Just browsed the Nux report card in the Province and can't say I'd argue much with it, other than the low grade Keith Ballard has gotten. To knock the guy because his pay scale doesn't fit his placement shouldn't be indicative of the grade his performance has received. After hip surgery, concussion and flu Ballard has been at times our best defenseman, rushing the puck like a modern day Paul Coffey, and laying devestating and accurate body checks in our own end. If our fifth defenseman makes 4 million plus, big deal, we have the luxury and safety of being deep at defense, we've obviously needed it this year.
I guess you could say I also disagree with some feedback on Kevin Bieksa's grade. I agree his play has upped his trade value, but since our fifth defenseman makes 4.2 mil a season and we have Baldy One Nut coming back I'd say we could afford to move Bieksa...three years ago I never imagined I would ever say that. Also, Edler is a true number one. It's not fair to have his coutnryman Nick Lidstrom as a measuring stick, but just because Ed doesn't have top tier points (very respectable points though) doesn't mean that other aspects of his game aren't better than his contemporaries. If you don't think Alex Edler is a legitimate number one then you better redefine your expectations; I'd like to see a better D-man for the money and for his age.
I definitely agree with the statements about Coach V over line matching, amongst other things, but as stated in the report you can't argue the results, slow start or not, this team is dangerous and ranks among the best in most categories, despite being one of eight teams with 20 or more wins to this point, and still trailing the Wings and Stars for the division lead. Those two teams play in a real conference too and that makes a big difference. I think of the Central and Pacific divisions every team at one point has led their respective conference, maybe not Columbus but they're in the hunt,..that's insane.
Anyway the gang all take on the Oil tonight, who I still argue will make the playoffs as I stated minutes after they drafted Taylor Hall.
My report card at a later date....for now, back to turkey bunwich and Carolann's