Musings

Thoughts before the weekend

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Happy Friday, BSB community.   After what seems like weeks of hand wringing, the Rangers have finally strung together a few solid performances in a row following the disaster in San Jose. Only eight games remaining before the second season starts, so naturally, I have some thoughts…

Some well timed losses from the Penguins and Islanders have given the Rangers a little more breathing room in their quest for home ice in the first round. At this point, they at least control their own destiny. Something tells me they are going to have to earn it, because I don’t see either of those teams doing the Rangers any favors down the stretch.

Looking at the schedule for the remainder of the season, four of the next five games are against opponents who are currently scheduled to head home after the regular season. Considering how tight the standings are at the moment, picking up points against those teams is crucial.

Going into the last two weeks of the season, there are still plenty of teams jockeying for position. That is parity in the new NHL. Personally, I think there are a bunch of mediocre teams fighting it out, but that a conversation for a different day (the Flyers, really?). It should make for some interesting hockey down the stretch.

I understand why they intra-division playoff format exists. The league wants teams with built-in rivalries guaranteed to play each other in the first round to keep interest high before the contenders emerge. My issue is that the seeding/match-ups are difficult for the average fan to determine from looking at the standings (remember when it was just 1-8 on the “Conference Standings” tab? It could also lead to some really boring hockey when a team sits in third in the division with no hope of catching the second place team and no fear from the fourth place team. They could have otherwise been fighting for their playoff lives in the old system.

Still rooting for that Rangers/Islanders first round matchup.

Interesting how mainstream media types are starting to understand the gross misuse of Dan Girardi this season. It’s high time someone on that side of the business called this staff out for its remarkable stubbornness when it comes to deployment and roles on this team.

Defensive issues aside (Hank can mask quite a few of those), if Rick Nash and Eric Staal get going at the same time, this group could be very frightening up front.

I’m going to be very interested in the Vezina Trophy this season. A short time ago, it appeared that Braden Holtby was running away with the award; his traditional rate stats (save percentage, wins, etc.) were off the charts. No advanced stats darling was going to stop him. With his fall back to earth, I’m interested to see the final call. Holtby’s early season play could still carry him through, I suppose. The bigger question to be will come between Henrik Lundqvist and Corey Crawford.

The traditional scouting community is not a Crawford fan. I personally like Crawford quite a bit, but he will be penalized for having a tremendously successful team in front of him. I feel like he gets a little of the Chris Osgood/Mike Vernon in Detroit in the 90’s treatment. Lundqvist’s rate stats aren’t overly sexy (relatively speaking of course), compared to his career statistics, but when you dig deeper and look at numbers adjusted for situation and shot quality, Hank consistently ranks out as the best in the league (again). The wins he has added to the team on his own is in a whole other league. I don’t know if the advanced stats have matured enough for serious awards considerations, but I will be very interesting to follow.

Sean McIndoe (@DownGoesBrown) wrote a very interesting piece on the expansion draft for Sportsnet.ca.  I don’t think the league would ever seriously entertain his suggestions, but it is a very fun read.  Check it out.

Once the playoff picture starts shaking out a bit more, I am going to run some goalie scouting pieces on potential opponents. Let me know if there is any type of information you would like to see included in those articles or if the current format works for you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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  • Nice to see the Devils pitch a shut out last night against Cindy, as stated, it gives us some breathing room. Too bad Filthadelphia won, I just hate that organization, and ownership !!!!!!!

    For those who celebrate Easter, have a happy day. For those who don’t, have a great week end as well ……

    • I don’t understand who would thumbs down this comment? Walt wrote about three things, Pitt losing; hating that disgusting cesspool of humanity, Philadelphia and their abhorrent hockey team; and he wished everyone a Happy Easter or a nice weekend.

      Sorry Walt. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed your comment! And I agree, Ed Snider is living, breathing, garbage. He’s bad for our beloved sport and the world in general.

      • I think I commented similarly a couple of posts ago, it’s somebody who doesn’t like the person posting, has nothing to do with the post. Whoever it is is an idiot for sure.

      • Thanks Chris, but there are mental midgets who see a name, me, or anyone else, and automatically give a thumbs down. I’m a duck, it rolls off of my back !!!!!!

        Have a great day just the same……….

