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...
STOP USING THOMAS VANEK IN THE SHOOTOUT! HE SUCKS AT THEM! GAWD, ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT?!
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.
P.S. Good job letting Nolan Pratt play. I was sure you'd forgotten he existed.