Thursday, September 24, 2009

Let's Go Already

I wish I had something brilliant to put in this space but frankly, at this point I am sick and tired of preseason and ready for the real puck to drop. Sure, the final cuts still have to be made but those are just tweaks. Frankly, if it was me I would keep everyone that is left into the first two weeks of the season, then return MDZ and Geno Grachev to junior after their nine games are up (if they play more, they need a real contract that would count against the cap).

Don't get me wrong, both are highly talented and will be NHLers, but both can be replaced for this season, so why rush them? Detroit has built a dynasty by letting their prospects gestate as long as possible. And, let's face it, if there is a blueprint to follow, the Wings' is the best out there.

There really isn't much of a difference in MDZ's and Bobby Sanguinetti's performance. Sure MDZ has been drooled over by the announcers and has shown a fearlessness with the puck but Bobby can do everything that the kid can do, and he has more experience to rely upon when times get tough. Grachev definitely has the size edge on Enver Lisin but Lisen has shown a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Not to mention his breakaway speed ...

I'm sure we will see plenty of all four players over the remaining two preseason games. Honestly, I think they are just ridiculous money grabs for the franchises. Everyone showed up to camp in shape, so what are seven games needed for? Hank has said he wants to play both games but to what end? Why risk an injury at this point? What is to be gained that can't be flushed out in the four days of practice between the second Caps game and the opener in Pittsburgh?

The only thing that I can think of - in terms of benefits from the remaining preseason games - is that now Tortorella has all of his ingredients, he will get to play with his chemistry set. Everyone online is trying their hand at creating a monster for the playoffs and Torts will get to do it for real.

Lucky bastard.

My unsolicited opinion? The offense is a lot like what they practiced with today, just with a few changes:

Lisin-Prospal-Gaborik
Higgins-Drury-Callahan
Avery-Dubinsky-Kotalik
and
Voros-Boyle-Brashear (vs. the Pens, Devils, Ducks and Leafs in Toronto)
Voros-Anisimov-Grachev (vs. the Sens, Caps, Kings and Leafs at home)

The defense would be totally different; I wouldn't retard Gilroy's development by putting him with Redden, as Renney stunted Girardi's growth last season in that manner - same with Staal/Rozy. So I would go with:

Girardi-Gilroy
Staal-MDZ/Sanguinetti
Redden-Rozy/Semenov

Yes, I put Semenov rotating with Rozy. If Torts wants to claim accountability, we can dream of a day when he follows up on it - contracts be damned. Like I said, dream ... it will be put to the test soon enough.

Oh, before I get outta here, I wanted to send congrats out to Manny Malhotra for getting a job with the Jed and the Sharks, and congrats to Olie the Goalie for a job well done. The comparisons between him and Adam Graves are well warranted - both worked tirelessly for their teams and their community and both were unceremoniously dumped by said teams. Both will go down as all-time fan favourites with numbers in the rafters. Good luck to the goalie so big in net - both in size and in demeanor - that they named him Godzilla.

4 comments:

Jess Rubenstein said...

Going to disagree with you halfway Scotty.

Send MDZ back to London where he can do a Marc Staal and lead while learning how to become a leader.

Let MDZ earn a gold medal with Team Canada, maybe win a trip to the Memorial Cup and then next season I will predict a regular pushing Rozy out the door.

But Grachev unless Matt Duchene returns to Brampton then needs to go to Hartford. On Brampton he would be basically a one man band unlike MDZ who would be on a very good London team.

Grachev is about half a season from taking his rightful place on the Rangers. Keeping him at Hartford also gives you a ready made replacement when Lisin or Kotalik take their rightful place in Tortorella's dog house.

Wait until those 2 decide to take a night off as their track record has repeatedly shown.

dbmaven said...

After drinking too much Kool-Aid, I've come around to Jess' line of thought - although I'm not sure Lisin's going to earn that 'doghouse' spot - he seems energized and hungry to prove himself - if he can sustain it for 82 games it could be very interesting.

I'd also have to believe that Kotalik and Drury will end up together - otherwise what the hell was the sense in signing him? (That's a rhetorical question!)

Drew said...

I'd agree that I'd like to see MDZ back in the OHL (good reasoning, Jess) and I'd also like to see Grachev in Hartford where he can get a ton of minutes on the first line then a few minutes on the fourth cuz we all know torts does not play his fourth line. If Grachev really excels, then yes, call him and demote Kotalik. He's shown me nothing this preseason and I think he deserves nothing more than 4th line time plus the power play and shootout. That said, I'd like lines to look like this:

Prospal-Drury-Gaborik
Higgins-Dubinsky-Callahan
Avery-Anisimov-Lisin
Brashear-Boyle-Kotalik

Healthy Scratch: Voros

On D, you're right on with the exception of MDZ back in the OHL for one more season. Semenov is the 7th defenceman who starts when someone, probaly rozy or redden, plays like crap.

Derek said...

I feel like Del Zotto belongs and has earned his place. They have 9 games to see if he's ready. So, that's what they're doing. No way can you keep both DZ and Sangs up at the same time due to the cap.

That's why Sangs is in Hfd. Cause they want to see what Del Zotto can do. And he has outplayed him.

Kotalik is such a waste. He's just hogging a spot and 3 million.

I disagree about Gilroy bc he can handle playing with Redden.

I say:

Staal-Rozsival
Redden-Gilroy
Del Zotto-Girardi
Semenov