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Old
04-20-2004, 11:41 PM
  #1
Spezza
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Rant about this team and character.

There are two major points that irk me about this series.

Is it right that after game 5 it took John Muckler to talk to this team to fire them up for the next game? Would it be unfair to say that this illustrates a leadership vacum in the room?

The other point is the power play. It was brought up before the series and it was brought up during the series and I'm going to bring it up again. This team failed to prepare at some level for matching up against the Leafs PK. They know our PP scheme and we didn't seem prepared for that. Now maybe Jaques felt that to adjust the scheme would kill the players confidence.

Clearly Muckler identified it. He got Bondra to QB the 2nd unit, funny that it was Phillips on the point and Chara in front of the net that netted that units only goal. Is it unfair to say that its a failure of the coaching staff? Or is it not giving Toronto enough credit?

As to character, certain players have shown leadership potential on this team: Phillips to me should keep wearing an A next year and yes even at the expense of Chara.

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04-21-2004, 02:26 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spezza
There are two major points that irk me about this series.

Is it right that after game 5 it took John Muckler to talk to this team to fire them up for the next game? Would it be unfair to say that this illustrates a leadership vacum in the room?

The other point is the power play. It was brought up before the series and it was brought up during the series and I'm going to bring it up again. This team failed to prepare at some level for matching up against the Leafs PK. They know our PP scheme and we didn't seem prepared for that. Now maybe Jaques felt that to adjust the scheme would kill the players confidence.

Clearly Muckler identified it. He got Bondra to QB the 2nd unit, funny that it was Phillips on the point and Chara in front of the net that netted that units only goal. Is it unfair to say that its a failure of the coaching staff? Or is it not giving Toronto enough credit?

As to character, certain players have shown leadership potential on this team: Phillips to me should keep wearing an A next year and yes even at the expense of Chara.

Get real dude and stop this over-analyzing crap....The only thing your team needs is a freakin' goalie who can stop pucks and your problems will be solved. Your team has character, you outplated the leafs, outshot them and outchanced them...the difference was Ed Belfour

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04-21-2004, 03:26 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach Boy
Get real dude and stop this over-analyzing crap....The only thing your team needs is a freakin' goalie who can stop pucks and your problems will be solved. Your team has character, you outplated the leafs, outshot them and outchanced them...the difference was Ed Belfour
I agree and I disagree. Lets face it the Sens lost to a team with 103 points this year. Its not like they lost to a 85 point team. I will say yes the Sens out played and outchanced the Leafs but I think that was a little bit of Toronto's game plan going in. They knew they could not match up with the Sens speed wise so they gave the outside shot over and over. I think if we break the series down its alot closer

Fowards - Ottawa Even though they did not score as many goals as Toronto they had their chances. But most of the chances were a little overrated because they were outside shots. With no rebound

Defense - Toronto Odd man rushes were very much one sided this series and a big tip of the hat has to go to the Toronto defense for this reason. Plus they moved guys from out the front of the net and did not cause a ton of turnovers. Not to mention cleared out a ton of rebounds. The Ottawa defense at times save for Reddon and Phillips looked shaky.

Goaltending - Toronto Lalime played great hockey in this series but fell apart during game 7 and the fowards were outplayed that game by a wide margin so they did not help Lalime. To fault Lalime in this series is just wrong and is taking the easy road out. NOONE did the job for the Sens and Lalime was just one in a long list that failed

Powerplay - Even Both powerplays were quite pathetic at Least had an excuse having 2 of their powerplay fowards out while the Sens were perfectly healthy

Penalty Killing - Even See above, I think if I had to pick one though it would be Toronto because Ottawa powerplay looked sick most games and their was no damned reason

Coaching - Toronto This one was not even close. Quinn played Martin perfectly knew what to expect and executed it perfectly. Tossed in a trap in game 5 and knew Ottawa would ease up and play back so Toronto in the 3rd could do an attack and have them on their heels. If Martin keeps his job after being taking to school like this it would be a shock

*shrugs* I have no clue how the Sens failed but again they did and changes need to be done. Sweeping changes and I would start at the GM who made a fatal mistake of making changes when the Leafs beat them down during the regular season and added toughness. Toughness that was not even deemed good enough to play 1 second in the playoffs. And then adding 2 players at the deadline that has no impact in the series at all

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Old
04-21-2004, 07:54 AM
  #4
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All I have to say is,

"Nice dedication to Roger Neilson"

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04-21-2004, 08:00 AM
  #5
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Originally Posted by SensGod
All I have to say is,

"Nice dedication to Roger Neilson"

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04-21-2004, 09:34 AM
  #6
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Originally Posted by NataSatan666
Sweeping changes and I would start at the GM who made a fatal mistake of making changes when the Leafs beat them down during the regular season and added toughness. Toughness that was not even deemed good enough to play 1 second in the playoffs. And then adding 2 players at the deadline that has no impact in the series at all
Clearly I'm somewhat biased towards John Muckler, but I'm really not sure you can blame him for many of these things.

