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ncz82

Brind'Amour currently the worst defensive player in the league

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I've been really patient with him thinking that it's only a matter of time before he regains his defensive dominance but enough is enough. He's just not skating. He's not making plays on the defensive end and looks completely out of place out there. The -10 speaks for itself. He's been terrible this year. He always seems to be there watching the other team score when I see replays of the goals. I'm seeing no effort or hustle in his play. This is so not like him. I wonder if he is still recovering from his injury? Or maybe he's just getting old and lost his hustle? Either way he's hurting the team. It really pains me to say this because he's one of my favorite players and the captain. But I think that Lavi should bench him a few games.

I have been noticing this too over the course of the season. I was looking at the stats yesterday and when I saw Wallin at +10 and Brind'Amour at -10 it pretty much blew my mind. I hate to say this about the man that lead us to a Stanley Cup, but maybe some of this lack of hustle during games can be attributed to leadership. When he went down last year and Staal took over, we were a completely different team.

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Kind of hard to overlook. He's really struggled this year and did last year too. He's still very dominant in the face off circle but the rest of his game just isn't what it was. Someone in a PGA thread said it perfectly, he knows exactly how best to position himself but just cant seem to always get there.

I know getting taken off the top lines is a demotion to a player like him but I agree that he's starting to hurt the team, and his line mates are struggling around him too. Last year I posted that the make up of the whole team changed when Brind'Amour went down and the team got faster, more aggressive and was on the attack more. He's still a great leader and if you listen to or read any interviews with Canes players, he's still the guy they all look up to and listen to in the locker room.

Tough call, he's a huge piece of this team and everybody respects him but if he's not the best choice of players to be in certain situations, he should treated the same because winning is still the ultimate goal. He would make an amazing checking line center wreaking havoc on opposing teams, and he could still be huge for situational face offs.

Very tough call indeed.

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Kind of hard to overlook. He's really struggled this year and did last year too. He's still very dominant in the face off circle but the rest of his game just isn't what it was. Someone in a PGA thread said it perfectly, he knows exactly how best to position himself but just cant seem to always get there.

I know getting taken off the top lines is a demotion to a player like him but I agree that he's starting to hurt the team, and his line mates are struggling around him too. Last year I posted that the make up of the whole team changed when Brind'Amour went down and the team got faster, more aggressive and was on the attack more. He's still a great leader and if you listen to or read any interviews with Canes players, he's still the guy they all look up to and listen to in the locker room.

Tough call, he's a huge piece of this team and everybody respects him but if he's not the best choice of players to be in certain situations, he should treated the same because winning is still the ultimate goal. He would make an amazing checking line center wreaking havoc on opposing teams, and he could still be huge for situational face offs.

Very tough call indeed.

You are right on target. This is why it is even more amazing, and a bit of smoke and mirrors that this team has the record that they do given the schedule. Not just the players out, but the lack of stellar play from our stars: Staal, Brind'Amour, Eaves and Samsonov come to mind. But with Staal clearly playing injured and Cullen and even Sutter out, Brind'Amour's weak play hurts even more.

I and others mentioned this before the start of this year. Brind'Amour's minutes need to come down and he needs to find his way onto the third line. That second line should be centered by Cullen when healthy (rumored to be skating in Washingon on the Forslund behind the scenes video). The team's resurgence last year was timed almost exactly with Brind'Amour's absence from the line up.

Other than Staal, every other player has moved up and down the line up. Brind'Amour should be no different. Put him on the grinding third line if Cullen is back. If he starts to show improvement, he can always be moved back up.

Last year's elephant in the room was Cam Ward. This year it is Brind'Amour.

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He can finish and win face-offs but his skating really hurts the system, he is not the same player he used to be, even 2 years ago I don't recall him being so slow on the ice and turning the puck over so easily. He's also hindering Samsonov's play i believe.

I think his ice-time has to be cut down at even-strength. Special teams he's useful, but in transition he hurts the team, hate to bring it up but we all saw how well the team played after he got injured last year. Not saying he's a bad leader, but cutting down his ice-time at even strength opens up more ice-time for players who can create scoring chances and hustle to get back in the play.

Unfortunately Cullen and Sutter are injured, but one of those 2 should be taking his spot and playing with Samsonov, before the guy loses his self-confidence.

