I dunno. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to think and I don’t know what to say.
Marty Turco is really making me nervous. The sophomore-slump potential of three of our defensemen is starting to worry me. And Sean Avery is showing me nothing. Nothing.
I miss the “vanilla” team (as Brett Hull puts it) that we had last year. They seemed to do fine. Adding Avery for spice has, at most, done nothing. He may not be the cause of all our problems (I’m not ruling it out), but he is not helping at all. He’s already being told to tone down his antics, I assume because they’re embarrassing. And without his antics, I don’t see the “solid player” with “skills” that we were promised. He’s just an agitator who can’t agitate and an attention hog that can’t call attention to himself.
Let’s do a Rangers test. Since the only thing we ever hear about him is that the NY Rangers had a significantly higher losing percentage when he wasn’t playing, let’s test it here. Let’s see how much worse they are when he’s a healthy scratch. I bet it would have no effect. It might even have a positive effect. (It surely would for me, since I wouldn’t have to see him on the ice or hear his name mentioned by Ralph and Razor.)
Okay, enough about him. The bigger problem is the defense and the goaltending and the forwards and the effort and the execution. Did I leave anything out?
Grossman and Niskanen and Fistric need to remember how good they were last season and get it into their heads that they can play. I assume that’s a big part of the sophomore slump — finding out that the rest of the league has adjusted to you and adjusting to that. Boucher and Robidas are going to have to cover for them and help them keep up their confidence.
On the other hand, when every little mistake you make ends up in the net, it’s hard for anybody to build confidence, let alone kids.
And while the defensemen are working on their problems, the forwards need to do a little backchecking. Modano’s line is doing fine. Maybe the rest of them can try some of what that line is doing. Skating, backchecking, forechecking, winning puck battles. You know, the stuff this team usually does.
I haven’t hit the panic button yet, but my finger is hovering about an eighth of an inch from it.