A few things

Rick Rypien

I can barely believe the commentary on TV regarding his suspension; specifically the ignorance of the fact that before he went stupid on a fan, he sucker punched a player on the ice, and touched an official. As far as I’m concerned, and especially for a bonehead like this, 20 games would be appropriate. He did 2 separate things you absolutely do not do, and suckered a guy. That’s got to add up.

I also caught TSN’s commentary on the subject. Though most of the panelists were simply in favor of weak suspensions, MacTavish’s response was by far the worst, and just reaffirmed why I loathed this man as coach. Not only did he advocate only a 5 game suspension, but he actually complimented Rypien as a player. That’s borderline sickening.

Taylor Hall

I’ll add my voice to the chorus on this one; seems like everyone’s debating what should be done with him.

Usually I’m quite opinionated, but on this issue I’m fairly ambivalent. I don’t buy the arguments regarding contracts years as I think they have fairly little to do with building a winner. There are very few examples of successful teams in the cap era holding people back for this purpose or becoming winners because of it. That’s not a great argument, but my main objection is philosophical. Best players you have get to play. Always. Period.

I don’t see how sending him back to junior helps him develop; and in fact it would seem to be a recipe for slowing him down. The risk in slowing an elite talent down is that you may indeed impact his top end performance in the same way as a shark growing to the size of its tank. I wish we could send him to the AHL, because he's close but needs to take a step.

As for his lack of goal-scoring, I think I see why. Aside from the fact that he isn't doing all he knows how to do with his skating skill to get to the right places, he's also taking shots which let the puck roll off the end of his stick, spinning away from him. He needs to add more snap to end of his release. This is why he's missing high and wide, and also why he had 6 missed shots the other night. I noticed this a little bit in his junior days but it is more pronounced now, as he's pressing to make every shot a ripper. This also happened in the WJCs last year. Calm down and finish Taylor, you'll be fine.


At this stage, I really wish they'd give this a try:

Jones-Fraser-Cogliano (though I'm not at all crazy about our 4th line right now)

The thing people forget about Gagner is that he can provide a contribution in a non-offensive role. He's very versatile. Get him going by putting him on a line where he's the featured puck carrier and can do some hitting. Penner or Hall can play C. Hemsky will do the defensive work anyway (as he usually does with 27 and 89). I want Hall to have to do less work to get to the openings. We need to give him the puck when he's already in the open. He's great at making people miss but this is making it a lot harder for him to actually score.

Well, until tonight. I'm in the Ottawa airport right now but will be home for the game. I love the way we play against the Sharks, and think both Eberle and Hall are due.

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