Its easy to make the case why Ward is back. I think he did a decent job taking over but I believe the key to his success has much to do with his support. If we lose some of those guys I’m worried. You cant help but like the guy, he made a good call shaking Backs up and Talbot was a good call in the playoffs no matter how much I like Rittich. But... I don’t think he’s an elite coach and I dont think BT wants an elite coach because he’s insecure in his position. This is unfortunate as BT has made some good calls and I bet he’s pretty sly on deals. Never the less he probably needs to go for the reason above and when that happens it will eventually lead to the demise of Ward. They likely are waiting on Conroy whom I really don’t know but I dont get good vibes when listening to him.
We rely too much on guys that have been around a long time and just don’t have an edge. That Jamie Benn edge. I will acknowledge that Backs is a great two way Center in the regular season, he’s a decent second line center but he’s not going to lead you to a cup. The Flames play nice guy hockey, it doesnt work.
We just have too many guys that can’t stand up and dish it. These guys think they try hard but they don’t or can’t. Mony, Janks, Backs, Ryan and the entire D core. Most of the guys who do have heart are under 6ft. I didn’t include Johnny because he's just too skilled, he shouldn’t have to dish it, he should play with guys who create space and can dish it or guys that are so skilled the entire line scares the daylights out of everyone (basically with some one as skilled as him, very rare) we don’t have either. You cant have all small guys and a bunch of wimps, no matter how big the hearts are in the small guys. The D core strikes fear into nobody. Gio is getting up there and despite his massive heart has never struck fear into anyone. I am worried if we dont resign Brodie but we need some size and toughness back there and we have no difference maker on D for the PP. Hanifin has been a major disappointment. Andersen is good but he’s not ready to be the top D and again no fear into anyone. Valimaki will be great but he wont be big and no fear. Finally, I don’t like the goalie head games. We did well when we had a good solid number 1. Lemelin, Vernon, Kipper. Having said this, I fault no one on goalie choice. Its a very hard call to make. You could go out and pay big bucks and then the guy loses it for some crazy reason not even related to the rink. Goalies, very tough, we are probably doing ok.
GM and Coach - not easy jobs!
In the end Dallas has done pretty well in the Playoffs, we lost Chucky and almost beat them. The team is still young. Go Flames!