A goal scorer.
A pure sniper. A guy who when the puck touched his stick, it was headed for an open space towards the net. A guy that could change the momentum of a game, and the outcome as well. That player you could put on the ice when you needed the extra man, or needed to double shift someone. And of course a shootout expert.
If we had such player it’s entirely possible that we could be competing with the elite teams in this league. Ok maybe not competing with them, but at least keep the games closer and maybe steal one or two. Unfortunately the sad truth is that since Pavel Bure was part of this team a mere 10 (that long?) years ago, we have been searching for the antidote to the lack of scoring. Yes we came close with Olli Jokinen. But he had little support. We tried Nathan Horton, but he was too lazy and never developed. He also was part of the problem and had no desire to be part of the solution so we traded his lazy arse to beantown.
We have David Booth, but for as much as we all love him to death, he’s going to ahve the same issue that Olli had. No help. And therein lies the problem. Our offence doesn’t scare anyone. Stop Booth, keep him off the scoreboard, and there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll beat us. Let’s face it, when you look at our roster it’s loaded with players that have to work very hard to produce offensively. It’s just the way it is.
But if you look at the games we have lost, and you toss out the clunker against the Dallas Stars, and the bitch slap we just got in Philadelphia, this team might actually have a record of 9-6 instead of 7-8. Wishful thinking but I also predicted in my season preview that we would lose a lot of one goal games because of a lack of scoring.
See, we have probably one of the best goaltending tandems in the league with Tomas Vokoun and Scott Clemmensen. I will admit that it appears the team plays differently depending on who’s in net, but each “tender” gives us the chance to win games more often than not, or at least keep them close. Because of that, and because our defence seems to have improved quite dramatically with the addition of Gord Murphy as assistant coach, the tables would turn if we had a legitimate goal scoring threat.
This begs the question then of when and how we will address this situation. Will we trade Tomas Vokoun, who has never asked to be traded? Can we sign a high profile free agent next season to fill this role? Can we put together some sort of other trade to acquire the part? Or are we just going to wait for one of the youngsters to emerge?
This year is a year that we aren’t expected to make the playoffs and I still stand behind that prediction. We have some a few good parts, but we need one thing that every playoff bound team has. A top line. If we can acquire a true sniper, and a real number one center, (sorry Little Stevie’s not it), we can then talk about getting ourselves back in a playoff hunt.
Until then, all it is is just a dream.
For today’s music video I’m taking a break from my Bruce Springsteen tribute that I’m doing this month, and have attached a video that was shown to me and about 100 of my colleagues at our annual sales planning meeting by our guest speaker. Yep, this is my real world! Click here.
Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
Please visit our NHL main page: Too Many Men On The Site.
Want The Rat Trick or another FanSided network blog on your Iphone, Android or Blackberry? Download the application now on your smartphone and get the best in Florida Panthers coverage, as well as other teams you follow.