Monday, February 3, 2014

The Defense Rests

If it wasn't clear before yesterday's game, it certainly became glaringly obvious after: this team needs an upgrade on the blueline.

I've been chirping this for months, through all the other struggles with injury and offensive droughts and whatnot.  Most of the other problems (besides injury) have cleared up, but the one thing that has been consistent is the fact that our D-corps is nigh-translucent.  If you score 5 goals in one hockey game, there are very few excuses as to why you don't win that game.  And by the ways, injuries?   The only big recent injury we had on defense was losing Rig to broken ribs, and he's back.  Honestly, he's been one of, if not THE best defenseman we've had over the last week of games.  We've run almost the exact same 6 D all year, and it hasn't gotten any better.

Smith still stinks, Quincey is a sabotaging double-agent, and Kindl looks ready to go back to the AHL.  Lashoff is spotty at best, but at least he doesn't get caught pinching like Smith always does.  The biggest offender, and I'll take flak for this and I really don't care, is Kronwall.  Let's level, okay guys? Nik Kronwall is not a #1 defenseman, he is plugging the hole with his finger, not filling it.  The style Kronwall has played since the departure of Lidstrom is not his style of play, and it's obvious.  The dude is here to bang bodies and keep enemy offenses honest, and he does not do that on a regular basis.  It's part of why opposing skaters attack out defensive zone so aggressively and get the big chances that they do.  Kronner is not a shut-down guy, he's a knock-down guy!  And before you say it, I don't care about the risk of suspension if Kronner starts Kronwalling guys frequently again.  You know why?  Because a hell of a lot of good it's done us for him to NOT do it! We're still struggling for a playoff spot and we're giving up 5 goals every other game, do you need reminded of the game against Philly??  This is not a singularity!  Our. Defense. SUCKS.

I'm not saying there's definitely an answer out there to be had at the trade deadline, but DO NOT feed me the same Ken Holland bullshit that "We like our team as it is" and "There's really no one out there that interests us." because damn-near ANYTHING is better than what we've got right now.  Management needs to stop deluding itself and WORK on fixing this very real PROBLEM.  Even if they go after someone and don't get them, at least if I can see they TRIED, that's enough for me...