posted at 3/25/2013 11:04 AM EDT
In response to jmwalters' comment:
I think many get overly frustrated because this team "did" win a cup in 11. Like the Hurricanes, after their improbable championship, the B's overall have been quite ordinary. For stretches of the 11 regular season, they were pretty tough to watch too.
If they lose the next 2 games, and that is a big if, then having this conversation will be valid. This is essentially the same core of players that won a cup 2 seasons ago. If they can't even wake up for the important games against rivals then something will have to give eventually because this team has been spinning its wheels for some time now.
The Cup run in 11, the exit in round 1 of last years playoffs, and a fairly good slump going on right now, is very confusing to many. Fact is though, this up and down stuff happens every year, to every team, and in a full season comes along more than once. If luck and the intangibles kick in at the right time...good things happen. If not...look out.
I see a couple of things with this team. The first is that I just haven't seen as much determination from this group since the Cup win, and I believe this group only becomes elite when they outwork everyone else. Without the jam they're just another team. A good team with some very good pieces, but a lineup that will always struggle to score, meaning anything less than defensive perfection(including goaltending)hampers the ability to win. A group just can't turn it on when they feel like it, at least not at this level. If that's true, there needs to be a jolt...a real big one somewhere, and the enthusiasm has to be built back.
The second is what I call, the Ryder factor. Any kind of discussion that includes the word offense, coupled with the words Paille, Peverly, and Kelly, suggests some pretty glaring issues. They're important pieces, but no hands whatsoever. This group desperately misses another guy who can change the game with a timely goal. Those mentioned above can never be counted on, to do that, but another Ryder type can. Because of fiscal realities, that type of player will most likely end up being an underachieving, streaky type(unless it's a rental)
Simply put, great teams are a perfect workhorse-racehorse balance. You can turn a racehorse into somewhat of a plowhorse, but it just doesn't work the other way. This team needs a bit more fire power. I think a solid aquisition(no subtraction) will really put this team in a position to compete for a championship, providing injuries aren't a problem. As is, I don't feel this team has the ponies.