Another dose from Truth Serum
Dose of Reality
After reading The Dispatch this morning, I’m glad that President and General Manager Doug MacLean is not ready to give up. He has anther 73 games to go and he is still positive. As he must be. And I agree 100% that there are five or six players who can score 30 goals. But I am not prepared to give him a ringing endorsement at this time.
Doug can’t hit the panic button yet, but he doesn’t have that many alternatives to consider in the future. Who would he trade, the $6 million Fedorov or the $4.6 million Foote? Do you think anyone out there is seeking them, the two highest paid players on the roster? I have a hunch that teams are more interested in Nash, Zherdev, or Brule.So MacLean says that he may look internally first to add more scoring to the team. Do I plan on seeing Mark Hartigan, Geoff Platt, and Alexandre Picard re-join the team? Joe Motzko was leading the team with one goal after eight games, but we have yo-yo’ed him enough for the last three seasons. We need a bit more of a punch.
And Doug is giving Coach Gallant his vote of confidence, at least for now. So what is the team going to do? He has told us that they don’t need no stinking scoring lessons, so we have to work on team defense. Now you’re talking!
But wait, haven’t we been there before? I mean Adam Foote is certainly better than most defensmen in the NHL, and Klesla and Hainsey are no slouches. Vyborny, Federov, Malhotra, and Modin all have decent checking skills. A lot of the other guys aren’t that bad, either.
So what can we do? I guess maybe they should focus on winning by scoring more goals than the other team. Perhaps the team should take more shots, clear some of the rebounds that Leclaire deals, use some speed on the breakout, and stay out of the penalty box. Another great idea to try is to look deep inside of themselves and search for a way to win. When you are holding a lead over Vancouver at home, make it stand. Because it doesn’t seem that a trip to Syracuse is all that motivating to this group. A trade to Pittsburgh, Carolina, or Anaheim is actually something to look forward to these days.
The players all seem to get along with each other, which is great, and we know that Gallant, Gary Agnew, and Gord Murphy are all beholden to MacLean. But there seems to be a disconnect. I wouldn’t exactly call it a lack of respect for management, but I don’t see many of the players willing to take that bullet, to do anything except be humiliated by another loss. Maybe they are confused about which master they are to serve?
All I gathered out of The Dispatch report is that MacLean has faith in them and we fans should just continue to show up and they will eventually win. The players know that Syracuse is not going to save the mothership and they know that very few of them are going to be moved. They also see that in the past, a trip out of Columbus was usually beneficial most of the time. But they understand very well that above all else, Doug MacLean is here to stay and they have to live within his system. As one writer in Toronto put it, “GM Doug MacLean is on the verge of killing his play thing…” I hope the writer is wrong and that the players can find ways to win.