Alright I would like to begin by saying that I have been a longtime reader of this site, and I post rarely. The reasons for my posting today is to get some things off my chest, just like the rest of you Pantera-loving, god-fearing, Star-gazers.
I am proud of how our guys stood up and took it to Calgary last night. Yes, it was against a team that was at the end of a 5-game road trip. The opponent may have been weary, but tones have to be set, and hopefully one was set last night. We have to start getting better somewhere, and here's to hoping last night was the beginning of something great.
Many people have been commenting about how they are disappointed with our Captain. He is leading the team in assists as of last night, and setting the tone every night with his play. He challenged Beauchemin to a fight when all was lost in Anaheim-- and spanked him. Then he turns around and drops two goals on Calgary. How can you be disappointed with that?
What this team needs is to have Goligoski and/or Gonchar ride the bench if their play dictates that sort of demotion. Unfortunately we will not find takers for either in the trade markets because of their god-awful play. Not all investments pay off, but do not fret. The season is still young. Due to Gonchar's play last season, and the calming influence I am sure he has had on Nichu so far, I am inclined to let him find his legs as the season progresses. He will have a very short leash if he does not improve over the next few games. And if after, say 4 more games, if there is no further improvement, send him through waivers and bring up Oleksiak.
Goligoski has been nothing more than an utter disappointment since his arrival here. Unfortunately this is a fact, sometimes players do not work out in certain organizations. He certainly has talent, and it has shown in flashes. Those flashes regretfully are too few and far between. I wish him the best, but at another organization. I have just seen too many mistakes (over the last 3 freaking seasons!) to see him as anything more than a liability on the ice. I hope he is bought out at the end of the season and we move on from the biggest debacle of Niewy's era as GM. (Some may point to the hiring of Crow as the biggest gaffe, but I feel that this has had a longer negative effect.)
I have faith that our GM, the great sage that is Nill, will lead us to the promised land. But the road to that land will not be conquered by the likes of Goligoski. We need Oleksiak, ladies and gentlemen. I believe it will be a short time until we see him up here permanently.
Now, I will focus on the forwards. Nichushkin is not producing currently at the rates of other top draft picks. DO NOT fret! He is putting it all together, and from the vibes I have gathered from GDT's, we all feel it. Just wait until mid season when the kid is humming along. Ideally this season, he will find chemistry with our top line at some point, but that is a tall order. Look for him to produce when he realizes that Horcoff's only reason for being on the ice is to win faceoffs and give him drop passes. He had three last game that he missed, but did pick up a couple towards the end of the game. I am so freaking excited about this kid, just realize that he is playing a full season in the NHL at 18-- something our beloved Modano did not do, he returned to his junior team and debuted in the spring of his 18th year. So just let that percolate in your brain for a minute.
He will be a dynamic player. He will blow your socks off. Let him get into his groove.
Eakin, unfortunately is a dynamite 3C but no 2C. He is just too frantic in the offensive zone. Ideally we need Seguin to be able to win the majority of his faceoffs so Pev's can drop down to 2C this year, and we can banish Horcoff to the depths of hell.
Viddler has been better than Horcoff. There, I said it too. Which you all should now take as fact and the law of the land. ;)
If Cole continues his strong play, I see a role for him to be a bash-brother with Nichu. Just imagine a 3rd line of Nichu-Eakin-Cole. D E A D L Y...
Chiasson is FOR REAL ladies and gentlemen. That kid BATTLES, as he likes to put it. Who enjoyed his cowboy hat after last game? Hilarious. That is the kind of cojones we need on our team.
Roussel should never be allowed to leave our team. He is a better version of a young Ott. It took time for Ott to find his scoring touch at the NHL, and it will for Roussel as well, but the kid can fight better than the old man.
Here's why I think so: 1. Roussel has more foot speed than Ott ever did. 2. Rooster can swing with both hands, and looks to punish other opponents, not only rile them up. Ott was all fun and games, trying to get under people's skin (see the visor licks and multi-lingual curses and momma jokes). However when the gloves were dropped, he did not use both fists, and sadly most fights were grappling contests.. Not so with Rooster. He beats opponents harder than Michael Jackson beat the pop charts in the 80's.
I for one am looking forward to next week when the old rabble-rouser comes home... We should be treated to at least one memorable, yet respectful fight between the two of these warriors.
Nothing needs to be said of Seguin, he is everything I knew we were getting the trade, and while I do love our old Scandinavian, (he is not Boston's and should be coming back when he hits FA in three years) we were clearly the winners in that trade. I want to take a second on my soapbox to wish him well.
Anyway, in conclusion, I feel the season is not lost, rather it is just beginning. So do not be "patient", just enjoy the ride. Lament the losses and applaud the victories. Cause whether we turn out a poor record or a good one, rest assured it will be a fun ride.
P.S. My plans for next seasons offsesason's buyouts are: Horcoff and Goligoski. Aaaaaaand now we have ~$10 MM in cap to buy a legit top line RW.
I hereby end my dissertation.