In response to SanDogBrewin's comment:
"How're things looking for your last AHL crush? Sauve lighting it up anywhere yet?"
Nice burn he is in Germany with Jamie Arneil looking for the St. Pauli Girl.
"you started down this path talking about what a great scorer he is based on his stats."
I said he "has increased his scoring", "upping" your totals while not playing on the top line with Bourque-Spooner-Tardif is a significant becuase Craig is doing it with 3rd and 4th line minutes. This says he can put the bisquit in the basket without needing top line minutes which is what will happen in the NHL if he gets there.
"My point has always been that I think the coaching staff and Sweeney's department are better able assess whether a guy has what it takes to play at the next level or not."
This is my point in the case of a player like Cunnungham. He is doing everything Neely/Sweeney/PC/Cassidy ask of him and then Julien wants a safe-saftey-net-player instead of giving Richie Cunningham his due shot for a few games to see if he can adjust the fast pace.
I feel most players in Providence only get a shot if there is an injury in Boston.
Nice image. Different kind of "draft success". You win on that alone!
On your last point, I don't disagree. I think they get a shot to show something in the camp, and in a pre-season game or two, and then Julien makes up his mind about them and they don't get a lot of chances to change it until next year's camp. If they really seize the day in camp, you might see the whole braintrust say "I think we need to see where this goes." Once the team is set, though, Julien will eat a boulder before he'll bump one of his guys - any of his guys. So much of how they play relies on chemistry, defensive reads, knowing the system, knowing the guys on your line, and knowing your line's role. We see Julien stick with Fat and others through huge slumps before he will finally make changes in his lines. And it seems to work when you look at how the Krejci line caught fire in the playoffs - lose a few battles but win the war. And frankly, I don't mind the threshold being high for guys to take jobs from proven NHLers, but I understand you're talking about less-than-proven guys who keep getting called like Caron or Benny the Pooh or CBourque.
That goes to your second-to-last point, though. I don't agree that Julien has a blanket preference for defensively responsible veterans; I do think it's true that he prefers veterans for the third line role, and that's pretty much where the only opening has been for the last couple of years. I posted something a while back about the philosophy behind the roster, and how, in the Chiarelli era, you've seen more rookies/Providence guys end up at the top of the lineup than at the bottom. Krejci, Marchand, Lucic, Seguin all ended up on the top two lines in pretty short order, and Kessel and Wheeler did too (before Wheeler fell out of favour). The Bruins have gone for veterans at the bottom of the lineup pretty consistently.
It's always going to be about doing everything you're asked to do, and doing it when an opportunity presents itself. Marchand did bo-diddly when he had his first shot, but grabbed his second shot by the gonads and ran all the way to Olympic Camp. This is where we disagree, I think. I would blame the team for not giving guys a shot if they were moving on and getting a shot elsewhere - then proving they belong and excelling. Sort of the way Colorado must feel when they look at their D corps and wonder if Boychuk would be useful, or Columbus thinking about McQuaid rather than the 5th rounder they got for him. Maybe they were just never going to fit there, and they need a structure like Boston's? But these cases of guys coming up the hard way seem to get rarer every year, and the more you see top prospects making the jump quickly, the more having to battle longer in the minors is a stigma. Guys become "minor-leaguers" rather than "prospects". I think if Cunningham doesn't get a shot to show what he can do this year, that might be his fate. This is his last year under his EL contract. I won't be surprised if he gets 4-5 games this year on that fact alone, especially if he does as you say and increases his scoring pace another 5 goals/10 points.