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Oh boy, another player bashing thread. We're averaging a new one a day, but during this awful losing stretch, it's not surprising to see. :rolleyes:

My take on Brindy: first, he is clearly missing his bread and butter linemate in Williams. Second, he is likely not yet at full speed following his preseason surgery. Third, naturally, he is older/slower. Lavi should be cutting his ice time to 18 or so minutes. And, to Lavi's credit, that's about what Brindy was getting earlier in the season. However, ever since Sutter went down, Brindy has been putting in more PK time and his ice time has been averaging about 22 minutes since the Islander game. Hopefully we get Sutter back and Brindy can be fresher with fewer minutes.

On Brindy's plus: he is third on the team in scoring; his shooting percentage accuracy is 18.2%, his best ever as a Cane and significantly better than his career average of 14% (I say "Shoot! Brindy, shoot!"); and he is currently second in the league in the circle winning 63.2% of draws.

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One would think that Brindy would realize that he has been on the ice a lot when the other team scores and asks for his ice time to be scaled back. May be in his mind he keeps thinking that this is going to be the game where he breaks out and everything gets back to normal for him. I could not imagine how frustrating it's got to be for him.

I don't think anyone on here is or physically could throw Brind'Amour under the bus.

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I understand the man is a Selke winner.. but he's also not a defensmen. He's not going to be the "best" defensive player in the league.. that would fall to a defensmen.. Is he a defense minded forward? Of course.

Brindamour is struggling.. but cut the man some slack.. he's 450 years old and he's injuried. Should he get less ice time? Perhaps, but the team is running out of warm bodies, we dont exactly have anyone to replace him.

Like Red Storm said.. Brindy and Williams were magic last year before they both got hurt, and that chemistry is also gone this year. He is already centering the second line.. with Cullen and Sutter out is he the 2nd best center behind Staal? Yeah, although Helminen is giving them both a run for thier money. Obviously given thier performance the last 2 games there no way you break up the Helminen, Ruutu, Larose line. Just think of the second line as a checking line, the third as a scoring/energy line and adjust ice time accordingly. I'm sure the 3rd line has been seeing a lot of ice lately.

As far as the plus/minus, the -10 is only half the story. He also has 4 goals and 4 assists, meaning 8 times he was on the ice when WE scored, compared to 10 times he was on the ice when the other team scored. Also, he is on the ice A LOT.. taking key face offs in our zone, of course sometimes he gets caught on the ice when the other team scores.

Obviously something is not right in Brindamours game right now.. I think injury and missing line mates has a lot to do with it. Hopefully him and Walker can work on some chemistry now that Walker is back.

Given his bad start to the year, I still wouldnt trade him for anyone. His knowledge and experience are invaluable in the locker room and on the ice.

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Oh boy, another player bashing thread. We're averaging a new one a day, but during this awful losing stretch, it's not surprising to see. :rolleyes:

My take on Brindy: first, he is clearly missing his bread and butter line mate in Williams. Second, he is likely not yet at full speed following his preseason surgery. Third, naturally, he is older/slower. Lavi should be cutting his ice time to 18 or so minutes. And, to Lavi's credit, that's about what Brindy was getting earlier in the season. However, ever since Sutter went down, Brindy has been putting in more PK time and his ice time has been averaging about 22 minutes since the Islander game. Hopefully we get Sutter back and Brindy can be fresher with fewer minutes.

On Brindy's plus: he is third on the team in scoring; his shooting percentage accuracy is 18.2%, his best ever as a Cane and significantly better than his career average of 14% (I say "Shoot! Brindy, shoot!"); and he is currently second in the league in the circle winning 63.2% of draws.

I don't see this as bashing, just observations. We hear complaints all the time that people aren't allowed talk negatively about the team here and this is a perfect example of how criticisms and negative observations can be posted without bashing. No one is trashing him but there are valid concerns worth discussing.

I hope it straightens itself out because a healthy Brind'Amour can carry this team on his back when needed, but a not so healthy or struggling Brind'Amour puts a lot of pressure on the teammates around him. He's used in all situations and has logged tons of minutes over his career. I think all folks are saying is maybe its time to take some of those minutes and give them to other healthy players that can log all the minutes more effectively right now.

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He also has 4 goals and 4 assists, meaning 8 times he was on the ice when WE scored, compared to 10 times he was on the ice when the other team scored.

Actually, presuming all goals were even strength, that would give him a -2. If he has 8 points, that means he's been on the ice 18 times when the other team has scored. We've only given up 21 even or shorthanded goals this year.

Now, in reality, while Brind'Amour has 8 overall points, six of those are are on the power play. So only two of his points count toward the +/-, meaning he's been on the ice for 12 even strength or shorthanded goals against us. Out of 21 total. That's nearly 60%.

