In some respect I wish the deadline was after the historic road trip of the Canucks. Just to see whos left, whos injured and who looks tired. The rest of this road trip is going to be killer. Det, Chi, Nas, Col, Phx. With Mitchell in question and the return of Juice, the D Men are hanging on to the skin of their teeth. I had faith in Rome and Baumer, but have misplaced it somewhere. Ehrhoff, Salo, Edler & O'Brien Will need to do the bulk of the work. Even with Juice's return, he will still need to get to speed and adjust quickly.
Andrew Albert will help, but as I have seen from many tweet reports. His game is similar to Luko and why do we need to duplicate and give up a 3rd rounder unless it is simple for depth if Mitchell does not return. If Mitchell does not return and is done for the rest of the season I feel we will suffer a lot when it comes to shut down, get your hands dirty defense for the playoffs.
Sean Zimmerman redeems MG a little bit for the whole Matthew Schneider debacle. But most likely it was another warm body for the moose.
At the end of the day MG didn't address the need for a 3rd/4th line upgrade. With little to none cap space Backes was too high and more or less likely to come this way due to the fact that MG really didn't have much to give (unless he was willing to sell the farm, which I'm glad he didn't) Halpern, Horton and Torres were on my Radar but maybe not for the MG & CO. I personally feel, as much as I hate playing against him Torres would of been a great edition.
My hope is that Pudge, Hands of Stone Bernier, Tanner Glass, RYJO & Hords get the message from above. "You are still here because we believe you can contribute" DID YOU HEAR THAT PUDGE AND BERNIER!
So with all that being said, I am content because we added 1.5 D-Men. (Zimmerman, who knows? Cause I don't) The what ifs are always there. What if, Bernier contracts Johan Frazen syndrome and becomes super human in the playoffs? What if, Pudge can grind it out and dangle a bit and contribute? There are so many what ifs? And comments out there that we can make.
There are 20 something games left. I still feel the Nucks need to play their hearts out to make it in to the playoffs, regardless if we are sitting atop the division.
Here comes my assessment for the rest of the season and playoffs:
We have two great lines. Triplets & Kesler, Demo, May Ray
I believe Samuelson can play on either 2nd or 3rd, but maybe he will be more valuable playing on the 3rd as a checker and score timely goals, while Bernier crashing and banging and while Pudge can use some of that skill set.
RyJo, Hords & Glass need to be way more reliable as a tough 4th line energy line. If they want to make the Canucks competitive in the playoffs. Add Ripper to that line as well, just not so much his fist but his speed and grit.
I believe this year the Sedins will show up during the playoff run, better than we have seen before. Kesler and his line will be successful.
It is the 3rd and 4th line which will give the Canucks the boost they need to get over and beyond the 1st & 2nd round. This is the key and it has been handed to those bottom 6-7 guys in that dressing room to use it.
I feel AV should be preparing these guys for certain roles (ex Bernier being a tough shut down guy & building some chem between Pudge and Samuelson as Defense 1st, Offense 2nd) for the last 20 games. Implementing it into their system and addressing the issues that will be needed to make a hard push into the playoffs. As for the D-men, Smart Smart D men have jobs in the NHL. Rome and Baumer just need to remember that. What I learned from Doughty was that he was on that team because he had great hockey Smarts to be on that Olympic team. If only Phaneuf had that he truly would be a monster.
Overall I love that MG didn't sell the farm and is waiting till the off season to see what kind of major moves and options there are. Cause teams are built in the off season and not at trade deadlines.
I've said a lot and you might make a mockery of my thoughts. Thats okay.... I just needed an escape from my crappy tax return.
GO CANUCKS GO!