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06-13-2006, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Habber
Sure none during the playoffs, but what about Eric Cole. How many teams could lose their best goalscorer and not skip a beat? Depth has to count for something.
Cole's name always comes up in these discussions and his absence is a factor, but don't dismiss that his injury happened long before the playoffs and in time to do something at the trade deadline.

Cole is an excellent player and losing him was a big blow to the Hurricanes, no doubt about it, and I don't think they've "not skipped a beat" after they lost him. But with time to adapt and reinforcements coming through trade (ie. Mark Recchi), the impact simply wasn't as big as losing a team's starting goaltender or four top defencemen (plus one key forward) right during a hard-fought playoff series, with no time to adapt and no chance of getting help through trades. Recchi obviously isn't Cole and hasn't produced at the same pace, but he's far better than nothing.

Depth is great, but there's not a team in the league that would have taken the casualties Buffalo did and not suffer. Even Carolina's unheralded defense would have looked sparse minus their top four guys.

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