Let's get some perspective here and not sh!t all over the OP. Yes, for the most part hockey is like poker in the sense that the phrase "It's luck in the short term and skill in the long term" applies, but I think his message was just to point out the fact that, in general, it is a little glaring to see that besides not being very talented and skillful, we aren't getting many great bounces and good fortune. Why is this important? Because there are definitely a few teams each year that, while maybe not the most talented, get a few bounces going there way (read: good fortune) and end up making the playoffs. We could very well be one of those teams this year, had a shootout or two gone our way or a few pucks at the end of a couple games not gone in, but that just wasn't the case and here we are finding ourselves 5pts back of the last wild card spot instead of perhaps tied for that last spot.
With that said, I do agree that age is a pretty big factor as to why we've faltered for the past two years. I also think it's DeBoer's fault. I think our terrible start this year was inexcusable and I was calling for his firing in October. It's tough because I think he strategizes a good game, but I agree with pretty much everyone else here that his call-ups/send-downs and erratic line juggling is asinine and aggravating to say the least.
On the flipside, anyone who thinks goaltending, particularly Brodeur, is to blame for our lack of success the past two years is nuts and they need to look at the obvious low-hanging fruit. Not saying he (or Schneider for that matter), are without blame, because they definitely can be criticized, but this team was DEAD LAST in goals scored last year, and tied for 28th this year. Only Nashville (3 behind us) and Buffalo (who is a scoring anomaly this year) have scored fewer goals than us.
5, 10 and even 15 years ago we could get away with that when we had stellar goaltending from Marty and whoever his backup was at the time, but now that we're in transition to the post-Marty era and neither he nor the guys he's splitting time with (Hedberg, Schneider, et al) have been as lights-out as he was during that stretch of 5-10-15 years, we end up in this not-so-fun, missing-the-playoffs purgatory.
I also don't think Lou is to blame for all of this. He tried. What more do people want? At some point it has to fall on the players. Yes, Ryder has been a pretty big disappointment. Clowe as well. Brunner was hurt for a little while, but he probably has more production to give as well. And as much as I like Zajac, he's making WAYYY too much money to provide only 15-20 goals a year. The money he earns says he should be putting up 25-30.
When you look at our roster, it's pretty pathetic and the only guy any other team would covet when it comes to scoring ability, age, and price tag, is Henrique.
I guess without continuing to ramble I just wanted to say it's no mystery why we're, in all likelihood, about to miss the playoffs....again.
Edited by NJDfan1711, 20 March 2014 - 03:19 PM.