  • Saw an interesting article on the early history of hockey which made me think of Bobby B, so I’ll share here. There were two threads leading to the development of hockey in French Canada and Nova Scotia: ball and stick games brought over from the British Isles, and Native American games, like Lacrosse, and a similar game played on ice by the Mi’kmaq called Tooadijik. (The latter name translates to Glass, perhaps because of the ice surface resembling a sheet of glass.)

    The tension between these two types of games — the Anglo predecessor with its emphasis on gentlemanly virtues, and the Indian predecessor suffused with warrior spirit — became part of the identity of hockey and indeed of Canada herself in those early days. The Canadian nobility was deeply interested in their native sport (think Lord Stanley), and while most have probably heard of the Lady Byng trophy, given to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship and clean play, few remember Lord McIlrath, who championed the tougher style of play. He was viewed in some quarters as a savior of the true game, but was eventually mostly shunned as hockey became more concerned with strategy and skill.

    A diary entry from 1897 from a Lord Dangerfield shows this confusion very well. It reads:
    –“Attended a fair stand-up Boxing match with Howe and Chesterton. Strangest thing happened: as Howe was about to finish his man, showing utmost technique and skill, suddenly all changed and a hockey game broke out in our midst. Most confounded thing! I will never forget the look on poor Howe’s face! How the devil is a man to attain his goal of knocking the other fellow senseless with all these other men skating round trying to put a puck in a net?”

    • Mythdoc, I am honored that you thought enough of me to blog that information. I found it informative and inspiring!. I did find it ironic that the name Howe is mentioned. I remember a player who I believe is an all time great, he went by the name of Gordie Howe, he had a decent career 🙂 , he had 801 goals, 1023 assist, and lets not forget 1643 penalty minutes. In fact till this day if one gets a Gordie Howe hat trick ( a goal, an assist, and a fight) it still is acknowledged as that. Myth, hockey is a beautiful sport, by far my favorite, but this fan loves the physical side of it too. I long for the Rick Tocchet, Gary Roberts, Cam Neely type players,( get you 30-40 goals a season, with 200 + penalty minutes) these players could play the game to its spectacular level ( in my humble opinion) , they could skate, check, score and yes FIGHT! I do not see this type of player any more??, save for a Milian Lucic or Jerome Ingila.

          • That Whaler club was deep, Bobby: Kevin Dineen, Joel Queeneville, and of course, Fotiu donning the whale tail.

            Believe Gordie’s sons Mark and Marty suited up with him in Hartford, right?… Or was that The Houston Aeros WHA club?

          • Paisan, it was in Houston that Gordie skated with both Marty, and Mark. I was living there from 71 to 78, and got to see the Aeros win two Avco Cups together !!!!

        • C’mon, guys, lighten up a little. It’s almost April 1. We’re all idiots who root for the Rangers. If they win a cup, we’ll all be beside ourselves with joy. If they lose, well, it is only a game.

          Yes, I am kidding around and using satire. In this day and age, straightforward persuasion based on evidence and reasoning doesn’t seem to work so well. If I offended you, BOBBY, please forgive me. But the post is meant to be funny, and in its own way, a salute to you.

          Thank you.

          • Myth, not the least bit offended. I am hoping to see Mcllrath in a game or 2 before season ends. Happy Easter to all, playoffs on the horizon, Let’s go Rangers.

  • I think the Rangers would kill for the one of the Flyers up and coming young defenseman.

    Corey Crawford? Have you seen him play recently? Check the Hawks record for the last 45 days. Wow….they have been badly beaten in ways that would have been unfathomable in previous years. Toews is going to make truckloads of money for the next few years and suddenly he has the same point total as Zucc. 10.5 million cap hit? 50 points?

    • My son-in-law & I recently had a spirited debate abt Corey Crawford LOL!! My s-i-l feels he is great & the most underrated goalie in hockey. My view: He sucks & most overrated. Nothing like a good hockey debate!

      • Quenneville handled him perfectly in the playoffs last year. Sat him for Darling, then reinserted him after Darling struggled a bit. Crawford was at his best the rest of the way.

      • I’d like to wade in here, Paul.

        Corey Crawford is not the reason The Hawks succeed, just as when Antii Niemi was their goalkeeper in previous Cup runs.

        Solidly adequate, Crawford can count on D-men who move the puck crisply (Roszival for one) if not a system that–when run well–transitions from D to O with great efficiency.