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Actually, presuming all goals were even strength, that would give him a -2. If he has 8 points, that means he's been on the ice 18 times when the other team has scored. We've only given up 21 even or shorthanded goals this year.

Now, in reality, while Brind'Amour has 8 overall points, six of those are are on the power play. So only two of his points count toward the +/-, meaning he's been on the ice for 12 even strength or shorthanded goals against us. Out of 21 total. That's nearly 60%.

These stats speak for themselves. He's hurting the team. I don't think that I'm player bashing by saying that. Like I said he's one of my favorite players. But if he's not playing well then he either should play less or not play at all. That's the way this sport works. The best players should get the most ice time. If he keeps this up we could see another Dave Andreychuk situation. In no way do I want to see him go. But he needs to pick up his game because any other player would have been benched by now or waived. He's been a great player for us in the past and I hope he can be that player again. But right now he's hurting the team. The team winning is the number one priority and we've been lucky to win so far even without our stars playing well. But eventually we're going to need our best players to play like our best players. Not our team captain to be the worst defensive player in the league.

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Actually, presuming all goals were even strength, that would give him a -2. If he has 8 points, that means he's been on the ice 18 times when the other team has scored. We've only given up 21 even or shorthanded goals this year.

Now, in reality, while Brind'Amour has 8 overall points, six of those are are on the power play. So only two of his points count toward the +/-, meaning he's been on the ice for 12 even strength or shorthanded goals against us. Out of 21 total. That's nearly 60%.

I knew it was more complicated then I put it.. and I had 18 in my head.. it came out at 10 somehow but your right..

The PP and PK make it hard for the +/- since they dont count, so thats a little confusing too..

The point was that he was contributing, he's tied with Ruutu for 3rd on the team in scoring.

Also, the comparison to Wallin is a little skewed, yes wallin is a +10, but he only has 7 scoring points to Brindamours 8.. Although I would imagine Brindy and Nicky get nearly the same ice time. Still Rod is contributing, including a GWG and the team is winning so does it matter?

Last year Staal was a point a game.. literally, 82 scoring points, but was a -2, which would mean he was on the ice when the other team scored 84 times. Yet would you deny his contribution to the team? Last year Brindy was a 0 +/- but had 51 scoring points in 59 games played so again, nearly a point a game. As of this year he has 8 points in 11 games. Thats seems pretty good to me.

I seriously doubt that Brindamour being on the ice directly lead to all 18 of those goals being scored... I mean we have defensmen and goalies for a reason.

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I knew it was more complicated then I put it.. and I had 18 in my head.. it came out at 10 somehow but your right..

The PP and PK make it hard for the +/- since they dont count, so thats a little confusing too..

The point was that he was contributing, he's tied with Ruutu for 3rd on the team in scoring.

Also, the comparison to Wallin is a little skewed, yes wallin is a +10, but he only has 7 scoring points to Brindamours 8.. Although I would imagine Brindy and Nicky get nearly the same ice time. Still Rod is contributing, including a GWG and the team is winning so does it matter?

Last year Staal was a point a game.. literally, 82 scoring points, but was a -2, which would mean he was on the ice when the other team scored 84 times. Yet would you deny his contribution to the team? Last year Brindy was a 0 +/- but had 51 scoring points in 59 games played so again, nearly a point a game. As of this year he has 8 points in 11 games. Thats seems pretty good to me.

I seriously doubt that Brindamour being on the ice directly lead to all 18 of those goals being scored... I mean we have defensmen and goalies for a reason.

Wallin is a defensemen and he has one less point than Brind'Amour. Even so, 8 points at this point is not bad. But what good is playing average offense when you aren't hustling on defense and ultimately costing the team more goals then you are scoring? There's a reason Wallin has a +10 and Brindy is -10. That reason is hustle!

And when you ask "the team is winning so does it matter?" Well yes it does. When a player is hurting the team even when the team is winning that's a problem. You don't have to wait until we start losing games to address problems.

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These stats speak for themselves. He's hurting the team. I don't think that I'm player bashing by saying that. Like I said he's one of my favorite players. But if he's not playing well then he either should play less or not play at all. That's the way this sport works. The best players should get the most ice time. If he keeps this up we could see another Dave Andreychuk situation. In no way do I want to see him go. But he needs to pick up his game because any other player would have been benched by now or waived. He's been a great player for us in the past and I hope he can be that player again. But right now he's hurting the team. The team winning is the number one priority and we've been lucky to win so far even without our stars playing well. But eventually we're going to need our best players to play like our best players. Not our team captain to be the worst defensive player in the league.

