She practically demands Dean Lombardi to bring up the highly touted prospects that are doing well in Manchester. I agree that it would be nice to see them in action in the NHL and if they underperformed, well, so what, there's practically zero chance we'll clinch the 8th spot. BUT, I agree with Lombardi that you don't want to rush prospects. Case in point: Bernier. He appeared ready for the job but couldn't be our saving grace when the team tanked in front of him. When he went back to Juniors, he was, as Lombardi bluntly put it, "God awful" and had to rebuild his confidence to return to norm and continue to improve. Her argument is:
"If [the fine prospects] don't pan out Lombardi would still have time to
retrench through trades and good selections in the June entry draft."
Why, so we can repeat the process next season?? Do we really want to bring up these youngsters this deep into the season and feed them to the wolves? I'm sure they would jump at the opportunity to come up and prove themselves but what if the team continues to lose game after game...where do you think their confidence level will be after another 5-game, or God forbid, another 8-game losing streak? Additionally, how well would you be able to separate the NHL-ready players from the AHL-career guys if the entire team sucks and make each other look horrendous?
Then she strikes my Lubo by saying:
"And why not bring up 24-year-old defenseman Peter Harrold? He can't be worse than puck-shy Lubomir Visnovsky, caring but hardly mobile Rob Blake, so-so Tom Preissing and contact-shunning Jaroslav Modry."
I remember Peter Harrold very well from last season and he wasn't very good. His AHL stats from this season cause one to believe that he's greatly improved, but should we take the chance? And did she just describe my dear Lubo as "puck shy"? WHAT?? Maybe she meant, "trigger shy". He hasn't put up a high number of goals this season but his 21 assists are third on the Kings behind Fro and Kopi who have 24 and 23 assists, respectively and is tied for 11th in assists among all defensemen in the NHL. He continues to be one of the few Kings defensemen who can bring the puck from behind his own goal cleanly into the offensive zone so I don't understand where she gets "puck shy". I have no comment on her description of Blake, Preissing, and Modry...but I'm searching high and low for her criticism of Stuart? What, no harsh words for Stuart? Has she turned a blind eye on all of his turnovers and sloppy play?
The organization of the second half of the article is all over the place. Case in point:
"If Marc Crawford can't advance the kids' development, a coaching change might be in order. There's nothing to gain by firing him now and Lombardi isn't inclined to do it.
'I don't see that. I think we have to continue to fight through things,' Lombardi said. 'Look at some of the things he has confronted this season. I have not gone there at all in my mind.'
But in assessing the progress of the core youngsters Lombardi said Kopitar 'hasn't gone backward' and spoke of an 'over-reliance' on the 20-year-old Slovenian, who is in his second NHL season. Those aren't ringing endorsements of Crawford.
Nor was Lombardi's assessment that 'we haven't been able to manage' Blake's minutes and have relied too heavily on the 38-year-old as he recovers from hip surgery. The stalled progress of Alexander Frolov and Michael Cammalleri also go in the minus column.
If Crawford can't bend, he must be replaced next season"
First of all, I am not even going to comment on Lombardi's quote...he's such a liar. (Never thought about it?? right...)
I don't think Fro's progress has stalled...the guy's been injured! He started the season slow because he was recovering from an injury and just as he was getting his stride he got injured again. If you look at his stats he's not that far off from last season. When he's healthy he's been on and I think he'll continue to play well and improve his stats from last season.
I wouldn't necessarily say that Cammalleri's progress has stalled but rather it's at a more expected level. He did very well last season and I was definitely surprised that he ended the season with 80 points. Dean must have thought Cammy wouldn't be able to reproduce those efforts this season since he only offered him slightly more than $2 million during the off season. He blew out of the gates at the beginning of the season which caught everyone off guard. His scoring has slowed as of late but I think it might be because Cammy just isn't an 80 point/season player.
Oh...so finally she says Crow might be deserving of a pink slip at the end of the season...could she not have included that statement earlier??