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Game 48 : Edmonton

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I get the idea of stale and agree with that. I am just not sure that’s what this is right now. Remember that Edmonton lost 4-0, 3-0, and 6-1 to Toronto at home this year. Teams go through bad patches. The injury bug has hit us with Wheeler, Lowry, and Ehlers out. Lousy timing, but it can’t be controlled. This team seemed very tight and fighting for each other for most of this year. Maybe it has changed, but I am willing to give it more than 4 games before I declare Maurice’s style stale. We overachieved in 2018 and it has set up some false expectations. We experienced a natural regression in 2019 but still had a chance to take out St. Louis in the playoffs but for a collapse in game 5 and a team that caught lightning in a bottle for half a season. Then our defence completely caved in and we have not recovered from it. I put more responsibility on Chevy than Maurice for that, and sadly players don’t want to play in Winnipeg as much as other places, and it has little to do with the coach or the teammates, it really boils down to the city itself, the climate, and the taxes. Sucks to be the runt of the litter, but again it can’t be controlled. So I look at where we started from 10 years ago, what we climbed to, and why we have dipped since then. Losing your #1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 defencemen in one summer and  damaging the #3 guy in the process due to overwork was a sucker punch, and will take time to recover from. We cannot outbid the big markets for free agents, so this style is the one that works best for this market in my mind. It may appear to be stale in the low moments, but I don’t see firing Maurice as providing the spark that will turn things around. I would see it as the team throwing  in the towel on the year and would take us longer to recover from. We are a contender with our talent but hardly a favourite, and we would need a ton of breaks to win the Cup this year. One big trade for a top 2 defenceman at the deadline was not going to significantly change that status in my mind. And I see our window still at 4 years while the contracts for Scheifele, Ehlers, Connor, and Hellebuyck are in place. Some definite re-tooling needed, but not ready to blow up this approach yet. Ask me again if we lose the next 8 and get swept out losing 5-0 in every game in the playoffs. 

Or just tell me who steps in right now as a coach and makes us better. Part of the solution is not just the firing, but the quality of the hire. Who is the best candidate available right now? (On paper, Mike Babcock has the best track record but he is now a toxic name after his time in Toronto). 

Aside from the gutted defence, what I am hearing is that our forwards are not doing enough defensively, and I certainly see that with bad passes and poor back checking, notably from Kyle Connor and supposed rink rat and student of the game Scheifele. How much is on the coach and how much is on the player? 

1 hour ago, HardCoreBlue said:

Don’t give up hope yet. Just getting this out of their system before the playoffs start (said while lying in fetal position moving back and forth. Thumb in mouth optional)

I am actually closer to the part in parentheses than all my other posts would suggest. 

Edited by TrueBlue4ever
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