Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Who Sits for Sheldon?
Nevertheless, why do I think it may be Vishnevski? For starters, I don't think Vishnevski has shown why he's with the Devils. He hasn't been a physical presence, he hasn't been a destroyer, he has just been "there" on the third pairing. Brookbank has size and he can play tough (and fight). Given that he still only has 3 games of NHL experience, putting Brookbank on any pairing other than the third pairing would be a big surprise. So we know he's big, he's tough, he'll likely be on the third pairing, and he has shown he can play well in a minor league. From all that, it seems to me one of the third pairing defensemen will sit. Since Mottau is more of a two-way defenseman, I don't see Sutter playing two physical defensemen on the same pairing. Hence, I think Vishnevski will be a healthy scratch. Of course, as a blogger, I reserve any and all rights to be absolutely wrong.
Speaking of wrong, Rich Chere has reported in today's Star Ledger that Sutter has called out Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta. I know the offense has been a bit inconsistent at times (so what else is new), but you can't convince me that Elias, Gionta, or any forward are the key symptoms of this team's slow start. The team, as a whole, is shooting - an average of 30.6 shots per game. Would I like to see more of those go in the net? Of course I would. Who wouldn't? Given that the Devils have had games where they come from behind to tie it or win it, the potential is obviously there. But when the team is giving up a total of 14 goals in the second period alone in all of their games, when the team regularly makes major defensive gaffes in terms of coverage and positioning, I would think it's the defense that needs to be "challenged," not the team's two most talented wingers. Perhaps that's why Sheldon is being called up to play in the first place.
I never thought I would miss White so much. If I was Matvichuck I'd be extremely pissed off at not even getting to play one game. It's probably too late but how the hell can you judge the guy when he hasn't even stepped on the ice? He couldn't be too much slower than White or Mottau. How can you say he's too slow when he shut down Lecavier and StLouis in the playoffs? It's all positioning and smarts at that age. Good guy in the locker room according to the players and would HIT people and block a ton of shots.
Dano is just about ready to jump out there and smack someone around.