It's 5:30 am, and I'm taking a break from writing my paper on the history of usury. Fun. Now, I'm going to take a quick look at our offense, and consider the common view that our offense is too talented to be struggling, and that we should blame the coach and our top players like Gaborik and Richards for our struggles.
While this team has enough forwards, they lack scoring in the bottom of their lineup. It’s why I was worried to see Artie go, and why I advocate bringing in Zucs right now. Past our top 6, our offense is practically nonexistent. Pyatt, Miller, Boyle, Halpern, Powe, Asham make up our bottom 6, I think that is at least something we can all agree on. Seriously, here are some ugly numbers.
- Pyatt: 6 points in 25 games.
- Boyle: 2 points in 21 games.
- Miller: 4 points in 17 games.
- Halpern: 1 point in 25 games.
- Powe/Rupp: 0 points in 22 games.
- Asham/Mashinter/Haley: 1 point in 21 games.
Yeah, that’s ugly. Reaaaallly ugly. 14 combined points all season for our current bottom 6.
People criticize Torts for not getting enough offense, and riding his top 2 lines too hard, but past that, where in the world is he expected to get offense from? Staal, McD, Girardi, Stralman, and DZ all produce more offensive than those guys. Essentially, we’re running with 2 lines who don't even have the ability to score.
Personally, I’d prefer to have Boyle and Pyatt on the 4th line, honestly, but we don’t have any 3rd liners to take their spots. None of those guys should or can be relied upon to score. The way I’m looking at it is this: If Boyle is on the 4th line, we’re in good shape. If he isn’t, and we’re relying on him and Pyatt to score, we’re in trouble.
People want to criticize Gaborik? Fine. They can be my fucking guest. But at least realize he has the same amount of points as Pyatt, Miller, Boyle, Asham, Mashinter, Haley, Powe, Halpern, Kreider, and Ferriero combined.
Just let that sink in.
When half of your forwards don’t have the ability to produce, I’m not sure what the coach is supposed to do to create offense without killing his top guys. I mean that.
Everyone downplayed the loss of Dubi, Artie, Mitchell, and Feds, etc., but those guys could produce more than our current bottom 6. Claiming that they are easily replaced, and we didn't have to worry. Well, look at our team right now, and look around the league.
Mitchell has like 13 points (8 goals) in 24 games, which is pretty much the equivalent of our entire bottom 6 combined. That’s ugly. Fedotenko would be 7th among our forwards in points right now. That’s ugly. So would Artie, Dubi, or Prust. We really could have used those guys at this point. Any of them.
I can't sit here and honestly blame the coach for not getting more out of this team. I look up and down the line-up, and question the abilities of our forwards. Gaborik, Richards, and Nash can all produce, no question, but none of them can play well in the defensive zone.
Pyatt, Boyle, Halpern, Powe, and Asham can all play good defensively, and control the puck, but none of them can produce. So far, Miller hasn't really been able to contribute either.
Past Hagelin, Stepan, and Callahan, we don't have any forwards who can play two-ways. When you're a coach, and 3, arguably 4 (Nash) of your forwards are versatile enough to play in both zones, you aren't left with many options.
Blame the coach if you want. Blame the players if you want. As for me, I’ll blame the organization for going into the season with 2 fourth lines, and only 6 forwards who can actually score, expecting to win consistently.
Just to summarize here. Combined, our bottom 6 forwards have 17 points in 131 games. Averaging that out to each of the 6 playing 82 games (492 games total), our ENTIRE BOTTOM 6 would be on pace to put up less than 64 points combined. For comparison sakes, last year (counting Stepan, Hags, Richie, Gabby, Cally, and Dubi as our top 6), our bottom 6 (Artie, Mitchell, Boyle, Prust, Feds, Rupp), averaged out with each of the 6 playing 82 games, were on pace to put up 134 points combined.
So, when from one year to the next, your bottom 6 produces 70 less points over a full 82 game season, in order to maintain the same level of offense, your top 6 and defense have to produce 70 more points. Well, good luck with that.
Also, ignore the probable hundreds of typos in here. I'm tired as hell :) Maybe I'll fix em later!