After losing to Atlanta last night, coach John Paddock was severely pissed with his revamped second line of Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly and Daniel Alfredsson.
Well, he was mostly unhappy with Vermette and Kelly, though he didn't mention them by name.
"I had to put Alfredsson back with Heatley and Spezza," said Paddock. "There was no way he was getting a goal if I didn't. He wouldn't have got a scoring chance otherwise."
"Some guys here want ice time, more responsibility with guys being hurt. But they're not coming close to living up to it."
Vermette lost almost every faceoff he took last night and is not showing any signs of that breakout offensive season that everyone expected of him.
He's kind of like the Maxim Afinogenov of four seasons ago. All speed, all flash but still going home alone. Afinogenov got his offensive game in gear eventually but fans of the Ottawa Senators might have to accept the fact that Vermette will be a solid and speedy third liner for the rest of his career.
It was great to see Marion Gaborik break out with five goals and six points last night against the Rangers. Don't let anyone tell you that goal scoring is not what gets fans excited. The crowd in Minny last night almost blew the roof off when Gaborik got his third goal for the hat trick. The decibel level just increased after his next two goals.
When Gaborik was stoned by Stephen Valiquette on a 5-on-3 power play chance for his sixth goal, I thought the speakers were going to break on my television.
The players actually carried Gaborik off the ice to a chanting crowd. The Kennedy brothers were still taking turns shagging Marilyn Monroe the last time that happened in the NHL.
That's what the league needs more of.
Not 2-1 close checking games that only masochists and narcoleptics can endure.
They need star players like Gaborik scoring goals and having a chance at becoming legends.