Coach Craig MacTavish, as I best remember him as a Coach, did two things I will never forget:
- The first was how he taught me what line matching was all about. How he kept those undermanned teams afloat all those years when all he had was a 1st line, a 3rd line and 3.5 defensemen was beyond me.
- The second was how, after years of begging management for help and getting told to f&*k off (my interpretation), he basically gave management the middle finger right back and played Moreau 1,000 minutes a night
After tonight I am getting the same feeling from McLellan in regards to Schultz. No way Schultz should be playing those minutes - at least not without a babysitter of the calibre of a Jason Smith. And yet he is.
And he is getting exposed in every way.
Which means someone is learning something. Maybe it is Schultz himself - how far he has to go to be a top-pair guy. Maybe it is management, who are being shown that Schultz is not a highly skilled puck-moving defenseman or a guy who can anchor a d-pairing or a guy who can man a #1 powerplay unit. Or maybe McLellan is simply telling management exactly what he thinks of being saddled with guy who needs perfect playing conditions to play to his potential.
In terms of Schultz himself, my read, is that he is a decent $2-to-2.8 million a year #4 d-man who can play #2 pp minutes (as long as the other guy has a decent point shot) and can get you places as long as he has a baby-sitter holding the fort. Schultz NEEDS a lot for him to be effective. He would have been a great add to a veteran team.