Alright...so say what you want about leadership (we've seen worse), goaltending (we've had much worse) and scoring (we really don't have much of a problem here)...but the reality is that until the defence on this team is fixed those other things don't make much of a lick of difference. You can only count on the goalie to cover up the mistakes of an absolutely terrible defence for so long. People blame the forwards backchecking, or not supporting which happens at times but not nearly enough to shoulder the blame for how bad this defence has been. I won't even touch on the goaltending because these games could look a lot worse than they have without the goaltending we've received from both goalies. So then it falls to coaching. Again, I'm not willing to place the blame here either. The reality is this: the players that make up our defence are just not very good. Cowen, Wiercioch, Phillips, Corvo and Gryba just aren't very good players in the NHL (I think Borowiecki has been better than all 5 in his time with the big club this year, but he doesn't seem to get a ton of icetime). Phillips used to be great but he's getting older, and the other three are just not top 4 ready guys and unfortunately they're being used in that capacity. Methot is a good top 4 defender, but Karlsson still gets the bulk of the minutes and he's just not good playing defensively -- he's great going forward and transitioning, but he just doesn't make enough of an effort and there are clear lapses in his play in the defensive zone. So what does this leave us with? A defence corps that is bad and a #1 defender that is bad at playing in the defensive zone. Until that is fixed the rest of the team needs to play at 110% or better in order to cover up for that deficiency. What's the fix then? How can we remedy this situation? I guess the easy thing to suggest is making a trade for another top 4 defenceman, and maybe switching our system to look more like last year where creating a smooth offensive system with defencemen pinching a ton isn't the main goal and having the team play a much more defensive style with the forwards supporting the puck more and the defencemen playing more safely...but I'm not sure with the pieces we have if that's really going to help. I guess the team could also ride it out and hope that this is another period of transition where they're just getting comfortable and they'll turn it around. But I have to be honest...seeing how they've played up to this point has not been encouraging in this respect. Thoughts?