jose was 15th in GF.

The Penguins are at the bottom half in offensive stats, but they are a very potent team. The Sharks are the same way. And SJ's been without Logan Couture. They have Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, Couture, Hertl, Ward, Burns. That's as talented of offense as there is in the nhl.

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And don't even get me started on what, optically at least, seems to be Eric's selfish response to being put back on the wing.

I have to say, this thought crossed my mind. He didn't look happy and I thought his play was possibly a reflection of that. Then again, we never know which E. Staal is going to show up regardless of position.

Maybe he will start showing consistency because it is a contract year, maybe someone will hit his brother......

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....Maybe he will start showing consistency because it is a contract year, maybe someone will hit his brother......

At a loss to understand this.  He's the model of consistency.

 

It's October and he's nowhere to be found, again. ;)

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It's getting tense around here, not that I don't understand why.  ;)

 

Think I'll take a break and go shoot some ducks and geese in Saskatchewan.  Maybe check out the action at a local rink one evening.

 

You folks figure this all out and I'll see you in a couple of weeks.

 

I expect a winning streak.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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