Letter to Bruce Garrioch
posted Dec 30, 2005 at 03:45PM
Hi Mr. Garrioch,
After reading your article on the impact of Redden's injury I took a look at the game by game results. The first three games we won convincingly. This included total domination of the Bruins and a 4-0 shut-out of the Canadians. It is the next seven games that the Senator's encountered difficulties. This included a baffling 3-0 shut-out to a Thornton-less Bruins, and equally unexpected blowing of a 3-0 lead to the Canadians, the same teams we had blown out without Redden.
That means something "else" had changed. From previous letters you probably know that the real change that had impact was the demotion of Vermette to the fourth line. Am I saying that Vermette is better or more important than Redden? Of course not. But we have such depth at defence that the temporary loss of Redden could..and was, absorbed by the team
What happened when Vermette was demoted was that suddenly we no longer had three offensively talented lines (lines which could carry the puck, not just dump it in) that could be rolled over and maintain a constant level of pressure. Indeed in those parts of games where Vermette was moved up into third line action (due to other injuries), the Senators quickly regained their dominant form...even if Vermette scored or not - they were suddenly able to "sustain" constant offensive pressure on opposing team. So in a way, even though Vermette is not the star that Havlatt, Spezza and Redden, he IS a critical piece in giving Ottawa a dominating offensive presence.
My fear is that when Spezza and Havlatt come back, they will certainly bolster the two top lines, but we may still be lacking that critical third offensive line. That will give us two lines that can score and two checking lines Looking at past Stanley Cup winners, history show that you need at least three scoring lines, and in some cases four lines that can score.
For your consideration.