Ward is fine at 3 million a season if he's used properly. Even if he's just a 30 pt winger over 82 games, he still hits and busts ass.
Then again, I think Chimera is an absolute steal and people for the longest time thought he was worthless. So what do I know.
I agree with you on Chimera. He may not have the best hands, but his speed is always a concern to the opponent and he does play at times with an edge and some sandpaper. Now if you want to do a comparison between Ward and Chimera, just look at the "big" goals that they have scored in the playoffs. You have Ward happening to be in the right spot to benefit from Knuble's hard work and then you have Chimera scoring the GW against the Rangers at MSG the year before, where he just never gives up on a play and Henrik loses the puck and Chimera pounces on it. I understand that they are two different style of players, but I like the energy that Chimera brings to the game.
"He's great at anticipating broken plays and capitalizing on them" - I think its more of the blind squirrel syndrome at work than Ward's ancticipation. The goal he scored against Boston was courtesy of Knuble's efforts and crashing the net. Ward's first goal on Saturday night had both him and Wolski swinging at the puck at the same time, it was just that Ward's stick got to the puck before Wolski. I agree Ward is good along the boards, but lets not get carried away here and suggest that he's a physical presence on the ice. He's got a long way to go to prove to me that he's worth 3 million dollars a year for two more years after this season.
What you refer to as blind squirrel syndrome is what I refer to as shadowing the puck carrier. It may seem like leeching but it's very effective when your offense doesn't go as planned (broken plays), which is the norm in the playoffs. And no one else here does it well. Ward has pretty much made a career of getting to the puck in a scramble and putting it in somehow.
He's not a physical presence in the sense that he's not a big hitter. But he plays a reliable defensive game and consistently tires opposing players out. His boardwork is very good, up there with Zubrus, pre-crappy Hecht and beast mode Penner. If he wants to keep the puck near the boards he can keep it pretty much as long as he wants. He needs to be put with an agile quick on his feet guy who can stickhandle some to snatch the puck away while Ward is dominating the boards, who he can in turn shadow to feast on more broken plays. Perreault + Ward may play much better than the sum of its parts.
There's a reason Vancouver bid so heavy on him. Not just because he lit them up, but because he'd have done tons of damage with the Sedins' cycle game. We just paid him 3 million without a care of how he'd fit on our roster, lol
more importantly it lets the other team know they cant push you around, as they always do the caps.
What teams do that?
The fascination is with Erskine. So what would of that done?
Bourqe elbowed Backstrom and lost pay because it, even if Erskine was in on the line up, why would he of been some sort of threat to tell Bourqe to not do that? Erskine shouldn't be on the ice with the first line.
He's definitely not Erskine. He's only 6'1", around 200lb. He's more "sandpaper" than "hammer." He's gritty and not afraid of contact, but he's not an enforcer by any means. Closest comparable would be Hendricks.
I'll take sandpaper over another person in a Caps sweater that shruggs his shoulders when a teamate gets tattooed into the boards like what happened to Hillen Saturday. Thank you for the reply.
Even Nicky has the long locks. Spinal Tap version of the Caps this year.
I think people are expecting this group of guys to be something they are not. They're not going to play physical, tough, overpowering hockey. We've wanted that to happen for years and it hasn't. And it certainly won't happen this year. This is more of a finesse team and the best we can hope for is for Backstrom and Ovi to rekindle that 2010 magic the two had.
I know the core of this team is soft was just hoping some of the new editions would be a bit more physical than what was here already. Crabb being sandpaper will have to do. Then again he is a regular for the scratch list.
And after watching what I saw Saturday from someone like double nickel I can't see why someone like Erskine can't crack the lineup to provide a bit of what this team lacks, a sack.