Mid Season Report Card

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Mid Season Report Card

Postby Kreegz2 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:19 pm

BACKES - B- Has not impressed so far. He reminds me of a term that used to commonly describe players of his type: "third line center". Just once I would like to see him actually drop the gloves to stick up for a teammate, not just jaw at the the other guy for 10 seconds. I suspect he might be playing hurt.
BERGLUND - B+ He Has been pretty streaky, but has had some big games when they were much needed. Also he leads the team in goals which is worth something.
CRACKNELL - C+ He exhibits a lot of heart, but unfortunately he just doesn't have the skills or the hockey sense. I don't see him ever being more than an injury call up for us.
D'AGOSTINI - C Ever since Hitch took over D'ags has looked like the odd man out. He just doesn't fit very well anywhere on the team.
LANGENBRUNNER C- In the games he did play for us this year you could tell he wasn't 100%. He has slowed down a lot. I would honestly be surprised if he ever dresses for us again.
MCDONALD - B+ He has been on a decline for a few seasons now, but he can still be relied on to make seamless zone entries as well as nice entry passes, something the Blues have done very poorly since he went down. As a result the Blues PP has suffered enormously since we lost him.
MURRAY - D- In the one game I saw him play he did not seem to be NHL material.
NICHOL - A- Knows his role and does it well. Also isn't afraid to drop the gloves with anybody, even though he is 5'9", which gets a lot of points from me. I used to hate his guts when he was on the preds but I have been happy to have him the past few seasons. He is also the only one on the team who can win a damn faceoff
OSHIE - B Has played well at times but has been inconsistent lately, Now it looks like he might have a long term injury.
PERRON - C- He has been downright selfish, undisciplined, and irresponsible most of the year. If he wasn't 3rd in goal scoring I would rate him lower. I honestly wouldn't mind seeing him packaged at the deadline.
PORTER - B Every time he gets called up he looks hungry and always busts his ass. He actually plays like he wants to be here.
REAVES - A I have a soft spot for the bruisers. I love what Reaves brings every night. He hits everything in sight and is always willing to drop the gloves. I am glad that he has hardly been scratched at all this season. The team plays more aggressive and inspired when he is in the lineup(this was much more apparent last season, but it still applies).
SCHWARTZ B Not the best start, but has started turning it around and has looked great since being on the top line. I'm pretty curious to see what role he will play if/when we get all of our injured guys back.
SOBOTKA A+ My favorite player on the team. If I have to explain this one then you must not watch very many games.
STEEN B- Slow start before going on a mini streak and then getting injured. I just hope we can see the pre-concussion Steen of last season emerge soon, because we need a solid forward like him right now.
STEWART A- I was one of the biggest Stewart haters last year, but this year he has turned it around and it is very apparent. He is actually playing like he cares now and is starting to find his shot. He also has a nasty backhand. He is a bit defensively irresponsible, but in my opinion has been getting better.
TARASENKO B+ I really hope he comes back sooner rather than later. He is great at finding the open space and has great hockey sense. Hopefully this concussion hasn't affected his confidence that he has shown with the puck.

COLE C Coming into the season everyone was hoping he could Colaiacovo's shoes as Petro's partner, it seems like everyone has given up hope of that happening by now.
JACKMAN B+ While he does sometimes make boneheaded moves in his own zone. He is brilliant at getting underneath the other team's skin. I think him and nichol are responsible for drawing over half of our power plays.
PIETRANGELO B- He has not even close to his A+ level that he played at last year and it has been very apparent. I'm not even sure what his problem has been, and I don't think he does either. Hopefully he figures it out quickly.
POLAK B+ I love Polak. I have always looked at him as one of our biggest unsung heroes. He does almost everything right and is never glaringly out of position. One of the best purely defensive defenseman you could ask for.
REDDEN C I haven't been that impressed with him to be honest. He looks extremely slow most of the time and often makes glaring mistakes in his own end. It's nice to have the veteran presence though.
RUSSELL C He had a good game against LA about a week ago, but overall has not looked very good this season. He gets caught running around and making terrible breakout passes far too often.
SHATTENKIRK A+ Best defenseman this year and it's not even close. The colorado trade would have been a steal even if we didn't get Stewart. He has looked great both defensively and offensively and may give petro a run for #1 d-man next season if they both keep their play at current levels for the rest of the year.

ALLEN A- He doesn't have very pretty numbers, but he has grinded games out and has given us some HUGE wins in the midst of a serious goalie crisis. Without him we would be ranked 12th or lower in the west right now
ELLIOTT F He honestly just looks horrible. He has lost all confidence in himself and the team does not respond well when he is in net. I know a lot of people are still willing to give him a few more chances to possibly redeem himself, but I personally have lost all faith in him
HALAK C+ Has played alright, but has had quite a few off nights. He isn't anywhere near Elliot's level though.