        But I think The Hawks are suffering from, first, too much personnel turnover; and foremost, fatigue/burnout from three or four consecutive seasons going 90-100 games deep.

        Looking at April-May, if either Quickie or John Gibson gets hot The Hawks might be done.

        And not to indulge in groupthink, but like Justin if Eric Staal starts to feel it, and Rick Nash sees this as his last-best shot at a Cup…

        LGR!

        • Ya I agree Fotiu, that Hawks D makes it easy on any goalie, Niemi being the perfect example. Unlike our D who make Hank earn every penny.

          • Ahem, Paul… Appears Travis Yost at TSN/Canada has hacked your laptop:

            “Very rarely can one lineup tweak make a significant difference, but merely moving Girardi down the depth chart in favour of all of the other internal options could pay real dividends for a team looking to make headway in the playoffs.

            “If they (NYR) choose the status quo, well, free tip: They’re not winning a championship this year.”

  • On anticipating playoff matchups — back in the 1-8 days, it was simple, nobody had a clue what was happening until the last few days of the season. It was all so tight. Now teams compete with fewer teams. Really surprising this year that with nearly ten games to go, only 18 teams are still in it.

    On the Vezina. Looking at save % and GAA, it seems obvious that two of the three nominees will be Bishop and Schneider and one of those two will walk away with the Vezina. I like Crawford (2nd best save %) as the third nominee, but really Crawford, Holtby, Jones, Quick present a problem because their order is one way in save % and reversed in GAA. Since Lundqvist trails Crawford in both categories, he should not be a factor UNLESS his numbers improve.

    I think your assessment of shot difficulty is just too sophisticated for the standard voting patterns here. Where exactly do you draw the line? Considering the defenses in front of them, who is having a better year, Lundqvist or Talbot? And that is the kind of thing they don’t want to get into.

    • If I’m not mistaken, the GMs, not the writers, vote for the Vezina, I imagine the voters are way more sophisticated than you give them credit.

      Anyone that’s been watching closely should recognize that Hank has dragged the Rangers all the way up to the second best record in the East and is a worthy Vezina finalist.

      • Definitely agree Hank in Vezina hunt. Leads the league in even strength SV% by a lot and he faces the highest quality/difficulty of shots against. GMs know what he brings to the Rangers which is why he is always in the top ten of the vote year in and year out.

  • Hi Everyone! Work has been wall to wall these last couple of weeks. No time at all to post but I did watch most ever game, and was able to read pretty much all your wrote. Great stuff!

    After 12 days without posting, I’m having a serious case of “posting withdrawal”, so, time for some 12 days worth of observations…..

    1) I was irritated after the Islanders game (very irritated since I dropped down some serious buckos to see our boys play), very disappointed after the Pens game, and then just livid after the meltdown in San Jose. So much so, I almost got online and said, “That’s it…they’re done. Fire AV, he’s lost me. Trade half the team this summer. It’s over.” But then I calmed down, looked at the standings, and low and behold, what do we see? Everyone in the East not calling the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania home has pretty much the same issues of inconsistent play right now. Everyone has had slumps to various degrees, and the Rangers are no different. And after their high water mark win over the Caps, they went 2-3-2 before returning home this week. And that was after an 11-3-1 run where they played mostly real good hockey. 2-3-2….. Horror of horrors! 🙂

    So, I’m not going to drink the Krazy Kool-Aid just yet, because obviously slumps happen. Especially in a league with flawed teams and flawed rosters, and the Rangers are as flawed as any of the contenders (or as Carp and Dave I think put it, the “steaming pile of mediocrity”).

    2) I think I saw last week, Stamkos came out after a loss and questioned his team’s heart and commitment. I wonder if the crazies think that means Cooper has lost the room, or maybe, more rationally, they are simply struggling like most teams do at some point of the season.

    3) In Chicago, they are all panicking as the team is unraveling right now. Everyone is questioning the team. Even Coach Q is under scrutiny. Guess he’s losing the room too.

    4) My DC friends are seeing how the Caps and Holtby are leveling off. They are convinced they are one and done. Maybe two at most.

    5) And if you really want to make a trip to Panic City, all you got to do is take the train to Brooklyn, where, despite last night’s win, the ship seems to be sinking. And in that case, if they DO unravel and either miss the playoffs or go out in round one, I do think Capuano is a goner, given the amount of time he’s been behind the bench.

