Well, the season has come to an end again. It was a long hard journey derailed by only a slight margin. We have a trophy for the trophy case, but we all know that we wanted one more. Was it one players fault? No. Just a culmination of trying to come back from a deficit one too many times. I honestly cant complain about the season or the players but there are a few things in the back of my mind that I'm sure are lingering in yours as well.
- Does Carter really have a place on this team next year?
Look, I am not bashing Carter at all. I know he had an injury and was not up to full speed, but is he really a good fit for the squad next year? We have more then enough centers to fill the void and we could have really used another top flight winger to go with Richie and Gags. I am not suggesting it would have won us the cup, but i really think that we need a dynamic winger to go with the top line. We could move Carter to pick up a winger or move him for a goalie and pick up a free agent winger
(Kovulchuk?) (Bobby Ryan? stick tap to topshelftony)
- What do we do at the Goaltender position?
I really don't have the answer on this one. The search for quality goal tending continues. We
can either hope for Emery to be healthy and use Leights as a backup, or should try to find a new one. Leighton is not the answer, I'm sorry, i like the guy but he lets up way too many softies. The free agent market is slim but there's a chance we could work some kind of trade.
- The Leino, Briere, and Hartnell line must stay intact.
I loved the way these guys played this playoff series. Their chemistry was great and they all seemed to bring out the best game in each other. Leino was phenomenal, and Hartnell stepped up to the plate, finally. Briere needs to stay at center and continue to work around the back of the net. This was one of the highlights of this years run. More power to all of them.
- Is Asham really an asset or just weighing Giroux and Van Riemsdyk down?
I really like how Van Riemsdyk stepped up this year. Yes, he was young and made some mistakes, but if we can get him to develop he will be a force on the ice. He seems to be perfect for the Grinder role on the line. We have a playmaker in Mr Grilled Cheese himself, but we need a sniper to make ths line complete. I belive we can find someone on the market for this role and hopefully we can bring in an Umberger/Upshall type guy who is young and can grow into the role as the season progresses.
- The last line with Powe, Betts and Lappy is fine.
There isn't much to talk about here. These guys know their roles and are assets to our penalty kill in a big way. Kudos to Lappy for playing through adversity.
Hopefully we can get things moving next year and not have to wait until the last game of the season to clinch a playoff berth. (Borrowing a football quote "Playoffs!? you want to talk about PLAYOFFS?!") Last but not least, I just wanted to say I'm proud of our teams work ethic and how hard they pushed the limit this year. Can't wait till October.