How many teams full of grinders and role players have ever won a Stanley Cup? The Flyers and the Bruins, that's about all over the last 20 years. Though the team could use a little more toughness, it does have an adequate amount of offensive talent. Talent that has been misused.
The coach's strategy has gotten the team nowhere and his tactics must change. You can't turn a grinder into a scorer or the reverse. Dudley should be more concerned with developing a strong defensive game plan rather than constantly trying to match opponent's scorers with checkers who log most of the ice time and show little offensive production.
Dudley's views that "losing points now (while the lines are being juggled) is all right if they are made up later when the team has come together" and that benching players is the only way to get them to perform is crazy. At the end of the season when the team is fighting for home-ice advantage, hindsight will show it would have been nice to have won more early season games, and benching players (especially offensive stars) is Little League punishment.
I hope Gerry Meehan can see what is happening and make some kind of change. If Dudley can't assess the team's performance or the talent he's got and use it wisely, I'm sure there are some coaches who can.
ANGELO R. CONIGLIO