Defense: C or incomplete
This is a tough one. Deserved an F at times and an A at times. Some serious talent here. Oliver Ekman Larsson is a phenominal skater and definitely the future of this franchise. Derek Morris has been most steady of the bunch and big Z has been the most gritty. Michalek has stopped pucks with ever part of his body including his jaw. The 6th defenseman has been a rotating door. It appears they are stabilizing and can shut out any team at any time. Then give up 6 to Chicago or San Jose. That will be the measuring stick.
Power Play: C-
I see promise here. I know the numbers are still not great but I see much better flow and movement. I just wish they would pretend it was 5 on 5. For some reason they pass it 9 times then turn it over. If only they could get more pucks on net. For goodness sake get some on in the slot or in front of then net.
Smith also has been great then terrible. BUT his short comings at times can be somewhat attributed to the defensive lapses. Nick Johnson was great. LaBarbera inconsistent. I just think this group was better than the defense at times and aided by them as well. They go hand and hand in a Tippett system.
I see real promise here including the highest number of season ticket holders ever. Sell out on Monday and against the better teams the building is near full. Yeah you have Columbus a few and an 8pm school night game but I think this group has a tremendous uptrend.
All together I give the team an B- for battling through a tough start and many injuries with no camp. Ownership uncertainty and many new and moving pieces that have had a short time to gel together.