Regarding your first paragraph, you just can't bench the entire team, or relegate the entire team to the 4th line. They were so bad at times, only Gibson, Kase and Cogs trying hard, that you had to have some clunkers on the first line. Randy didn't really have a choice. It's not always on the coach and GM anyway. Players did not deliver this year and it was very painful watching them. The three mentioned people were almost exclusively the only fun part about the team all year. Maybe add Manson to that. Let's round that up to 5 with Rico+Miller (streaky F + backup) in one and that's it. All the fun we had was a grand total of five people. The rest of the team was garbage and that's roughly 20 more people including call-ups. That garbage part played hurt, ininspired or consitpated hockey, flat hockey. Rakell is Included, Getzlaf is included. Surely, with the talent that list of 20 has, they could've delivered a few more sparks? No, they gave us baseline peformance and still 15 of them failed to reach even that. A pretty stark contrast to the Ovechkins and McDavids and the William Karlssons.
What I'm trying to say here, you can't glue Ritchie to the bench because he's bad. You can't summon the entire Gulls team to replace. Randy has to play what he is given, and he has to have a 1st, a 2nd, a 3d and a 4th line. If your entire roster is playing like bulldehydrateddonkeydung, you still have to play them, welcome to Coyotes world. This leads us to the GM and the choices he's made. Glaring errors are the deadline couple, superman and the burgerboi. The deadline is as much a mystery to me as it is a result of their garbage play up intil February. Then, it can be argued that B2 is a direct result of Beauch leaving for greener pasture only to return and deliver us a very solid season of hockey - at exactly the same length of contract and less money, which was Bob's original plan. Ritchie is the big disappointment, out of the entire roster that we have, it seems like he even regressed. Could Bob have predicted this? Likely no. The Eaves thing? I'd like to thing yes as I myself am constantly chanting "we knew what we were trading for" with his injury history but still, likely Bob could not predict that. On paper, the roster look mighty fine, I had high expectations for the season, but this is exactly why I am having this rant now - we ran into too much bad luck with injuries and players going totally cold, we were lucky we made the postseason that way, really.
Now, I'm not trying to write off the season entirely because of Force Majeure, but it did factor in pretty heavily. As a general direction, Bob's way of building the team makes sense, and he's not shy to buy the speedy Hagelin's, but perhaps he was doing it too knee-jerkl'y for it to have any real impact. His comments that we are discussing in this thread make me want to believe that the entire organization will shift focus this offseason - they will emphasize speed and youngsters, building from within and more open play. Being healthier to begin with (Kes + Eaves) will help out too.