Thread: Nick Spaling
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09-07-2007, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
The point I'm making is quite simple. We have drafted a lot of forwards outside of the first round. Only one of them is a top 6 winger in Martin Erat, and he has definite flaws to his offensive game. Arkhipov is not a good player. Adam Hall is a 4th liner on most teams, and he has rightfully lost his role on this team once we evolved a bit. Yeah, we have a decent amount of forwards that have played a game, but who have made an impact even as an accomplished role player? Really only Martin Erat and to a lesser extent Hall and Tootoo. Three forwards out of all the rounds beyond the first? This is a horrible ratio, IMO, no matter how you slice it. Since we are so bad at drafting forwards, we are forced to ice role-players that have either come up through the system as hanger-ons or have been cast off by someone else (see the Fiddlers, Nichols, and Smithsons of the world). When building a third and fourth line, you need to have an identity you want to establish - something the organization develops and inserts players in as needed. We do not have that, and we really never have since we have become a "cup-contender". I really think this is a key problem that has largely went ignored the past couple of years, especially by the coaching staff. The unstable and undefined roles of our bottom 6 have, IMO, been the key reason to our big game losses and playoff failures. We are simply too easy to game plan for in some regards......half our forwards have typically been ineffective at even strength or iced with undefined or conflicting roles. We have had the puck-moving defense, the above average goaltending, and quick moving top 6...but our bottom pairing has burned us time and time again. Which year did we truly have a great playoff series? The series against Detroit! Why did we play so well? Our third line played a shutdown role and were able to score big goals. In fact, our third line of Hall - Johnson - Hartnell made up our best line in that playoff run. Were they the most talented? No.....Hartnell was the only good thing on that line. Johnson was a speedy guy who was on the downswing of his career.....Hall just seemed out of place. That said, they came in with defensive assignments, knew what their role was, and they accomplished it. How Trotz has allowed his system-based team to focus around a non-puck moving goalie and an undefined 3rd/4th these past few past seasons is inexplicable, and ultimately, I believe the reason we have continued to get beaten in the playoffs (and yeah I know the reffing was horrendous and likely cost us a game and a few pp goals for/against).

I'm looking forward to responses on this....
I agree. I was just posting those stats for something to view, not necessarily trying to prove a point about how 'well' our drafting has been.

In fact, I was being very, very generous. I could go and adjust the number of games played to 20. That list would look even worse.

I think our inability to draft forwards has hurt us all around, forcing us to rely on players like Fiddler, Nichol, etc. Next year when we likely lose Legwand and Dumont, we have almost no one to replace them.

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