Well here goes nothing. I’m not really sure where to start. I was sitting here thinking that I could sit and grade the players individually but there has been so much player movement it would be hard to do and I don’t think it’s fair really. So I decided to rate the team in categories.... coaching, defence, forwards, goaltending and general manager..... or something like that.
Well I think that I will start with the goaltending. In my opinion this has been a real sore spot for the Pats this year (I think a lot of people will agree with me). Keeping three goalies around as long as they did only cut one of their quality practice time. Ketlo has been given every opportunity to take the reigns as the #1 but for some reason he’s been having troubles with that. He will be stellar one night and totally lay an egg the next game. I don’t think it’s entirely his fault (lies with the defence and coaching.... I’ll get to that later). Hewitt beat out Guhle for the backup job and once that was settled he has had his chance to shine. He’s played really well for his time but seems to have the same issue as Ketlo.... Stellar one game and not so great the next. I love his aggression but sometimes it’s his undoing. If he was a couple of inches taller I have no doubt that he would be the starter.
The teams defence baffles my mind. On paper (or in individual pieces) they have a decent quality defence but there are times they look awful.... and those times are more often than not. Davidson has been the teams’ best defenseman and with all the moves he’s now 2nd on the team in scoring. Bell has been inconsistent but is still a player to watch (NHL draft-wise). A healthy scratch recently (which kinda boggles my mind) after a bad game and certain vets don’t get scratched? Hmmmm.... Blidstrand has been getting better each game but is really prone to bad turnovers which usually lead to scoring chances for the opposition. I do admit that he is getting better even though he is a -18. I dunno about Schneider.... In only 29 games he’s a whopping -25!!! What else can I say? Bidlevskii has been solid and man that guy can scrap and seems to be a solid citizen on the blueline. Pavkovich and Borstmayer are both very serviceable 17 year olds and with opportunity will be good long term Pats (unless they get dealt).
The forwards have been decent. There has been so many changes and the lines never seem to stay the same so I’m not really going to say much about the forwards. Jordan Weal is honestly the real deal. Reddin has been a good overage pickup and can skate like the wind. I don’t know who else to talk about.... Mitchell has performed well.... still hits and has 10 goals. Stephenson needs to play more.... he’s a quality player and has shown signs of what he can do. Jung, Rieder, Stevenson, Sagen are all good checking line players (as they always seem to be). That’s all I’m going to say.
Coaching.... I’m not even sure what to say here.... I don’t know what is wrong with the team this year as no lead for the Pats seems safe.... How many times can a team blow a third period lead and lose (or get the loser point)? The lines never seem to be the same game to game or sometimes shift to shift. Continuity has to be an issue there. I don’t know about you.... but listening to the Pats post game shows you wouldn’t know if the Pats won or lost some times as the coaches thoughts seem to be like they are recorded. I can understand that having 10 wins after half of a season that the coaches have said all they can say. I would like to hear more post games with the coaches talking about a W not a loss.
I think Chad Lang has done a lot for the future of the Pats. He’s definitely recouped most of the draft picks that were squandered away over the last season or two. He’s brought in a bunch of decent young players that will help out this year and next. I love the fact that he has pretty much rebuilt the team as there are a whole bunch of new players wearing the Pats sweater. Hopefully he can continue the rebuild.... I believe.
Agree or disagree that’s what I’ve got to say.
I’m looking forward to seeing Lyndon Martell in the lineup tonight.
No matter what I'm a Pats fan and I know they can turn this around.
GO PATS GO!