    6) Keith Yandle has been tremendous. He’s a weapon. I know it was a heavy price to pay to get him, and the trade will always go down as controversial. But given the inconsistencies with our forwards, does anyone think we’d be anything more than a borderline playoff team if not for Yandle?

    As for the talk months ago that there was no interest at all by the Yandle to camp to return, it seems like that was a false rumor. It seems pretty clear that all things being equal, Yandle does want to stay here, and the Rangers would like him to stay. The question is, is that possible? I think it is, but it will take some serious maneuvering. Bottom line, if it is financially doable, the Rangers can and should bring him back.

    One Eastern Confernce exec who was interviewed said he believes there is no chance to deal Girardi, because there is no market. But M. Staal would be desirable and he thinks it’s possible that he would waive his NMC depending on where he would go. Interesting.

    Btw, as for the key piece traded away to get Yandle, Anthony Duclair, he’s gone 1-4-5 in his last 17 games. We get all starry eyed over our current and former prospects, but it’s a total unknown whether he will be a top tier player long term. We shall see.

    7) Reading the national press, especially various writers on ESPN.com, there seems to be a lot more love for the Rangers nationally then there is locally. A lot of people think the Rangers are laying in the weeds a bit, under the radar, and may well be the surprise team out of the East. So much is predicated on the play of Nash and E-Staal. The general feeling from many of the writers is, if they get going, this team is the most dangerous team in the East that could deny the Caps.

    8) As mentioned before, to me, the Staal deal was a no brainer. They gave up little of value that can’t be recouped at a later time. He’s gives the Rangers depth and AV has more lineup flexibility now. But with that flexibility come some temporary disruptions in team play. There’s been very little time to practice. AV has been experimenting with different combinations to figure out how best to use Nash and Staal. It is IMPERATIVE to get them going. And if it means disrupting the chemistry temporarily to do that, then so be it. That is arguably the most important task AV has for these final eight games.

    9) Speaking of lack of practice, I was listening to one game and Dave Maloney mentioned again that he believes this Rangers team practices less than any other, and a lot less then they did last year. Obviously, if true, this is by design. The team has veteran players coming off off-season surgery. This core has played more games since the Spring of 2012 than any other team in the league. AV remembers in Vancouver that after the Cup run in 2011, the team was not fresh come playoff time in 2012 and 2013. So it seems a decision was made to keep the team as fresh as possible. Good news, hopefully they have fresh legs come playoff time. Bad news, it means less of a chance to easily adjust and correct flaws. How far he takes the the Rangers in post season will determine if this was a good or bad strategy. Torts would have the foot to the throttle approach all season, and his Rangers team’s seemed gassed come playoff time. Let’s see if AV’s approach works better.

    10) Speaking of AV, kudos to him for taking the “blame” for Staal’s slow start. Smart move to ease the pressure on his player. Not all coaches do this. Keenan, for example, was famous for deflecting blame from himself and putting it on the players. Players love it when their coach run interference for them, so good move.

    11) Gorton was saying the other day that he wasn’t worried about E. Staal, referencing what happened when MSL first came on board. He struggled initially but then was terrific come playoff time. My only problem with that comparison is that at the time of the MSL deal, Marty was among the leading scorers in the league…which was why the price to get him was so high. Staal has been pretty average, which is why that price was more reasonable. So, it’s not clear that Staal will find his game come playoff time in the manner that MSL did, simply because it’s been a while since he’s been among the best players in the league. But that doesn’t mean he can’t help us in a big way. A low risk gamble well worth taking.

    12) AV’s future. I saw, after the Sharks game, that Carp did say that AV’s job COULD be in jeopardy IF the team unravels. And I would agree with that. If the team had come home, laid two eggs vs the Panthers and Bruins, then unraveled and missed the playoffs, then yes, he probably would and should be fired. But that’s not likely to happen. If they make the playoffs, even if they are one and done, given the accomplishments of the past two years, he’s definitely back a least to start the next season. Another long playoff run? Then he probably gets a contract extension.

