The Sports Daily > Buckeye State Hockey
February Reality Check

Now, I should probably preface this with the fact that I tend to react quickly and frankly to things, although the playoff trance had me going there for a while.

Look back at last year.  At this time, their record was better, and the fans felt practically the same way – they could really get there – about the team.  Were you unrealistic?  No, not at all, but who could have possibly anticipated the Adam fo*te debacle, and the removal of Fedorov (necessary) right around deadline time, as the team waned away from any real post-season hopes.
But is this year the same?  So they lost a couple games in the past week.  Prior to that, they took down one of the league’s best (Detroit) and looked comfortable doing so.  Mason found out he has mono, which could easily be the only reason he has looked human since December.  Injuries have quietly dissipated, although the loss of young Filatov, and obviously having Brassard out for the remainder of the season hurts, but also consider the addition of Williams and the rise of young Voracek and you end up rounding out a confident team that fits with one another.
My February concerns are fairly simple.  
  • Acquiring a center, even at rental status to take up Brassard’s spot for the remainder of the season.  This will allow minimal line modifications, and let the players get set in positions they are comfortable with.  I do not care how much you want to think he might be capable of it, Malhotra is NOT a first line center. Who should go?  A prospect, and Modin.  I do not care how hard that will be to swing, Howson needs to swing it.
  • Continue to work with the powerplay to make it a POWERplay, rather than simply a man advantage.  Playoff teams have strong specialty teams.
  • Let Mason get healthy.  Mono is a horrible thing to deal with, and he should be on bedrest for at least a week to try and get back when his body is prepared to let him back.  What happened against Dallas and St Louis could easily have been avoided if Hitch would think with his head rather than Mason’s.
  • Trade a defensemen.  The logjam is going to be an issue with Klesla healthy again.  I personally do not want to see Backman dress again, and I would hate the idea of either Methot or Russell having to sit out games.  They all have their strengths, and they are all trying to build chemistry with their linemates.  No more juggling!
Enough from me fans.. What do YOU think?
Carry the Flag!