How exactly is Brind'amour hurting the team? We are 7-2-2 and leading the divison. +/- is a wacky stat to begin with and I dont think its a good indicator of level of play. Is Roddy 100%? Heck no.. he's obviously playing hurt. Samsonov is also struggling and is a -5.. maybe its not all Rod's fault.

If your on the ice when your team scores you get a plus.. since they assign a goal and 2 assists, which is 3 out of the 6 guys on the ice (and not like the goalie has much of a choice) the odds are you were a part of the goal... either scored it or got an assist.. getting a - is a whole different ball of wax.. say theres a defensive breakdown and Ovechkin skates in alone and scores on a breakaway.. Rod gets a minus, but he had nothing to do with it... Rod was a -3 in the Pittsburgh game where they scored 4 goals in the 3rd period, 2 of which were 30 seconds apart and Rod was probably on the ice for both of them, since the first was a PK, and the second was probably before a line change. You guys would bash Ward or a Dman for making that mistake to allow the goal, but now you wanna say it was Rods fault just cause he was on the ice at the time? He was on the ice for the 4th goal that was an EN... but that counts as a minus.

In the game against LA we lost in OT, Rod was a -2, but the two goals he was on the ice when scored, both Pitkanen and Samsonov were on the ice for both of those goals as well. In the first game against Toronto he was also a -2, and Whitney and Melichar were both on the ice for both of those. But Brindamour was also on the ice for two goals scored by us, but both were on the powerplay, so he stays a -2 instead of being a 0. In fact as THM mentioned a lot of Rods points have been on the powerplay, so he would be more like a -2 if those +'s counted for him.

Theres more to Brindamour then meets the eye and not just a -10 is defining his play this year.. also, he's not the only man on the ice when we get scored on.. you cant pin it all on him.

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Wallin is a defensemen and he has one less point than Brind'Amour. Even so, 8 points at this point is not bad. But what good is playing average offense when you aren't hustling on defense and ultimately costing the team more goals then you are scoring? There's a reason Wallin has a +10 and Brindy is -10. That reason is hustle!

And when you ask "the team is winning so does it matter?" Well yes it does. When a player is hurting the team even when the team is winning that's a problem. You don't have to wait until we start losing games to address problems.

Why not bag on Whitney? He's leading the team with 3g and 8a but is a -5, so he's "given up" more goals then he's scored, How about Samsonov who has only 2a (in the last two games) and is a -5, obviously he is struggling.. People are singing the praises of Danny LaCouture, but he has 2 g, and is a -1, so by your logic he's costing the team goals.. Half the team is minus, half the team is plus... i mean the goals against have to be hung on someone... it doesnt mean sh*t.

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These stats speak for themselves. He's hurting the team. I don't think that I'm player bashing by saying that. Like I said he's one of my favorite players. But if he's not playing well then he either should play less or not play at all. That's the way this sport works. The best players should get the most ice time. If he keeps this up we could see another Dave Andreychuk situation. In no way do I want to see him go. But he needs to pick up his game because any other player would have been benched by now or waived. He's been a great player for us in the past and I hope he can be that player again. But right now he's hurting the team. The team winning is the number one priority and we've been lucky to win so far even without our stars playing well. But eventually we're going to need our best players to play like our best players. Not our team captain to be the worst defensive player in the league.

First of all he is a Center not a defensive player. He's always been know for being a top defensive forward, but he is not slated to be a defensive player. He has other players who are put on his line who are not producing for the team with negative scores which offsets his stats, but they are not producing goals or points like he is. Of this list of stats of 663 players in the NHL Ray Whitney is 620th place and Samsonov is 628th place for plus/minus stats and both of these play a lot on his line but don't have the points or goals that Brindy has, should we get rid of them too? To just blame Brindy for this is crazy. For a player who his a -10 of the 663 players in the NHL Brindy is 79th place in goals, 117th place for points, 48th place for shooting percentage, 37th place for special teams, and as mentioned above he is 2nd place in the NHL for face-offs, which has been talked about by hockey analysts that if you don't have a top face off man on your team, your not going to win games or see the playoffs. He is the only player with a negative higher than 5 that has the stats he has in points and goals. When you are a -10 but still rank in top of the NHL as I have listed above, it's unbelievable. We have to look at the players on the ice with him who are not scoring or contributing to many assists for goals and say they are the ones hurting this team, not Brindy. Which player do you think a coach would pick to have on his team the player with a -10, but has the stats Brindy has with scoring or the player with a -5 with no scoring?

