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Sending a Message

BottleHate to pile on Olli when things are definitely not going his way, but JM called him out a bit this morning when I asked what he thought of Olli's admission his play wasn't good enough on Tuesday.

Some people in the organization told me yesterday they weren't real happy with Olli's admission since, well, had he given some more effort maybe his play would have been a bit better.

Says Jacques: “I look back over the past 19 games and he hasn’t scored even strength. 

"He’s a minus player right now. I think he has to be better and he knows that. If you want to win, your best players have to be your best players. We go a lot of nights with the Stephen Weiss line as the top line. It’s a team game, but you need your best.’’

Well, Jokinen is minus-1 tonight after letting Bobby Holik beat him to a puck and eventually score with 7.2 seconds left in the first period. JM did a little more than just tell his captain he was unhappy.

Jacques demoted him.

Kamil Kreps found himself centering the top line to start the second period, with the WHOOOO line coming in second. Olli is now on the third line; he was on the wing with Jozef Stumpel centering, but this last shift, Olli centered Radek Dvorak and Steve Montador.

-- Olli got four minutes in the second period with a host of different players. He came out in the third with his old linemates for the power play. Will see who he plays with 5-on-5.

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If it comes down to Olli and Jacques, Olli has got to go. The reason why we haven't made the playoffs in now 8 years and counting, is for players like him. Selfish players who are one dimensional. He cost the Panthers the game single handedly tonight with his poor defensive play. Oh and I counted at least 3 or 4 times where he shied away from giving a hit even though the Thrashers player had the puck in the OFFENSIVE ZONE.

What say you, George? Those comments he made after Tuesday are downright embarrassing. No captain should come out and say he didn't give a good effort after a game where its DO OR DIE.

I hope that the organization spites him and scratches him one of these last games to end his consecutive game streak. He's an incredibly selfish player and doesn't make the guys around him better. Unlike Weiss, Booth, and Horton.


TRADE JOKINEN.

george,

you and i both know how this is going to end. jokinen is going to get shipped off and wherever he goes, he's going to put up 90, or even 100+ points and play his first playoff game.

jokinen is being made the scapegoat of a poorly constructed team. make no mistake, jokinen is playing like absolute dog-pooey right now. especially to his high standards. but i don't think his "effort" has changed. he's not a defensive player. he never will be. but most players of his caliber are not the best defenders. it's a rarity to see a truly dominant two-way player.

jokinen's defensive flaws are being magnified because his line is spending too much time in the defensive zone. why? his wingers are inept. i love rostislav olesz. i like his upside but as an offensive player, he's raw. has the tools but not much experience as a scorer. brett mclean in a solid 3rd liner, but that's all. under no circumstances on ANY contending team does either of those guys sniff first line minutes. they can't sustain offensive pressure and because of that, they're stuck in their own zone longer than an olli jokinen is used to.

that also means less goals, less offense for jokinen. he (and everyone, even the coaches) see it as him "struggling". so he forces plays and turns the puck over. how many times have we seen him make low-pecentage blind passes this year compared to the last two years? it's not even close.

this isn't jokinen's fault. he's being made a scapegoat just like luongo was and it is a MISTAKE. i hope management (martin) realizes this but the benchings and public outlash tells me (obviously) that he doesn't.

and let me say i'm not anti-martin either. i think he's done a good job as GM of building the depth of the organization, providing stability with long-term deals, made a great trade to get vokoun, skrastins, etc. but the forwards are poorly constructed. too many third liners, not enough scorers. he has a one-track mind (defense, defense, defense) and i think it blinds his responsibilities as a GM. if he can't get past that, he has to go. i hope he can, because he seems to have a good grasp of players trade value (he's won every trade he has made in terms of "value) - but he can't build a winning team if he doesn't can't spot what pieces are missing.

unless martin can score 40 goals this argument is ridiculous. Get us a full time coach, let martin GM, and go buy a true first line foward and put ollie in a position where the world isnt on his shoulders....

Either Olli or JM is gone after this season. It's apparent they can't co-exist. I believe the rumors now that JM wanted to trade him but Cohen put the stop on that. We'll either see Olli traded, JM fired entirely, or JM relinquish coaching duties and remain as GM (which I am in favor of).

It's funny how the Sunrise Express line has really become the dominant line with Weiss, Booth and Horton playing so well. And it's really Booth's development that has accelerated the impact of those young guns. I'm tired of Olli complaining about linemates too. Maclean has been strong since coming back from injury and you just can't help things like the freak injury to Zednik, who was en fuego at the time. Olli has got to step it up. IF anything he's shown he's a top complimentary player but not a franchise player. If you can trade him, for let's say a Bobby Ryan for example, then maybe it's worth the move now while his value is at its highest. Move the Weiss line to the top and hopefully Matthias can center the 2nd line next year w/Zednik.

wow arent you guys fickle. when i read all this stuff about olli being selfish and dogging it on the ice the only word that comes to mind is: scapegoat.

put the blame where it belongs...on our clutch and grab era coach/gm who brings no creativity to the ice OR the front office. JM was a great coach when teams couldnt figure out how to beat the trap or left wing lock system, but the game has pretty obviously passed him by. he is still a decent evaluator of talent, but unless he gets with the times he has no place behind a bench in the modern nhl. if this team had been properly prepared and motivated they wouldnt have bombed from oct-feb and wouldnt have been in the position of having to win out to squeek into the playoffs.

where was everyone thats attacking jokinen at in the thin months when he was the only one showing up to play most nights?

what a joke, patastrophe -if the game passed JM by how'd the team manage to win 8 of 9 against some good competition down the stretch in a tight race? riiiight. keep spoutin' that same ol' tired garbage. good luck getting anyone with a brain to take you seriously.

i'm not going to scapegoat olli, though i have been critical of him in the past. i'm sure he would be successful, perhaps more successful in another environment. i'm not sure it's an either/or situation yet, tho olli might've written his ticket out of town with his comments. JM was smart to pounce on the opportunity to drive a wedge between olli and ownership/fans. the reason is that a GM must be allowed to run the team - not the star player - and as long as olli had the fans and ownership in his corner, he had the upper hand (which is a joke in and of itself). makes you think that this is his way of asking for a trade.

the reality is that if he can put together a good deal involving olli, it's very likely he can improve this team both next year and in the future (talking prospects here). JM's done very well in the acquisition department and there's nothing to indicate he wouldn't be able to do the same with a highly desireable player like olli.

zeroG-

all year long we put together one good streak and that warrants martin a jack adams nod?

ill just cut and paste from my first comment: if this team had been properly prepared and motivated they wouldnt have bombed from oct-feb and wouldnt have been in the position of having to win out to squeek into the playoffs.

Has anyone even given this a thought of another Luongo situation, minus the contract? It reaks of a player sick of playing for an organization with no true commitment to winning. Martin doesn't deserve any credit for the development of many of these players. Its called natural progression. If anything, much like his days in Ottawa with the most offensively talented team in the league, he chokes off any talent displayed with his system, his inability to adapt as the games progress, and his inability to adapt his system to the players he has and get the most out of his players, instead of tryin the old addage of making square pegs fit into circular holes. Martin was the wrong man for the job the day before he was hired, and like usual, most South Florida sport fans buy into hype instead ob substance. Its time for Martin to go, and if possible, ownership as well with an ownsership group commited to winning truly.

The only reason this team, year in and year out, wins at the end of the season is pride. Its not coaching. It started really with Nieuwy instilling his leadership abilities in some of the kids. Its time to give credit where credit is due, and its the players, not the front office or coaching.

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