Thursday, 13 March 2008

More March Musings

I May Be Wrong?

Maybe. Maybe even probably. I didn't much like Grebeshkov and Nilsson at the start of the year and truth be told I was ready to trade the pair of them out post-haste if a decent trade offer had come up (like I have that power) but, I have to say, they may just prove me wrong yet.

Don't get me wrong. This isn't love.

Nilsson has only shown me that he can outscore weak opposition and that he can develop chemistry with good players, that normally doesn't hold much water with me. BUT, he is doing it consistently and I have to say I am starting to warm to that.

Grebeshkov has, this season, played some VERY soft opposition (his Desjardins QCOMP number is still a -0.07) BUT he looks to be picking up his game lately and if he can settle into a defensive defenseman role I will be happy with that.

Still. I'm not thinking it is a BAD thing when they are on the ice anymore and that is considerable progress made.

How Smart IS Lombardi?

If you want a good rebuild, either by year or by roster, the easiest and best way to do it is simply to have really, really bad goaltending.

Lombardi seems to have mastered the art form.

The LA Kings actually have a really good, really affordable, roster. The only bad contract I can find is that of Handzus. Otherwise the team has a whack of good, high quality, forward talent and only really lacks depth on defense.

Team needs include:

- two solid defensive defensemen to work with Preissing et al;
- a few, quality, character/veteran forwards in the 28-32 age range;
- Labarbera to stay healthy or Bernier to turn out

If Lombardi can get those in place the Kings are rocking the NHL sooner rather than later.

The Kings will be so bad again this year that, no matter the finish Lombardi will be able to pick up the EXACT piece he needs to continue this teams rebuild. Pick 1st and get Stamkos (allowing a Camalleri trade), pick 2nd and get Doughty (rounding out the d-corps), pick 3rd and get Filatov (scoring winger) or a cornerstone d-man.

So... why stop now? Play Cloutier as the #1 next year and take a good shot at Tavares. If Lombardi hadn't crapped the bed in the 2004 draft the future would look even better.

LA is going to come out of this rebuild in EXCELLENT shape. Makes me wonder - how smart is he? The rebuild is so good one would think it was planned.


Have a great evening everyone.


PunjabiOil said...

LA is indeed looking to be in good shape in upcoming years. Though they do have some key UFA's upcoming, and goaltending is still questionable. Probably the smart thing to do is tank another season next year, and then go all out.

Of course there's no guaranteed payoff. That's the way it goes with rebuilds - Florida, Columbus, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, etc. seemed to be spinning in mediocrity.

YKOil said...

Heya pjo,

I honestly believe that if LA can add that 3rd line stalwart and get another d-man or two they are the Edmonton Oilers 2005-06.

In other words - it will be about the goaltending.

A lot of teams go through this moment of truth when it comes to having a great team without goaltending - will ye be the Oilers or the Clarke led Flyers?

YKOil said...

To expand - key UFA's for LA to target include:

Salvador, Malik, Sauer & ...

Ouch. Pretty thin list. Ah well. They get any of those 3 guys on a 4 or 5 year deal and they are rounding into form.