I'm not sure you grasp that with his -10 that of all the top players on this team he is the one who is 2nd in goals with 4 (actually 1st in goals if you did not count Staal's 2 empty net goals of his 5, none of Brindy's 4 were empty netters) and 3rd in asssists with 8 for this team, does that not register with you?

I'm thinking that is why he has the ice time he has since he can produce goals and assists where others have the same ice time and don't even compare. Park the bus.

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Do some people still not understand how +/- works? It counts who is on the ice for even strength and shorthanded goals (defined as goals scored by the Hurricanes while they or shorthanded, or goals scored against the Hurricanes while they are on the powerplay). It is not point total minus goals against.

Taking out empty netters, Brind'amour has been on the ice for 2 goals for and 10 against at 5-on-5 (3 goals for, 13 against if you count empty net goals). That is terrible. Ignore the defensive play for a second and focus on the offensive: the Hurricanes have scored two goals while Brind'amour has been on the ice on 5-on-5.

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Brind A'mour has not been at top form, but I'd give it a little more time before I threw the noose over the beam. Rod's very motivated and a true athelete. You're not going to see him out of sorts for too long. The Hurricanes lineup has changed dramatically and we're enjoying the speed and energy of a lot of good up and coming players. It takes a little time to fully develop the new strands of chemistry that make a team gel into a more consistent force. Luckily, we're getting through the adjustment period with enough wins to stay on top, but Brind A'mour is a savvy veteran and him and the others will find their most productive places in the new mix as the lineup stablizes and they get more familiar with the tendancies of their different linemates.

Bridn A'mour is still the glue that holds this team together and will be here when we need him to keep everyone focused on the goal...the Cup.

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Do some people still not understand how +/- works? It counts who is on the ice for even strength and shorthanded goals (defined as goals scored by the Hurricanes while they or shorthanded, or goals scored against the Hurricanes while they are on the powerplay). It is not point total minus goals against.

Taking out empty netters, Brind'amour has been on the ice for 2 goals for and 10 against at 5-on-5 (3 goals for, 13 against if you count empty net goals). That is terrible. Ignore the defensive play for a second and focus on the offensive: the Hurricanes have scored two goals while Brind'amour has been on the ice on 5-on-5.

I already made this point.. but look at who is is playing with... Williams is gone, Samsonov is struggling, Eaves is not producing, LaCouture (a center) was playing left wing for a time on his line.. Brindy's not exactly playing with the cream of the crop right now.. if he was centering the line between LaRose and Ruutu he would be a +5 and not a -10... Its not all his fault.. look deeper into the stats before you lay it all on Rod's shoulders.

Is he playing his bext hockey? No.. but he has a bum knee, not nearly 100%, and he has been the BEST player on his line, which has struggled MIGHTILY all season long.

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I already made this point.. but look at who is is playing with... Williams is gone, Samsonov is struggling, Eaves is not producing, LaCouture (a center) was playing left wing for a time on his line.. Brindy's not exactly playing with the cream of the crop right now.. if he was centering the line between LaRose and Ruutu he would be a +5 and not a -10... Its not all his fault.. look deeper into the stats before you lay it all on Rod's shoulders.
Even the aforementioned Eaves and Samsonov have more goals for at 5-on-5 (4 and 3, respectively). LaCouture is not a center and barely played on Brind'amour's line.

Brind'amour's linemates at even strength by ice time played together (http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0333.php''>http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0333.php' target="_blank">http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0333.php[/post])

Samsonov: 112:22

Whitney: 48:46

Cullen: 48:23

LaRose: 47:01

Ruutu: 24:40

Bayda: 16:11

Eaves: 14:31

Walker: 11:53

Boychuk: 8:36

Dwyer: 6:25

Staal: 6:07

LaCouture: 4:27

Helminen: 1:10

Brookbank: 0:57

Sutter: 0:53

Is he playing his bext hockey? No.. but he has a bum knee, not nearly 100%, and he has been the BEST player on his line, which has struggled MIGHTILY all season long.
Best player on his line? He has two even strength points in 12 games and is a -10. You're right that his line has struggled mightily...which has a lot to do with the presence of Brind'amour on it.

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Bridn A'mour is still the glue that holds this team together and will be here when we need him to keep everyone focused on the goal...the Cup.

