Leafs vs. Sens - Commentary from both sides of the aisle.
Yes, Ottawa — the NHL's top team at the moment — could, barring injuries or other factors, 'load up' for the postseason.Now there's a scary thought.
I don't think Ottawa should make any moves unless the Wheels fall off. They have the Goaltending, they have the Offensive Talent, they have defense and everything seems to be clicking.
Couldn't you see the team picking up a center at the deadline? Doug Weight?His contract is up after this season.
Historically, moves of that type at the deadline don't help a team win the cup. (that year)While he certainly wouldn't hurt the team, I don't know if that would be the right move to make heading into the playoffs. Especially if they're rolling offensively already.Moves of that sort tend to pay off a year after they're made. ie) Ray Bourque, Joe Nieuwendyk etc.I think typically it's the Stephan Matteau, Chris Simon, Jamie Langenbrunner, Claude Lemieux type players that pay immediate dividends at the trade deadline!Example) How much extra did Peter Bondra actually bring to a team that could already score.I think they should go after a Rod Brindamour, Scott Mellanby type player to add some legit veteran leadership to the third/fourth line...
The question is whether the Senators want to go for broke this season and trade a top prospect to get a top player. Would you trade Patrick Eaves for Weight?The Senators are likely going to lose a couple players off this years roster next year because they will be under cap contstraing having to resign Chara, Redden, Hasek (or another goalie), Spezza, Havlat and others. Some of them are going to want big raises too. If you trade a Patrick Eaves for a Doug Weight it will help you this year but at what cost for the future? Eaves is someone they need for next year and beyond. It is a good question for Senators fans to ponder and I am curious what you think. Would you sacrifice some future to go for broke this year?(Sens fans also need to remember that the Senators are under their own spending limitations which might be a few million below the $39 million cap)
I hope the Sens learn their lesson from Bondra, who they picked up for the 03-04 playoffs who just didn't produce.
I think the Sens should have bought out Smolinski this year. He's down from the second line to the third, and based on his play, I don't think he's doing enough to justify even holding that spot. At $2.6M or whatever he's making, there's no way that kind of money should be spent on a 4th line caliber player. If he doesn't improve soon, I think the Sens could easily accomodate a more skilled two-way veteran player without impacting team chemistry, and the move could pay huge dividends in the playoffs.Anshu
I'm surprised no one's brought up Ottawa's goaltending situation. Do you go into the postseason with Emery as your backup with a Cup contending team? Probably not when you can afford to add any goalie you want, namely someone like Olaf Kolzig on a non-contending team, to play behind Hasek in case of injury.
1) I'm more than fine with Ray Emery as the back-up. He's played very well this season.2) Unless it's a sweet deal, I'm not at all for trading top prospects for playoff help. I doubt Patrick Eaves would even be an option to Muckler. But recently, they've gone about trading their future for the present (the Bondra, Varada, and Smolinski deals), and it's hard to argue whether any of them have actually helped the team. The Smolinski deal in particular doesn't look too good in retrospect. Though Ottawa was deep at D at the time of the trade, and still are, having Tim Gleason around wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
It's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, and the Senators are playing the Flyers with the series tied at two. Now, let's say Emery comes in and stinks up the game. What kind of a GM would you be if you hadn't planned for a worst-case scenario, especially when it would cost you very little in terms of dollars and/or prospects?I'm not saying Emery's not a good backup; I'm just saying Ottawa's year to win the Cup is this one and resting everything on him might not be the wisest thing.
The concern you have to have is what kind of impact bringing in someone like a Kolzig into the dressing room. You have to remember that the trade deadline is earlier this year so that means a longer time period in which Kolzig would be a backup. Is Kolzig going to be happy with that? Also, Dominik Hasek has been a bit of a head case at times in his career, how would he react to having another #1 netminder come in? And how will Ray Emery feel when basically you are telling him he isn't good enough and then next year or two you might be counting on him to be your #1 goalie? It's a touchy situation that you really have to be careful with.
It's all about the bucks and quite frankly kolzig would cost too much regardless of the portion of salary left at the time .Hasek may be gone next year so who would your # 1 be then? Emery isn't going any where and he will probably have more games under his belt than most other backups this year(except maybe Telly in TO).Razor has been solid in nets so far this year and will continue to be solid.He would be solid in the playoffs as well with the defence Ottawa has.
I'm not saying Emery's not a good backup; I'm just saying Ottawa's year to win the Cup is this one and resting everything on him might not be the wisest thing.Last time I checked, their season doesn't rest on him.Why people seem to be sure Dominik Hasek will most definitely be seriously injured this season is beyond me.
That's what Red Wings fans were saying about Hasek in 2003-04 and we know how that turned out.He also turns 41 in two months.
And that was, what, two years ago by the time the playoffs come around?
So is Damon Allen, the difference is no one is expecting Hasek run around. I think Hasek's fragility is misleading, he seems limber and mentally prepared which is all you need from a goaltender.
Hasek is a very flexible goalie, but the string of injuries coupled with the fact that he flails around like a octopus on ice should be a bit worrying.It's not like he's guaranteed but if you talked to a risk assesment person they'd tell you that his chances are a lot better of getting injured then someone else who hasn't been injured.
It's also the only place Ottawa is hugely vulnerable... how many teams could weather losing a player like Alfredsson or Heatly? It might suck, but I think the Sens could do it. Now, if they lose Hasek, different story. That's why you have to be worried.I'm a Leafs fan. 40 year old goalies are not a recipe for calm in the playoffs.