New Evaluation Window
The goal of the 2018-19 season from Lou Lamoriello’s perspective was to assess what he has on the roster and in the system. Based on what he was able to observe he’d make adjustments to whatever plan he had in place.
I doubt he was counting on being able to evaluate all of these players in the playoffs by year one. But thanks to their play in the regular season, Lou is going to have a chance to figure out what players like Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, Anthony Beauvillier, and even some of his UFA’s can do when the lights shine the brightest.
Do these players have what Lou is looking for when it comes to the intensity of the playoffs? Do they lose focus? Does the style and tempo of the game affect his players negatively? These are some of the things Lou is going to be looking for.
Why is that exciting?
Because Lou is getting a view of his team that he wasn’t likely going to get. Now he’ll be able to see how some of his young players respond to the drama and the pressure. The same goes for his UFAs like Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Robin Lehner.
Seeing what a player can do over 82 games is certainly a good indicator of his quality. But ultimately the goal is to sign players that can help you win. If they wilt under the pressure of the playoffs then that devalues them and should reduce Lou’s desire to keep them. If they rise to the occasion, on the other hand, that should be a good indicator that they should stick around.