Back to Mediocrity
posted Dec 20, 2005 at 10:42PM
Same old, same old...Vermette and Kelly get put back on the fourth line and again Ottawa cannot dominate play, even against a struggling Canadians team with a third of their regular line-up out with injury.
It was interesting to hear the media spin Ottawa's resurgence against Toronto and link it to Redden's return. But the fact is that with Redden in the line up Ottawa and Toronto were tied 1-1. Only when Vermette and Kelly were put on the third line did things start clicking.
The blunt truth is that right now Ottawa is the most over-rated team in the league. They are a very ordinary team, and that is quite a trick to pull off considering the talent they have on the bench. But it should be obvious that Ottawa is not maximizing the speed and offensive talent available to it. And what kind of chemistry can be built when lines don't even stay together for more than one shift?
Varada and Neil are fourth line players, the type that hold the line while everyone else takes a breather. Eaves is a call-up for pete's sake, and yet they are all being used as if they were scoring stars. They are not fighting, they are not play-making and they are not scoring. Meanwhile Vermette and Kelly, two of the fastest skaters on the team, are rotting.
Look at it this way. Vermette who gets 50% of his ice time killing penalties, is a +10, Chris Neil, despite playing on the power-play and on the second line, is a +4. Varada is a +1.
Do the math.