Rossi's article in the Trib today is a complete joke. This guy is ridiculous. No one in the hockey world has a timeline and he quotes some random Doctor and puts a timeline specific to Gonchar in his title?? He seriously needs to be reigned in.
I'm pretty shocked to see the downplaying of this injury that is bordering on insulting the impact that Gonchar, the defenseman who finished FOURTH in Norris voting last season, has on this team. I'm all for staying optimistic and looking to the guys that can help fill the void, but, the Penguins simply will not be as good a team without Gonchar.
Henry Hank: I'm surprised that you even care to get Gonchar back during the playoffs based on your review. Honestly, I always consider your insight to be backed up and very well thought out, but, I couldn't disagree more with your assessment of how little the loss of Gonchar will mean. There's no guarantee that the other guys in the line up can come together to replace all of the things that Gonchar brings to the team. Sure, the PP is potent enough to probably remain top 10 without Gonchar, but, its still speculation at this point to think that it will click the same without Gonchar. Even if Malkin ends up playing that point well, that means that he's not wherever else he would be on the powerplay. What about the combination of his defensive game and his first pass ability. Sure most of Gonchar's points come on the powerplay, but, that's true of basically every high scoring defenseman. How many plays would Gonchar get the third assist on a play that started because of a difficult pass to start things moving out of the zone? Its everything that Gonchar brings in one player that will be missed. Even assume that Goligoski has passing skills equal to Gonchar, he won't be as strong in his own zone; if Scuderi or Eaton are better defensively, they won't be able to break things out of the zone on the same level; etc.
I do agree that the Pens are a playoff team without him, but, things get a whole lot more difficult. There'll be a lot less room for error in a conference that has about eleven or twelve teams good enough to make the playoffs.
Eisman: I don't even know what to say. Again, based on this review, maybe we'd be better without him? No one on this team is a comparable replacement -- powerplay qb or otherwise. Conservative? I don't agree, but, even if he is, 50 points for seven straight seasons, I think I can handle that.
I guess we'll see, but, I definitely tend to agree with Kenny when he says that Gonch is the straw that stirs the drink.