Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Four Troubling Teams

12/05/2022 at 3:09pm EST

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

The point being: We are far enough along in the season that if a team isn’t performing, management will be getting a little antsy.

Let’s take a look at four teams looking for answers right now....

New York Rangers

I could be wrong, but I see the course correction coming organically here. I don’t think Drury has to do anything drastic at this time. This team will turn around. I know that’s a boring take, but this is an example of a team where patience will ultimately be the best course of action. Of course, I could be wrong. But there are times when GMs feel the pressure to do something drastic and end up doing something they absolutely regret.

Washington Capitals

But the bottom line is, the Caps have not hung in there standings-wise as MacLellan had hoped. They’re far from out of it, but a .462 points percentage through 26 games is indeed a hole dug.

MacLellan has 11 pending UFAs on his roster, including the likes of Dmitry Orlov, Lars Eller and Nick Jensen. Without a turnaround, the Caps GM will be in listening mode soon, followed by selling mode. We’re not there yet, but MacLellan will know what comes next by the new year.

Ottawa Senators

Here’s the thing about this team, though — and maybe I’m totally wrong here, but I honestly believe it: There’s still a chance the Senators get on a heater and salvage some semblance of a season. Not a playoff spot, of course, but the kind of hockey for the rest of the season that at least reassures they’re on the right track.

Vancouver Canucks

Finally, there’s head coach Bruce Boudreau. He replaced Green behind the bench a year ago and his contract expires after this season, but given the pressure on management to enact change, I don’t think it’s a question of “if” but rather “when,” in terms of a Canucks coaching change. That’s the crappy part of the business, for sure.

Where this team sits after the March 3 trade deadline and what its salary-cap situation looks like heading into the offseason will be interesting to watch.

much more ($) on each of the above teams...

KaszyckiandhisKrew

You can explain Washington a bit - with serious injuries to many key players who are still out (Backstrom, Wilson, Orlov and Hagelin) and others who visited the IR (Oshie, Carlson) - this has not been good.     Ottawa (Norris, Zub, ) and others like Pinto, Chabot and Talbot spent time and of course Formenton has not signed this year.  VCR is VCR.  The Rag$ - I think it's much about how Igor is putting up pedestrian numbers - especially compared to the Islanders goalies - who are playing much better than he.   It *could* be turned around.   I was talking about this with some of the old "Coliseum Denizens" at the UBS last night - and two guys pointed out that it might be the coach ( Gallant's teams have over performed in year one but underperformed in year two.    They hear from fans that Barry Trotz is possibly heading there.   He wants an Original Six team - so time will tell.   The West 33rd Street team has had some injuries but according to Cap Friendly - they seem healthy now.   The other thing we discussed about Team West 33rd Street was that the team rushed Kakko and LaFreniere.  You just cannot afford to have a 1 or 2 overall pick be a bust.   It sets a team back.   WAY too early in my book to call them busts.  But Tim Stutzle or Morris Seider might have been better picks for the team from West 33rd.     But the team seems healthy so what is the problem here?   

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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