DelPen wrote:Niskanen has been better in the top 4 than Michalek has been. Small sample but top 4 isn't an issue. Arguing about the bottom 2 is mostly silly. It would be nice to have an upgrade but the defense is not the problem on this team. Letang has had the most mistakes and the only bad goal due to defense was the Jets goal where Engelled didn't get a stick on a pass to the crease and Lovejoy just stood there. But everything else, especially with Despres, he recovered but it was lazy plays by the forwards not back checking. Bylsma needs to play them more, the choice to keep Despres is bewildering if he's not seeing more than 10 minutes a game.
The 3rd line will be fine if Sutter has Cooke and Kennedy with him like Staal had. And Staal being on the roster now too wouldn't have prevented what happened vs the Leafs and Jets.
And I'm also not convinced Sullivan would be helping things either right now but he would be better than Tangradi, Kennedy or Jeffrey in too 6.
The problem breaks down to forcing Tangradi into the lineup and moving all the lines around. It had to be tried but even in the first two games he was moved around because he can't hack top 6 minutes which means line shifting in the 2nd and 3rd. We saw that take its toll finally vs the Leafs and the Jets game was a mess except for a PP goal and a Crosby breakaway from the drop of the puck.
Thought Tangradi could be effective on the 4th line but not with Adams out there too, no speed at all. And Adams is a much better player so Tangradi has n place on this team now.
Give Jeffrey a shot and see if he can click in the top 6. Then look to Bennett. If that fails look outside.
But they look the same as they did vs Philly last year. Same stupid mistakes and disorganized play. Until they stop being morons on the ice no one can say if this roster is better or worse than last year with certainty.
Staal might have helped getting a shot on goal in the first 10 minutes of the 3rd. In addition to the dumb mistakes, we also didn't do squat offensively as the game went on. He's simply better than Sutter. That gap makes a difference, IMO. And niskanen looks better than Z. But Z is much better than our 5-6 guys. Nice of shero to send him home where he wanted to be, but he'd be pretty useful right now on this team. And Sullivan's presence would end all this wing discussion pretty quick.