Going into this season thinking that we were prepared to take a run because of our success last year was a huge illusion. Expecting the spectacular goaltending of last year to continue was a huge illusion.
Expecting that all our defence needed was more experience was the next illusion. Last year's continuous falling behind, and the far-too-often defensive blunders was the first sign that we needed more experience in the back end besides the aging Phillips.
And expecting the defensive woes of Spezza's line to fix itself was the next grand illusion.
Last year, the management basically decided that all we needed was to shore up our offence.
I can forgive the blunder of giving up Bishop in favour of a potential top six guy, but I find it hard to forgive them standing pat with our defence that is made up of four guys who should be playing #6 or #7 minutes who are blamed for being bad because they are overmatched on most night, playing way too many minutes against other team's best players.
The last illusion is that we have this tremendous depth in our system. The depth consists of more potential bottom pairing dmen and bottom six forwards.
Other than Hoffman and Lazar, I don't see any high quality depth at any position..
All of the really good teams have all around players in the top six... players who can be trusted to play when the game is on the line. Spezza has his points, but is a perennial minus player, and this is a horrid example to be showing for a captain.
This is a coaching problem, because it is not insisted upon that he play responsibly defensively... and Michalek more often than not follows the example. Alfy used to save that line on a regular basis by playing third man high and defending when the other two were "lost behind the opposition net.".
I regret the negative tone here, but man this is a PAINFUL team to watch.
Resigning Hemsky and Ryan doesn't fix much of anything either. I fail to understand why at the very least Michalek and Phillips weren't moved for prospects and picks, and why we stood pat with this defence..