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)
- 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.
Soooo...how 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?