Here is the list of players:

BACKES
BERGLUND
CRACKNELL
D'AGOSTINI
LANGENBRUNNER
MCDONALD
MURRAY
NICHOL
OSHIE
PERRON
PORTER
REAVES
SCHWARTZ
SOBOTKA
STEEN
STEWART
TARASENKO

COLE
JACKMAN
PIETRANGELO
POLAK
REDDEN
RUSSELL
SHATTENKIRK

ALLEN
ELLIOTT
HALAK
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby glen a richter » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:48 pm

Boat deserves more plusses, he's far and away the hardest working player on the team, with the biggest heart and the most deserving of the C.

Stewart has been very good, I'll grant him that. Can we expect this to be the norm? I could live with that, but if he regresses then screw him.
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby cardsfan04 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:12 pm

I love Sobotka. If everybody played with his intensity every shift, it might have been us setting that point streak record this year, not the Blackhawks.
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby glen a richter » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:19 pm

If everyone played with Boats intensity and heart Perron would have about 20 goals right now, Stewart would have 20 of his own, Elliott and Halak would still be the dynamic duo, Pie would be running away with the Norris talk and no one would be complaining that Hitch lost his team.

Can they clone a whole bunch of Sobotka's?
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby Oaklandblue » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:24 am

I really feel our issues come from two things: The NHL Lockout and Jaro Halak's injuries.

The Lockout threw us into a situation from having a full season, to no season, to a 40ish game season with no pre-season. This has caused things to move at a breakneck pace and us being forced to run a team on full-throttle, especially when the point spread between 3rd and 8th seed being 2-3 points.

That said, with us 26 games in and sitting at 5th Seed, with the injuries and issues we've had, is phenominal.

Our goaltending issue didn't start until Halak got injured. When we thought he was coming back, Elliott played well against the Sharks. When we found out Halak was out against the Kings, Ells folded like a deck of cards. That is when I think our Tandem officially fell apart and hasn't recovered.

Brian Elliott has this very curious thing about being top drawer when he's backing a Starter that is having issues. We saw this in Ottawa and with us. If you put the weight of the team on his shoulders, he breaks. If you start him now with Allen as our starter, I believe Ells will be in top form. Brian teaches Goaltending and his form is fundamentally sound, it's the believeing in it part he doesn't get and that'll be why he is always going to be a 1A or a Backup.

People speak highly about Halak and I've never quite understood that. I haven't seen this magic goalie that everyone thinks is better than Price and qualifies as our starter, in fact what I've seen is another Roman Turek, only one that's got a re-occurring groin injury that puts him out of games that we need him in, to the point where the team is admitting to leaving him out to get hammered.

With Jake Allen winning games and being the obvious starter, the easiest solution to me is to give Jake a day off and start Elliott, see if he falls apart. Costs us nothing at this point in the game but a loss. I believe Elliott will compete and we'll see the Ells of old. If we don't, he's under contract, so I'm figuring put him on waivers, since he has no trade value at this point in the game.

Defense and Offense have been wonderful; D has held the shots to <20 on an average night, which is phenominal to me. Offense has rocked more shots, which again is phenominal to me, too. We're just not converting to goals. Hitch's line changes should hopefully fix that.

And Chris Stewart? Jeez, I sponsored him as a sarcastic joke! I figured he'd have been traded for picks by now. My early season choice for that was Bergy. Nice to see he's still consistant.

Overall, B. Could be better, could be much worse, just need to shore up our weak spots, which I hate to say it but is depth. We're operating with limited veteran leadership, limited playmakers and scorers. That's the things I'm worried about haunting us.
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:40 am

BACKES-- B
BERGLUND--- A-
CRACKNELL--- B
D'AGOSTINI--- B-
LANGENBRUNNER-- C
MCDONALD-- B+
MURRAY-- D
NICHOL-- B+
OSHIE-- B+
PERRON-- B
PORTER-- B-
REAVES-- B+
SCHWARTZ-- A-
SOBOTKA-- A+
STEEN-- A
STEWART-- A
TARASENKO-- B+

COLE-- C
JACKMAN-- B+
PIETRANGELO-- B-
POLAK-- B
REDDEN-- C+
RUSSELL-- C-
SHATTENKIRK-- A-

ALLEN-- A-
ELLIOTT-- F----------
HALAK-- B

For me, it's a lot of B's, a few A's scattered here and there. Because it's a short season, it just seems like some guys haven't been able to elevate their games consistently. Having so many games crammed in a short time frame will do that, but every team is dealing with that, so it may be a moot point.

That said, Sobie has been the best all around player this year for me and Stewart has been an absolute revelation this season. Petro is having a disappointing year by his standards, and I can't put enough minuses next to Elliott's name.
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby WaukeeBlues » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:37 am

I'm not seeing the lockout as an excuse for this team at all.

