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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Panic button...depressed

I have refrained from writing up my thoughts on most of the first 7 games. Life has taken time away from me, and I was frankly sitting back and letting things sink in. I have watched every game, some in person and some on TV. After tonight's game vs. Ottawa, I can't hold back anymore.

Hit the panic button. Gear up for trade rumors. Prepare for the "fire everybody" and "move the team" comments. This is ugly, to a level never seen by CBJ fans. That is saying something folks, cause we have seen ugly a lot over the last 10 years.

Not only is the team struggling, but now we are up to our ears in injuries. 3 regular defenseman out of the lineup (including Wiz) tonight, 2 rookies in on the back-end. Carter is out. Boll is out. This is ugly. Tonight was just unfathomable. 2 goals in 40 seconds? I literally don't have words to describe that. There is a mental darkness that this team can't get out from under right now.

So instead of dwelling on tonight, here is my breakdown of the good and bad, and what I think needs to happen to right the ship.

  • Prospal has been a nice surprise.
  • Aaron Johnson has provided a spark the last few games.
  • Some will disagree, but I don't think Savard has looked that bad (take away the first game)
  • ummm...
  • Defense - where do you begin. Take a look at the majority of goals that have been scored. Blown d coverage, bad turnovers, lost puck battles down low. This list goes on. Wiz is not going to fix this. This defense is terrible.
  • Penalty kill has been awful
  • Power play has been bad, mostly due to no ability to bring the puck into the zone
  • Vermette has been terrible. Like ECHL terrible. Breathe heavy around him and he loses an edge.
  • Russell is way too inconsistent, and when he is bad, he is real bad. It is hurting us.
  • Clitsome has been...not good. He needs to find that magic he had last year.
  • We spend way too much time in our zone. This all stems back to the D chasing the puck down low and not being able to get it out to the forwards.
  • Forecheck? What is a this forecheck you speak of?
  • Martinek has been a turnover machine.
  • Passing has, once again, been bad.
I could go on an on. One thing I will not do at this point is to throw Mason under the bus like everyone else in this city wants to do. My reasoning is simple. All of us so-called experts made the following statement prior to the season: "Mason just needs to be average for the CBJ to be successful." Well, in my estimation, he has been average. The problem is that the defense in front of him might be the worst I have ever seen in the NHL. I have never seen so many people left unchecked in front of the net. Backside coverage is spotty at best. Mase hasn't been good, but I would submit he has been average on most nights. do they turn this around? You really expecting to find that answer here? Okay, I will play armchair GM for a minute.

Trade Vermette. What is Vermette bringing to the table? What did he bring last year? It pains me to say that, because I really wanted him here and was very happy when he came in. He has been the epitome of suck since October of last year. Maybe move him with Dorsett in a package for some defensive help. Trade Russell along with them. Want a pick too? Okay. We must get some help on defense. Wiz will help a little, but now Methot is out. Martinek is out. We can't rely on two rookies on the back end, not with the lack of support around them. Even if they were going to be back soon I would find something else.

Should we fire Arniel? I am not sure what that would do at this point. What I am seeing is not really a coaching issue, but an execution issue. that is on the players. Ask me again in a month. If we don't starting winning with stunning regularity, it won't matter anyhow.

I do say that Howson needs to go at the end of the season. Firing him mid-season does nothing for us, so wait till after the season is over. He has us locked into a roster that is not working at all. Did not really address needs for major upgrades at D, took a big risk in goal. How this team is near the cap is beyond me. Carter was about the only good pickup he made, and he might have overpaid for him a little. Still don't understand sending Atkinson down, or bringing Moore up instead of Holden for this game. Not that it would have mattered much.

Tell Nash that it is put up or shut up time. He needs to motivate this team or pass on the C to someone who can. If Arniel has lost the room, Nash should be able to get it back.

Finally, give Dex a real shot at the starting job when he is back from injury. Make Mason hungry again. He is very fragile in the head right now. The team in front of him is leaving him out to dry on most occasions. Sitting a few games may help. I know we haven't seen much of Dex yet, but I just have a feeling that he is going to be a very steady presence in net. Not spectacular, just solid. Would you take solid right now?

I have moved from optimistic, to relaxed, to worried and finally depressed with this team. I will still go to the games, but I am not sure how long it will be before I break out the brown paper bag. This is getting embarrassing.

Thoughts? What would you do if you were in charge?


  1. I agree with starting Dekanich, and if he stinks call every club that has a good goalie and offer Steve Mason and two first round picks for their goalie. Vancouver and schneider come to mind and maybe try and get rid of russel, martinek, and any other d-man that can't seem to grasp the concept of defense. And get somebody else in there that can actually possess the puck in their own zone and pass to get out of it.

  2. I am not advocating giving Dekanich the starting job as soon as he is healthy. Let's face it, we really don't know what we are getting with him yet. All I want is for him to get a good sampling of games, both to evaluate and see if it pushes Mason. Don't see us trading Mason, unless a better goalie is coming back to us. It all comes back to the defense in my opinion.

  3. Agreed with not handing the starting job to him, but I think when he is healthy he should at least get his chance because Mason has had 2 years and 8 games to be anything but bad and hasn't! I still think Schneider is our best bet at getting someone better, and maybe call Washington and see if Vokoun is available, now obviously not giving mason and 2 picks for that but I would go Straight up for him and maybe we would have to throw a pick in there. Yes the defense is not good and we are injured but I see it being easier to fix 1 bad position rather than 4-5 that we would need to drastically change our porous defense. Now I'm hoping that Wiz comes in and can get us some more offense and even tho he isn't known for being a shut down dman maybe he can lift their spirits. And maybe the Pk won't be awful. PP has been better but still not good. But like Nash after Saturday's game I'm speechless, with the high expectations I had for this team, and now this! Along with all the other fans and you i'm sure, I need some talking off the ledge.

  4. If we are talking about goalies, I would call the Islanders and give a first born (don't care whose) for Nabakov. That and Schneider are about the only ones that are realistic, and I am not sure we can trust what we get with Cory. After all, I don;t believe he even has a whole season worth of games under his belt. Might as well stick with Dekanich in that case.