I'd argue rather that it's Staal and Ward who are the real glue of the team, and not so much Brind'Amour. This team is changing, and believe it or not, we have other players who keep the team up or down depending on their play, and Brind'Amour isn't one of them anymore. He's still one of our leaders of course, just not the end all that he's made out to be.

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I'd argue rather that it's Staal and Ward who are the real glue of the team, and not so much Brind'Amour. This team is changing, and believe it or not, we have other players who keep the team up or down depending on their play, and Brind'Amour isn't one of them anymore. He's still one of our leaders of course, just not the end all that he's made out to be.

....not according to the players. I've never heard a single player mention Staal or Ward when asked about the motivational leader of the team in interviews. In fact, I've never heard anyone other than Brind A'mour mentioned. I'd say that would be a better indication than any fan's argument. True leaders are not a dime a dozen. Perhaps Staal and/or Ward will be able to fill that role down the road a bit (and I hope they are), but I'm pretty sure neither are truly ready at this point.

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Even the aforementioned Eaves and Samsonov have more goals for at 5-on-5 (4 and 3, respectively). LaCouture is not a center and barely played on Brind'amour's line.

Brind'amour's linemates at even strength by ice time played together (http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0333.php''>http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0333.php' target="_blank">http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0333.php[/post])

Samsonov: 112:22

Whitney: 48:46

Cullen: 48:23

LaRose: 47:01

Ruutu: 24:40

Bayda: 16:11

Eaves: 14:31

Walker: 11:53

Boychuk: 8:36

Dwyer: 6:25

Staal: 6:07

LaCouture: 4:27

Helminen: 1:10

Brookbank: 0:57

Sutter: 0:53

Best player on his line? He has two even strength points in 12 games and is a -10.

Samsonov has 0G and 2A Eaves has 0G and 2A Cullen has 4G 0A LaRose has 4G and 2A (and has gotten 2G and 2A in the last two games and was NOT on Brindamours line)... Looks like he's outscoring all of his linemates except Whitney. Why dwell on the +/-? He's on the ice probably more than any other player then freakin Cam Ward, of course he's gonna get scored against.. Do you expect him to play D and Goal as well??

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This isn't any player bashing, it's trying to help 2nd line flourish before we start struggling to score goals.

Lately the 3rd line has really helped out, as well as the defense, but the 3rd line won't be able to keep this up in my opinion.

Granted Staal could be scoring more, but at least i see him backchecking and making good defensive plays and his skating allows him to backcheck. Whitney i don't see as playing poorly really, his offensive vision is still there, never known as a defensive player and he can finish and setup plays, he will get going.

Injuries isn't the reason rod's on the 2nd line, if Sutter and Cullen were both healthy nothing would change really. However, Lavi is the coach and this is his do or die season, so hope he makes the right adjustments when necessary. With that said, i love Rod and hope he can find his scoring touch around the net on the PP at least.

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....not according to the players. I've never heard a single player mention Staal or Ward when asked about the motivational leader of the team in interviews. In fact, I've never heard anyone other than Brind A'mour mentioned. I'd say that would be a better indication than any fan's argument. True leaders are not a dime a dozen. Perhaps Staal and/or Ward will be able to fill that role down the road a bit (and I hope they are), but I'm pretty sure neither are truly ready at this point.

lol, the players won't EVER say anyone but Brind'Amour is their leader. You can't listen to them. Instead, you watch how they play, or how the team does, when so and so goes down or plays well.

The fact is, when Brindy got injured last season, the team responsed incredibly well with Eric Staal and Cam Ward leading the way. Staal had something like 45 points in 32 games, and Ward of course started the last 20 games for us. They led the way, and Brind'Amour's injury wasn't so problematic as we all thought it would be.

Also, just ask yourself, which players, depending on their play, make the team do well or not do well? Brind'Amour's play is important, but not really a major factor...I mean just look at this season and also last. For Staal and Ward however, it's a different story. When Staal is playing poorly, the entire offense seems to struggle. And when Ward is bad, well...we just don't win very many games. But when both of these players are doing well, we're one of the top teams in the East. It's that simple.

Like I said before, Brind'Amour is important, but he's not the means to the end like some people hold him up to be. He was two years ago, but not anymore. And quite frankly, how could we expect him to be? This team really should be Staal's and Ward's...they're our franchise cornerstones. Brind'Amour may be our Captain, but he's not the only leader. Staal and Ward, imo, carry the team just as much if not more.

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