Alright so we’re at the all star break and we’re sitting in 4th in a stacked Metro division and have the 1st Wild Card Spot. So the big question is this the team that takes us down the Canyon of Heroes or not? Good God I Hope So. But in all honesty I think we have a lot of pieces to make a deep playoff run. I mean we’re 31-17-1 going into the All Star Break and haven’t been healthy for more then 4 games this year. The offense is absolutely explosive when we have all the pieces together. There is not another team in the NHL who can roll 4 lines like we can with just scorers littered up and down the lineup. Just look at the nights when we’ve had most of the team healthy. We end up tickling the twine five times a game. And on top of that I know everyone’s been dumping on King Hank. But the guys played great in his last three games. The best thing that ever happened to him was having Raanta get hurt. The guy can finally just go out there and just play now and not worry about giving up 3 goals and not getting the start the following game. The guys relaxed. I mean he probably felt more pressure from that than in any Game 7 he’s played in. And the dudes played in a lot.
Now that being said, the two things that worry me the most about this team are the back end and the fact that there’s no real stand out tough guy. The defense-men have played well this year but I don’t think we have that real offensive threat that we had in Yandle last year. Also there are a lot of old horses back there. Those guys have definitely have improved there play. But the big question is can they keep it up for another 35 regular season games and what hopes to be another 20+ playoff games. In my honest opinion I don’t know if they can. So should they make a move at the trade deadline, to be honest it depends. In my opinion they should stay away from the big names like Kevin Shattenkirk in St. Louis. Grant it the guys got skill, but that skill ain’t going to be cheap. And personally I’m sick of trading our young forwards for theses guys with expiring contracts. So lets keep guys like Miller and Krieder (because we all know that is who they are asking for). I mean Hanks not going to be there forever. And when he’s gone this teams going to need to score cause to be fair we’ve been spoiled with his play over the past couple of years. So if we make a move here I say we go the cheap route.
Now the tough guy issue on this team isn’t as big of deal since that role kind of disappears once you reach the playoffs because no one has time for penalty minutes then. But for the time being I’m getting sick of watching our guys get rundown and no one doing anything about it. As of recent they have done a better job of protecting each other but at the end of the day we can’t be taking our best skaters off the ice for five minutes at a time. This team needs a bonafide enforcer. But please god don’t make it be Tanner Glass. Also dont sell the farm for one.
All this being said I think this team has a serious chance at going deep into the Summer with hopefully a parade planned for sometime in June. But it all will come down to can this team get healthy and put all the pieces together at the right time. Let’s say a pray for that they do.