Posted by Bogie6
This is why I prefaced my post by saying I'm not entirely sure I buy it either - or rather, if I think that seeing the poor starts etc. as part of a grand scheme really off-sets the problems we've seen.
That said: I take the position that if you need a coach to get you motivated to play in the NHL, you probably aren't long for the NHL. Motivation and emotional preparation has to come from within, not without. I would only charge the coach with the team's ill-preparedness if I thought the problem was bad strategy. And yeah, in the playoffs when the Bruins had to know the Canes and then the Flyers were trying to anticipate those D to D passes and formulaic breakouts, I do lay the blame on the coach for not preparing the team to feast on that aggressiveness. These flat starts - the lack of readiness isn't strategic, it's emotional. I'd want the players to look in the mirror before I'd look at CJ.
As for Wheeler's supposed effectiveness - except for the last two games, he hasn't scored more or generated any more scoring chance out of the pivot than he did as a winger. I posted this the other day when he was behind every forward but Thornton and Campbell in scoring. He goes back to wing when Savard comes back. End of story. Unless he starts a new story somewhere else.
When Recchi's on, he's still one of the tone-setters for this team. That's part of the problem. Someone else has to step up and outplay him before I'd be comfortable with your plan. I agree, though, that it would be ideal to use Recchi's spot and 4th line RW as two sides of a coin. When Rex is feeling it, keep him with Bergeron and Seguin/Caron. When he's feeeling out of it, 4th line and give someone else those minutes.