Okay, this post wasn't inspired solely by the devastating loss against MTL - I have been marinating on these moves for quite some time. There are some glaring issues with the personnel on our team that need to be addressed. Lindy starts certain players that should not qualify to be on an NHL-caliber team, let alone a Stanley Cup winning team. Here's the list:
-Nathan Gerbe: Yes, I get it - we love his pluck. He's an inspiration to short people everywhere. If you enjoy watching him tear it up, fire up some of his highlights from Boston College. Here's the harsh reality: he is too small to be effective at the NHL level. Opposing players treat him like an irritating gnat, even the refs don't afford him any respect (did you see the game where the ref slammed Gerbe against the glass?). He's too small to muscle his way into a scoring position...even when given a chance on the the top line (against the Capitals), he was a a non-factor. Thus, Lindy relegates him to the checking line...a 5'5" guy on the checking line...THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. Keep him as a career player on the Amerks - I'm sure he would be much more affective in the AHL.
-Matt Ellis: Ellis' upside - he gives every NHL game his best effort. Well, guess what - this isn't middle school where you're graded on effort - his on ice results are mediocre at best. There are so many more prospects and journeymen on the Americans that could better contribute. Just to name a few: Kevin Porter, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone, Mark Mancari.
-Drew Stafford: Anybody else notice he hasn't done much this year? I supported his re-signing - In the past he has dazzled with flashes of brilliance. It appears his season with 4 hatricks was a freak accident. His inconsistencies are infuriating. IMAGINE - our team with Bobby Ryan in his stead...ugh...we'd be SO much better.
-Jochen Hecht: Im glad we only signed him to a one-year contract. Once again...he's a player that shows consistent effort with minimal results.
-Lindy Ruff: I respect Lindy...I like his gruffness, stoicism, and tenacity. However, our personnel problems all stem from this man. This is speculation - but this is what I have gathered about his style of coaching over the past few years...His on ice product is not based on skill; ice time is awarded to favorites: sycophants who try the hardest to please Lindy and conform to his system. Also - his severe style of coaching created a toxic atmosphere in the locker room. If you guys remember, morale was low at the end of last season, causing Derek Roy to speak out against Lindy...we all know what happened to him. Even though Roy was the only player who voiced his dissatisfaction, I heard a lot of the other players felt the same way. He's too hard on them - we need a coach that can inspire and leverage talent.
We need to cut bate on the players I just listed and, unfortunately, relieve Lindy of his duties. Otherwise, we will be a perennially mediocre team.