    13) AV said at the deadline, “This team deserves one more chance” (I’m paraphrasing but essentially that was it). I think that’s a telling statement. I think there was a conversation, probably in December when the team was struggling, and then again in January-February when the team’s play improved, as to what direction to go. I think if the team had continued with their December struggles, they might very well have traded Yandle and other assets to re-set the roster. Since that didn’t happen and the team got hot, I think AV convinced Gorton and Slats that this group was in fact still Cup worthy. So they went all in and made the trade for Staal. But if it was AV that convinced them, then that certainly puts the pressure on the coach to deliver. Not necessarily a Cup, but another deep run.

    14) Speaking of which, did anyone notice after the Sharks game, a reporter (don’t remember who) saw Sather near the lockerrom. Slats called that game an “embrassment” (or something to that effect) and apparently ripped the team in a closed door meeting. So for those under the illusion that Slats has no role anymore, or that Gorton is going to “rescue us” from the sins of the past, I’d say think again.

    15) Now, Gorton did imply the other day, as it pertains to Yandle and other moves, that the Rangers post-season success will determine how the summer will play out. A one and done, or even a second round exit, would suggest that they might conclude this current group can’t get it done and we may see a substantial re-tooling. A deep run? They’ll d whatever is financially feasible to keep the core together. That’s how I see it anyway.

    16) AV gets killed for much….how about some kudos for the PP? Been on a nice roll lately. Need to get the PK going though if we hope to have any playoff success.

    17) Lastly, when are we going to see one of the BSB writers do a nice piece on Tanner Glass? The guy has been really good lately. He’s been a physical force, and I just loved watching him take on Belesky. Just what I want and expect out of my 4th line enforcer. So, c’mon Glass haters, time to be objective and give the guy some love! 🙂

    18) Should we expect to see Lindberg in anytime soon? I have a hunch that Hayes is on very thin ice. I can see rotating them down the stretch to see if either can convince the coach they can be trusted. With Hayes, he just looks lost and disinterested. With Lindberg, he takes too many needless penalties. Will be interesting.

    • If you are correct about 9, then that would mean that AV is trying to learn from a previous mistake….but I KNOW that he is incapable of doing that and is too set in his ways, so you must be wrong there. The only way I will admit you might be right is if the Rangers win a cup this year.

      LGR!

      • Yes….he is just TOO stubborn. Just like Torts…and Keenan….and, well, just pick your coach. They’re all stubborn. Which is why they are successful at what they do. 🙂

    • There are three good reasons to not sign Yandle.

      1. They have McDonagh, M Staal, Skjei, Graves at left defense. You can’t win without some cheap players and Skjei, Graves are among the best options. Yes, maybe they can move Staal. Maybe they can convert oner of the kids to another cost-controlled kid at a more useful position. But this is not easy to pull off.

      2. The expansion draft looms. It appears they can only protect four forwards if they protect four defensemen. They have to protect Staal and Girardi and want to protect McDonagh. Oops. Also the fact that Skjei and Graves don’t need protection seems relevant.

      3. He’s just not any good 5 on 5.

      • Taking it point by point….

        1) certainly a factor. It really depends on whether Staal can be moved or not. But more importantly, it depends on the organization’s assessment of Skjei and Graves. What is their projected upside, how soon, and can they fill the void left by Yandle’s departure, especially offensively? If one or both kids are to be traded for other cost-controlled assets, then what would they bring back in return? All unknowns to us. So until we know, I can’t say I’m all in on this.

        2) It’s a fair point and may well be the deciding factor in keeping him or not. But there are ways around that too.

        3) Disagree. In fact, it’s not accurate. Yandle is among the 15 best scoring defensemen in the league. 45% of his points come on the man advantage. Does that make him not good 5 on 5? If so, then I guess other top ranked guys like Seabrook (50%), Weber (50%), Doughty (47%), Subban (47%), and Larsson (53%) aren’t any good either. In fact, other than Byfuglien, Giordano, Klingberg and Carlson, all the top scorers on defense get at least 40% or more of their points on the power play.

        Is a he a great a defensive player? No. But we lose him, and obviously Boyle…if the kids aren’t ready and we don’t acquire an adequate replacement, our back line is going to be much weaker offensively next year. And given the inconsisent play of our forwards, that’s going to make us a very easy team to play against.

        In the end, the dollars may make it necessary to pass on Yandle. But the Rangers will be a much better team if we can keep him.

        • On point 3, we disagree. I sincerely believe the point is not clear cut, which means you may be right but are not necessarily so.

