This season's blueline and goaltending has been a big question mark for a lot of people. I don't think that anyone could argue that our defense is depleted with the loss of Matt Carle and Chris Pronger. While the blueline does concern me, a bigger worry is the Schenn Brothers and how they will do in the City of Brotherly Love (the season hasn't even started and I'm already sick of this joke- I promise it will be my last).
When we traded away Richards over a year ago, getting Brayden Schenn back was exciting. Simmonds proved to be a lot of fun to watch too, but Schenn was The Hockey New's top rated prospect and who wouldn't be excited to have him? Last year he looked good, and he really shined through in the Devils series. His play, along with our favorite Cosmonaut, was probably one of the few bright moments of the Devils series.
This year's big question mark is whether or not Schenn will mix into the Giroux-Hartnell line. On January 16ths Marek Vs. Wyshynski, our very own Travis Hughes reported that he thought Jakub Voracek seemed the more likely choice. The buzz since training camp started has been Schenn on the top line. Since a good majority of our offensive production was that top line, one has to wonder how Schenn will perform...
Luke Schenn is an oddity, and I'm still not sure that James van Riemsdyk for Schenn was the best move (it also made my away jersey purchased shortly after he signed a contract extension a moot point- dang you Holmgren!). I frequently listen to Hockey Central at Noon on Sportsnet 590. The show ends up being a little Leaf centric at times, but a big concern last year was Schenn's play. He was not progressing the way the people wanted or expected. There was a lot of thought then that Ron Wilson was not managing his development well.
A big issue for Schenn has been his number of turnovers and his inability to make the first pass coming out of the zone. That has to be a concern when you loose someone like Chris Pronger who had become the king of the first pass.
You also have to worry about his ability to fill the void of a player like Carle. I know everyone bitched a ton about Carle last year (Pardini), but he led the team in minutes. Can a player who was a healthy scratch last year possibly eat up those minutes? One thing to consider is that Ron Wilson may have been playing Schenn against the top line when he wasn't ready for that role. He was also playing against the top line on an inconsistent blueline led by Mr. Inconsistency himself Dion Phaneuf.
I'm not sure I answered a single question here. If anything this article just goes in circles asking rhetorical questions that no one can even answer (or at least that is what my students think a rhetorical question is- one that cannot be answered).
This 48 game season is dependant on a solid showing from the Schenn brothers. Can they be the Super Schenn Bros. or will they be another bust?