Good article overall, but I disagree with:
I'll admit I questioned the team's toughness coming into the season, but who out there isn't pleased with their perfomance thus far? He talks of losing Ruutu, but Cooke, when healthy, is a better overall player and he doesn't talk numbskull penalties.
Laraque? Godard has proven himself much more useful as an enforcer, and he skates and contributes offensively better than I expected.
Adam Hall? Please, Ziggy has stepped in and become the man on faceoffs and done well on the PK. He's been the perfect 4th line center.
Not to mention Sid is a gritty a superstar as they come. Kennedy, Orpik, Hal Gill, Letang. There's plenty of grit to go around.
My #1 concern coming into this season was that this team was going to be pushed around. And I haven't seen any signs of that happening yet.
Same here Merman. This is not the first time I read Molinari bring up our lack of grit. I don't get it and I'm not seeing it on the ice. The first period of the Canucks games is a good example. I do not recall this team being pushed around by the Flyers or any other team that tends to play a more physical style of hockey. I only have one complaint about our grit and it WASN'T any different when we had Malone, Laraque and Ruutu. This is just one game I'm using as an example....
During our meetings with the Capitals, we are watching players like Semin and Ovechkin take runs and cheap shots at Crosby and Malkin. Instead of Godard/Laraque looking for Brashear, why not go after Semin and Ovechkin? See if they like watching Ovechkin take a elbow to the skull or watching Semin take a butt end of a stick to the ribs or a slew foot in the corner. I can never understand it and again, it's not just Godard and Cooke. It was the same with Laraque and Ruutu. Laraque was great when it came to fighting the oppositions heavyweights, but outside of fighting, the guy never threw out a bone jarring check or went after the oppositions star player or players.
I also do not understand Molinari's obsession with Adam Hall. Did this guy come here and put up 30 goals without me knowing? Did I miss something here? I recall the guy being benched for a good number of games. So he could win faceoffs, we arguably have the best faceoff man in the league in Zigomanis. Tampa Bay can keep Adam Hall, his one goal, one assist and -1 rating. I have been more than pleased with Mike Zigomanis. I liked the signing when it occured and he hasn't let me down up to this point. He's still leading the league in faceoff % and he's picked up five points on the way.
As for Ryan Malone, like I said before, that's why we have trade bait and trade deadline. While Malone looks like hell in Tampa Bay and you couldn't pay me to take him back with that salary, I still feel we need to get another productive winger who shows up every night, can be counted on to play night in and night out instead of when he feels like it and can score 5 on 5 if we want to go far in the playoffs and win a Stanley Cup. Molinari seems to feel we should give Pesonen a third shot. I feel we should look for a PROVEN winger who currently plays at the NHL level and has been productive at the NHL level for a significant period of time. Then, if Shero/Therrien feel the need to bring up Pesonen and they feel he's ready to produce at the NHL level, then go for it. Up to this point though, apparently they do not feel he's ready to make that jump. From what I've seen of the guy in camp, preseason and the regular season, I think I'll take Shero's and Therrien's call on this one.