          Is a high scoring defenseman valuable? The answer seems to be no. I looked up the top 20 scoring forwards and the top 20 scoring defensemen. I totalled +/- for both groups. I also tallied the records of the various teams they played for on a player by player basis. So, for example, as both Keith and Seabrook play for Chicago, I counted Chicago twice on the defense list.

          Here are the results.

          Defense: W-L =+16, total +/- is +43. So the average team is essentially a .500 team (Detroit is a .500 team, 37W&37L), well 0.8 of an extra win. The average player is +2.

          Forwards: W-L = +167, total +/- is +202. So the average player is +20 and the average team is 8 games over .500
          (like Florida).

          My conclusion: Having a good scoring defenseman does not correlate with winning. Having a good scoring forward does.

          Second conclusion: Using +/-, Yandle compares slightly unfavorably the defense group.

          Looking at the Ranger defense corps excluding McDonagh, I have no doubt that Yandle is the most fun to watch and, except possible for the Boyle of yesteryear, is the most talented. But I am not convinced that means anything.

          • Ray-

            Bravo! This is why I miss this place. This is a brilliant analysis and it certainly is a point worth considering.

            If you look back at the last few Cup Champs, let’s see how important it was for each to have scoring weapons on defense–

            2007-08 Wings–Lidstrom (70 pts) and Rafalski (55 pts). For them, it was HUGE!

            2008-09 Pens–They had a young Letang who was under 40 pts, but let’s face it, when you have Crosby and Malkin in their prime, you don’t need much help on the blue line.

            2009-10 Hawks–Keith (69 pts) Very important to their success.

            2010-11 Bruins–Chara (44 pts). And on top of that, we are talking about a guy with the scariest shot in recent memory. He clearly played a huge role.

            2011-12 Kings–LA of course had Doughty, but he was young and still not a huge offensive threat. But they had an offensive weapon in Kopitar up front.

            2012-13 Hawks–Keith (projected full season total of 47 pts). Again, huge part of their offensive success.

            2013-14 Kings–Same deal as 12.

            2014-15 Hawks–Keith (45 pts). same deal as before.

            What all these teams have in common is that they had at least one major offensive threat. A star player among their forwards that was among the very best in the game. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Crosby, Malkin, Kane, Toews, Lucic, Kopitar. These are all elite players. All stars and probably future Hall of Famers.

            The Rangers offensive stars are……who? They get good solid production from Zuc, from Brassard, from Sepan. Although erratic, Miller has been very good this year but we will have to see if he is an “elite” player. Nash, obviously, was acquired to be this but his results are uneven. Kreider was supposed to be this by now but we are still waiting.

            If you take Yandle away from this mix, and you don’t find a way to add some serious point production, and combine that with the fact that M. Staal, Girardi and Hank aren’t getting any younger, thus compromising their ability to play shutdown defense….i”m telling you, that sounds like a very mediocre, very beatable team.

            So, can you win without high end production from the blue line? Yes. But with the current group of forwards the Rangers have? I say no way.

          • I don’t want to make light of contributions from the blue line. Orr, Coffey, Lidstrom were huge factors. And I don’t discount current players such as Doughty, Hedstrom, Keith.

            But when you look at Lidstrom, Chara, Keith, you are looking at very good defensive players. There is a tendency to play good scoring defensemen who don’t hold up their end defensively.

            What my numbers suggest is that if you randomly choose a top twenty offensive defensemen, the guy you grab won’t make your team any better. And my inclination is to believe that Yandle is a slightly below average guy on the list.

            And, finally, if you just read the list, you think, wow, these are some great players — because that is how they look and that is why they are getting played.

            Mind you, Yandle is a power play plus – that is clear.

            Incidentally, I like Yandle – just don’t see him as a guy to build your team around.

          • I can’t disagree with anything you are saying. But all I’m saying is, if you pass on Yandle, and don’t adequately replace his offense either on the blue line or with a significant forward acquisition, well, then next year we will be lucky to make the playoffs.

          • You are missing something in the analysis: for more than 50% of the season Yandle was simply used badly. He will never be a shut down defenseman. He will be the best pure passer on the club and a guy with enough balls to try to make a great pass. He also seems to be a good man in the locker room. Altogether, I think you hang on to a high skills, character guy like him because they are few and far between.

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