Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Open Letter to Lindy Ruff

Dear Lindy,

Listen, I know you (or someone on your staff) are reading this, so let me get something off my chest. This has been bothering me for a while but last night it kind of came to a head. I'm going to try being calm and reasonable so let me take a deep breath...


Wait, let me try those deep breaths again... Okay, seriously, Lindy, have you been paying attention to Thomas in the shootout? He looks like he doesn't want to be there. Sometimes he almost desperately looks like he doesn't want to be there. It's not pretty. That lame shovel shot last night against Marty Brodeur (yeah, that's gonna work against one of the best goalies in the world) would be easier to overlook if Thomas hadn't looked like that in every other shootout this season and let's be honest, many of them last season too. He had that one great around-the-world move against Dominik Hasek (which led to him using that move over and over and over, long past its effectiveness) and that one gorgeous, confident slapshot against Montreal last year. But the bad definitely outweighs the good, Lindy. On top of being 4-19 in his career, Thomas just looks extra terrible lately.

Lindy, I think I see what you're doing here. Thomas has put himself in a bit of a crunch signing such a huge contract at such a young age. He is the most natural goal scorer on the team and it seems natural to put him in the shootout. He's struggling with his confidence right now and maybe you're being gentle and trying to not squash him too hard. But dude, we need to win some friggin' hockey games! Let Thomas mope on the bench if he wants and put somebody else in there. I applaud you for shaking things up and lettin Clarke MacArthur shoot but I really think you replaced the wrong guy. Leave Timmy in, sit Vanek down. Let Drew Stafford go. Throw a defenseman in there. Give Brian Campbell the chance to earn some more money on his contract with a shootout goal. Give Captain Spacek - 1 for 1 in his career just FYI - a shot. Maybe he cranks it clear out of the building, but hey, maybe he scores. Shootouts are stupid, Lindy, and sometimes the guy you least expect to be good at it is good at it. Let 'em rip. But please, please just don't use Thomas, just once. Please, I am begging you. The poor kid is suffering enough. Let somebody else stand out there with the game on the line next time.

I feel better now, thanks.

Heather B.

P.S. Good job letting Nolan Pratt play. I was sure you'd forgotten he existed.


Anonymous said...

Damn straight! I somehow have this awesome feeling that Kalinin Would be killer.

Meg said...

Yay, I thought you wanted those numbers for a shootout post! I'm glad I was right. Your post is much more eloquent and detailed than mine would be:

Dear Lindy,

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Benjamin Franklin was a wise man--he knew these things. Stop putting Vanek in the shootout.


Ooh, and way to work that fun Spacek stat in. :)

Kate said...

He benched Vanek in the Ice Bowl- look how well that turned out! :P

Tessa said...

Throw a defenseman in there.

Desperate times call for desperate measures! And Lydman did score on a nice breakaway move in the '06 playoffs...

Seriously, though, Vanek in the shootout is just painful. I understand that Lindy's trying to give him the opportunity to win a game and get some much-needed confidence back, but it backfired again. I'd have liked to see Stafford in there instead. I was fine with the MacArthur choice though; Brodeur had to make a very nice save to keep that one out. Aside from Kotalik this team is pretty weak in the SO lineup.

Anonymous said...

I hope Lindy reads this, because it makes sense :D