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Friday, January 12, 2007

Lewis Roster Management start to raise questions

Let's make it straight: No, i don't want Lewis to be fired. Like it or not, Lewis coached with the best coach of all time: Scotty Bowman. That said, his roster management start to raise questions and last's night game give us two example of a mismanagement regarding the roster.

The Goaltending situation: A team shaky start; two goaltenders who were looking for their games and then the emergence of Thomas. Thomas did a good job but Lewis forgot that every goaltender need a rest and that you have to prepare your backup to face all kind of situations. Last night game highlights the fact that Lewis mismanage the whole thing. Now, Toivonen have to step up without any margin of errors and have to deliver. In fact, Lewis is putting Toivonen in a pressure cooker. The B's need points but, as Stephen Harris pointed out in the Herald; it's more critical to give Toivonen ice time to see what he's made of. This organisation is looking for answers and have to rely on a rusted backup to get back on track in the middle of January. Ouch ! Instead of losing, a little bit, earlier in the season; Lewis decide to play Thomas to exhaustion to get the maximum number of points . Now, he's painted in the corner. He have to give ice time to Toivonen without knowing the result of the experiment and it might sink team's chance to get that playoffs spot. Worst then that, Lewis mismanagement might force PC to acquire a " band-aid " backup to complete the season...

The rookie situation: There's two things here: 1- Lewis fall in love with players/strategies or 2- Keep stubbornly the same pattern alive. Some of us raise the question about the fact that some veterans log lots of minute without helping the team. Dempsey and York were not that good but guys like Lashoff and Mark Stuart, who can filled their spot, were in Providence. Last night, Lashoff played a grand total of 10 min in the game. Lashoff did great against the sens, considering the situation where he was put on, and looked solid, again, last night. In that case, where a rookie can help you without hurting the team, why are you overusing veterans? Why putting Mara in a situation where he's at risk? Why playing Chara 30+ or Stuart 26 min + when you have fresh legs on the bench who can help you? And please, don't tell me that you have to avoid to put your youngsters at risk. Lashoff was under the fire Tuesday and did great. The truth might be that Lewis prefer to not play rookies. He wants veterans on his team and will forgive a lots of mistakes in order to keep them in the lineup. There's no other way to see it when you look at some players ice time. Once again, those rookies, who deserve to play more ice time, will probably be put in a situation who could have been avoided simply by giving them more ice time in the first half of the season.

Like i said, there's no point here to start a " fire Lewis " propaganda. But we have to raise questions about certains things. Why waiting so long to give more ice time to some rookies who performed well. Why Lewis put his eggs in the same basket regarding the goaltending situation? And why, last night, Lashoff and Jurcina played only 10 min? Sure, Lewis is paid to be a professionnal and have the knowledge to do his job. But that shouldn't prevent us to ask questions...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i totally agree imo lewis as a problem to adapt to the situation. in the third period problems that we have are totally him to blame.poor preparation and lack to adapt to the situation

12:26 PM  

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