1. how effin' bad is anders eriksson ??!
the guy makes me want to slit my wrists.... there is no other way to put it. i blame the season ending singlehandedly on #8 because of the following:
- taking a ridiculous penalty leading to SJ's 1st goal
- tickling his man behind the net (as opposed to bodychecking), then losing him in the corner leading to SJ's 2nd goal
- "ridicupinching" (a duncanism), or whatever you call it, leading to SJ's 4th goal.
kipper getting pulled was a direct result of the 4th SJ goal, which was a direct result of eriksson's inabilities.
2. blame playfair (again) ??!
i don't really know how much pull playfair has on the bench during a game or if he is just a defensive specialist in practise and a defensive advisor on the day, but somebody needs to take the fall for putting david hale on the PK for the first SJ goal. don't get me wrong, i'm about the biggest hale fan out there [HAAALESTORRRRMMM] when he's given soft minutes and light competition. i think he's got fairly good positionning, decent sense, and an excellent ethic (plus he can hit), but the "put-the-stick-kindof-on-the-ice" move to block a cross-crease pass (the one he CLEARLY learned from rhettro) was debateably approved/taught somewhere along the line by playfair.
maybe i just hate playfair.
3. who's done ??!
i would LIKE to think nolan will come back for reasonable dough, and langkow too. i love yeller but i think he's seen his last game in a flaming C (sutter made that apparent, to me, when he signed primeau). i think prust will take over from godard, with a much bigger upside, and mark smith probably cleaned out his locker before game 7, so as to just stick it out back home in NoCal. hale and vandermeer are HUGE qustion marks to me, since we've still got rhettro & (*sigh) eriksson on contract for another season [and i honestly believe negrin will start next year]. and i'm still hoping that a grovelling sutter will re-sign gio....
come to think of it, this is a whole other post.
the discussion on kiprusoff really has far more to do with our blueline.
i have no doubt whatsoever that robyn regehr is one of the best stay-at-home guys in the league, and that dion is fast becoming a player with a vast repertoire of defensive skills. beyond that, we've got a helluva lot of problems on the back end and that's often reflected by the score and certainly reflected by the shots on net (against). the layman might blame our goalie, but i honestly believe that 03/04 kipper would have let in a lot more pucks if he'd been getting shellacked like he was this year. sarich was hot and cold, aucoin's proficiency decreased as his minutes increased, warrener looked like he was skating through mud and hale exceeded expectations for a #7. i never really decided how i felt about vandermeer and you can refer to talking point #1 (above) for my feelings on eriksson. i don't want to talk about him anymore.
still, kipper often looked 'softer' this year, and i'm not sure if it's a function of age, fitness, coaching, nerves or what. i wonder how much keenan has to do with it, but i hope like hell that he shows up to training camp ready to go for kippsy's 8 million dollar season....
it took me over half the season to develop an opinion on ol' iron mike, but the concensus was "yes." i think a lot of it had to do with him seeimg far more confident than nervous jimmy, but he just really seemed to know what he was doing. when he referred to the team as a "frustrating group" i really felt that he was trying different things ---which seemed to work for a game or two, and then the "group" would falter. he made some really good decisions behind the players, and then he made some awful ones. pulling kipps in game 3 turned out to be brilliant, but he will be vilified for the same move in game 7. dressing godard through to game 5 still confuses me, but dressing 7 defensmen in game 6 was genius. i hate that he, like sutter, is a veteran-lover, which comes at the expense of the young players but i love the experience that the rookies are getting under his tutelage.