jester wrote:... I think what you are putting your finger on is a top heavy roster, which is a roster problem more than a Hakstol problem. There are things I wish he did different, but the bottom line is that this team is about where their talent suggests they should be. That's not a huge endorsement of Hakstol, but it's hard to indict him at the sane time.
Plus, he is clearly conscious of the scoring depth problem. That's why he split Giroux and Voracek. The Giroux to wing move has been great, but one drawback is that it thinned out the talent at center. Happily, Patrick is starting to rise to the challenge, which is really encouraging for next year.
Also true, but let's not pretend Giroux's move to wing totally driven by Hakstol. It was triggered by Couturier telling his head coach 'put me in a more offensive role' (link
), which in turn drove some rearrangements to the top-six.
If Couturier does not have that discussion with his head coach, I can't say with absolute certainty where we'd be right now. But, if that same coach didn't have enough foresight to shift Giroux to wing while Giroux was struggling to recover from his sports hernia surgery, what would make anyone think Hakstol would do anything different a year later with essentially the same roster? It's not as if Nolan Patrick came in, and instantly earned Hakstol's full confidence.
And while I'm on a tangent, I believe Ghost has said in the media that he's just doing what comes natural to him this season. It's not exactly what I'm looking for, but worth pointing out all the same: "I step up and make confident plays. Yeah, I have a little sizzle in my game or whatnot, but I think them giving me that leeway to be myself has really changed this year and helped me." (link
I'm really curious what the FA plan looks like for this summer. Where and how does Frost factor in? Do they see him as a center? If so, we could be filthy down the middle in a couple years if everyone meets potential. If not, do they try to find a veteran two wayish guy that can help stabilize the bottom 6, or focus on a scoring wing.
I don't know how anyone can justify putting Frost at any other position other than center. Laughton I can understand. Rubtsov I can understand. But Frost has done everything at an extremely high level, faceoffs not withstanding. And the latter isn't a great predictor of future success at the NHL anyways.