The Gravity Of Weight
posted Feb 1, 2006 at 02:42PM
So Weight is gone. There is little doubt that if we had been able to get him for just a first round draft pick, that he would have been a valuable addition to our team. Along with Spezza and Fisher we would have had three top-notch centers, and lots of troops to play with them. But giving up Vemette and Volchenkov, along with a first round pick, is too much to pay. Philosophically giving up three young good players for a short-term fix, is rarely good for the long term competitive viability of the franchise. That is especially true when you consider that Redden, Chara, and Havlat all need to be resigned, with big dollars that we may or may not have.
One cannot ignore the fact however, that Weight makes Carolina, already a very good team, even better. Does Ottawa have the horses to beat Carolina in a playoff series? If we get Havlat back in good working order, then yes we do. Without Havlat? In that case there the answer is not so clear. Below is a link to the Hurricane's roster.
Hurricans Roster and Player Statistics
We are basically even in nets. Our goaltending is better but at higher risk. We would be facing Carolina in a later round, and Hasek's age is a factor. Our back-up, right now, is on the fritz.
We do have the upper advantage with defencemen. Even if we rate both sides equal on defence, our guys are clearly superior in providing offensive support.
It is on the forwards side that we run into trouble. Even without Weight, we can say that their top line is a match for our top line. After that their "next nine" do currently outmatch our next nine. Carolina has more balanced scoring and can roll four lines whereas we really only have three. This only gets worse when Weight is included into the mix.
So without Havlat what would have to happen between now and then? Unless Mcgrattan's play improves immensely, in real absolute terms, (not relative to "lower expectations") he is a liability. Hamel is the logical choice to replace him. Bochenski needs to be called up and given a good 10 game stretch to show one way or another if can contribute in play-off style hockey. Basically can he take Varada's roster spot? Is he a better choice than Hamel?
Vermette has got to take "potential" and start converting it into points on the board. Smolinksi has the lowest goals/shot percentage on the team. He has got start closing the deal. When he gets set up by Eaves and Vermette with uncontested shots from the slot like against the Bruins, he has got to score that goal. Schaeffer needs to get over his phobias and start potting a few.
In short we need more secondary scoring. Definitely without Havlatt everyone would have to bring their A game and even then we would need some "bounces" to go our way.