We had very few roster changes during the offseason and went on a bit of a postseason run the year before. You would HOPE that the guys would get back into the rhythm pretty quick and find their pace sooner rather than later.

It's not like the Wild where two of our best players are brand new and suddenly expected to play a ton of minutes.

Of the players you discussed above, the two I found myself nodding in agreement with you the most are Backes and D'Agostini. Backes has just been... "okay." Not quite sure what's wrong. There's just a spark or something that's kind of missing, or maybe it's just me but I have not noticed him very much in our games.

D'Agostini just looks lost. It's very sad. I was a huge fan of his when he had that 20 goal season out of nowhere and we gave up essentially nothing to get him. I hope he turns it around, he's an obviously skilled player but he just looks confused and it's sad to see.

This team is going to have to make some tough decisions this offseason. We're at that point where our depth of talent and the salary cap are starting to butt heads. It always happens with talented, young teams (a la 2010 Blackhawks) but I just hope we can keep the core together because we're too talented to be as low in the rankings as we are and it's concerning.
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby Shanahan19 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:02 pm

Every team was locked out. No excuse. Some teams had more or less players play in Europe and together (i.e. Brunner and Zetterberg in Detroit). Either way, lock out excuses nothing. A team finds itself in the standings where it belongs based on their talent, effort, mentality, and character. We are a mid level team. A good, promising foundation that still has to improve and desperately needs deep playoff experience.

Our roster, coaching, etc is basically the same thing from Game 4 against LA.

Now, certainly we didn't expect to see an entire line go down and our scariest line at that. Depth has certainly helped fill some holes.
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby Oaklandblue » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:56 pm

Shanahan19 wrote:Every team was locked out. No excuse. Some teams had more or less players play in Europe and together (i.e. Brunner and Zetterberg in Detroit). Either way, lock out excuses nothing. A team finds itself in the standings where it belongs based on their talent, effort, mentality, and character. We are a mid level team. A good, promising foundation that still has to improve and desperately needs deep playoff experience.

Our roster, coaching, etc is basically the same thing from Game 4 against LA.

Now, certainly we didn't expect to see an entire line go down and our scariest line at that. Depth has certainly helped fill some holes.


So what do you call all that sloppy play we sat down and watched the first 15+ games? I'd say it was a total lack of all those you listed. The bad part is not that this team doesn't have the skills or the ability, what is bad is that they've shown how good they are and decided to just lazy-play.

The only major difference between Jake Allen and Halak & Elliott, beyond being a rookie, is that his system in the AHL wasn't affected by the lockout. He played a normal season, he played syncd and when you play in the minors, you're waiting for The Call, so you're making sure you're ready and Allen hasn't skipped a beat.

Or, we could go with Option B on this: Elliott needs a solid starter in front of him and Halak has both sucked and been injured, which might be why he's sucked, which makes the most sense. When Elliott has to compete, he's top drawer. When he's won the position, he looks like crap.

Anyone that says the lockout hasn't affected teams in unique ways needs to check the standings: When is the last time we've seen the Canadiens holding the #1 seed in the East, the Maple Leafs...the LEAFS...in a playoff spot? And that's just one thing to point out.
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Re: Mid Season Report Card

Postby Oaklandblue » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:58 pm

Oaklandblue wrote:
Shanahan19 wrote:Every team was locked out. No excuse. Some teams had more or less players play in Europe and together (i.e. Brunner and Zetterberg in Detroit). Either way, lock out excuses nothing. A team finds itself in the standings where it belongs based on their talent, effort, mentality, and character. We are a mid level team. A good, promising foundation that still has to improve and desperately needs deep playoff experience.

Our roster, coaching, etc is basically the same thing from Game 4 against LA.

Now, certainly we didn't expect to see an entire line go down and our scariest line at that. Depth has certainly helped fill some holes.


So what do you call all that sloppy play we sat down and watched the first 15+ games? I'd say it was a total lack of all those you listed. The bad part is not that this team doesn't have the skills or the ability, what is bad is that they've shown how good they are and decided to just lazy-play.

The only major difference between Jake Allen and Halak & Elliott, beyond being a rookie, is that his system in the AHL wasn't affected by the lockout. He played a normal season, he played syncd and when you play in the minors, you're waiting for The Call, so you're making sure you're ready and Allen hasn't skipped a beat.

Or, we could go with Option B on this: Elliott needs a solid starter in front of him and Halak has both sucked and been injured, which might be why he's sucked, which makes the most sense. When Elliott has to compete, he's top drawer. When he's won the position or is being weighed on as the only option, he looks like crap.

Anyone that says the lockout hasn't affected teams in unique ways needs to check the standings: When is the last time we've seen the Canadiens holding the #1 seed in the East, the Maple Leafs...the LEAFS...in a playoff spot? And that's just one thing to point out.
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