After reading post game reports, reading fans comments/posts, and watching post game videos everyone seems to be saying the same things. We either have to have a fire sale of everyone in the organization or trade half the team away that got us where we were last year and could possibly be this year. I think there is a slight possibility we could all be wrong. I could be wrong as well with this but I haven't seen anyone bring this up yet......Maybe the players are afraid of playing bad and getting benched or sat.
I played hockey almost my entire life until high school when I blew out my knee and effectively ended a players career. There were times while playing throughout the years where I was so scared of screwing up that I played horrible. After a really bad game in my early high school career my coach came to me and told me I need to relax. Easier said than done. The next game i played and sucked and was sat for a period and a half. I didn't even dress the next game. I was told to stay away from the game and team and enjoy a night out with friends or family. So I spent the night at a friends house and went paint balling the next day. The next weekend I felt a lot better and played as such.
Now i know in a shortened season that isn't exactly possible for NHL players, but there is another option. Torts needs to lay off the guys in the locker room. Stop trying to scare them into playing better. He needs to be more positive and reassuring of his players now more than ever it seems. The leaders of the room (Hank, G, Cally, and Richie) need to go to him and get him to realize that what he's doing isn't working. That he should work with them on a new way to bring out the talents of the players. The shortened season and no camp hurt us a lot. People have said good things need to happen to get us going again. That's true, but it starts from the top down.
The coaching staff should have noticed on their own that this grinding system and sitting of players no longer works but they haven't. So its up to the players to to make them see that. Things shouldn't have to be that way but it is. Many of us would say that it means Torts needs to go, and though I do agree in a sense, I don't believe he's lost them just yet. Torts just needs to loosen his grip a bit and just relax himself. The staff is also under a lot of stress. This would be a good time for a 2nd assistant coach to come in and take some pressure of Sully and Torts.
They should also put in some kind of offensive system for the players to use. Letting them create on their own just isn't working. The team is also so scared of screwing up defensively its hand cuffed them to having a horrible offense. If Torts loosens up then i believe the players will. Change the system a bit and i think the wins will start pilling up. However small the chance maybe now, we can still be cup contenders this year.