Muckler isn't in charge of the lineups for games. If a guy like Todd Simpson doesn't play, that's Martin's business. Personally, given the fact that he's a former team captain and something of a game-driven player, I think we might have considered playing him in place of Volchenkov, but it's a bit late to play that game. And I don't think anyone really expected to see Rob Ray play... he was reacquired for his dressing room presence, and he seems to have done a good job in that capacity yet again (he was rooming with Vermette this year).

As for Bondra and de Vries, well ask yourself what the roles were that these new players were supposed to play?

Bondra
Peter Bondra is a sniper - it's what his career was made on. But he certainly never scored 50 goals playing the point on the PP. And where did we play him? Not only on the PP point, but on the LW (typically a defensive-minded position in Martin's strategy) on a line with no physical presence whatsoever. And not only that, but when we had him playing on a line that was actually clicking a bit (the Bondra-Smolinski-Alfredsson line), Martin dismantled it in the game before the playoffs started because Todd White came back from injury. And Martin insisted on playing him in this ineffective role for most of the series, to the tune that Bondra not only was easily contained and largely beaten up during the series, but eventually finished with a team-worst minus-4 among forwards. Is that really Muckler's fault?

de Vries
In my opinion, de Vries' stock fell unjustly during the final couple of weeks of the regular season. Acquired with the full intent of letting him take over a top-4 d-man spot, Martin seemingly lost faith in him because he and Redden weren't getting the job done. What Martin failed to realize, of course, was that this was more a problem with Redden than with de Vries. So now we have a $3M/year defenceman playing less than 15 minutes for most of the series because Martin insisted that Redden wasn't the problem, and meanwhile Martin pairs Redden up with our least physical and smallest defenceman in Brian Pothier (who also happens to be a supposed power play specialist, who Martin overplays as a penalty killer of all things), and the two of them find themselves on the ice for the majority of the goals scored against the Sens in the series because in spite of being a pretty good player, Pothier is not a suitable player for the role of acting as Wade Redden's defensive conscience. Redden, of course, responded by leading the charge with an outright team-worst minus-5 rating. Is that really Muckler's fault?

No, I have to insist, as I have for several years now, that the problems on this team really start (and largely end) with Martin, and the effects of his mistakes are far more reaching than people seem to realize. I've been highly critical of his roster decisions throughout these playoffs, and in my opinion they cost us at least a couple of key goals in this series.

And I think it would be a grave mistake to drop Muckler. It would be very difficult to suggest that player personnel was the failing for this team, as we've been consistently acknowledged to be among the very top teams in the NHL in terms of raw talent and depth. It comes down to the performance of the team on the ice. And Martin is the person who's job is DEFINED as being responsible for the on-ice performance of the team. And let's not forget what that on-ice performance amounted to...
- 3 shutout losses
- 2 games with only 1 regulation-time goal
- 7 consecutive games of surrendering the first goal

I'm sorry, that's simply unacceptable. I mean Jacques Martin isn't a bad coach (though I feel he may well be the most over-rated coach in NHL), but he's just not getting the job done with this team. He should be coaching Columbus or some team who would be thrilled just to make the playoffs. This team has the personnel to simply make the playoffs for years to come - I could coach them to a first round loss. We need someone who will help these players take the next step, and that person just isn't Jacques Martin. I mean why is it Muckler who's going into the dressing room to challenge the players? That's the role of the coach, not the GM. He just doesn't do the little things that championship coaches need to do.

No, the change that is ABSOLUTELY necessary in Ottawa is to fire Jacques Martin. It's been long overdue, and I can only hope that there are no more excuses left to justify his continued presence with the organization.

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04-21-2004, 09:56 AM
  #7
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I don't know if there is a pleasant and discrete way to do it, but Chara needs to have the C on his chest. He's the closest thing to a Warrior this team has. Alfredson is a good guy, and did his best, but I can't say enough about Chara.

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04-21-2004, 10:29 AM
  #8
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Rant and rave all you want but...

the number 4 seed beat the number 5 seed. Period. That's the way its supposed to happen. If it doen't, its an upset.

2 Years ago when the Leafs beat the Sens, it was a number 4 seed beating a number 7 seed. Supposed to happen that way.

Too many Sens fans have unrealistic expectations.

Don't expect wholesale management changes with a looming lockout. Melnyk is new to the hockey business and will want experienced people who understand this organization by his side. Muckler, Martin won't be gone.

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04-21-2004, 10:33 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensens
CIs that really Muckler's fault?
[

I think Muckler has to take some blame. It's not the moves he made it's the moves he didn't make. Why do the Senators even need a Peter Bondra at the trade deadline? Overall, the Sens have the best group of offensive forwards in the NHL, why get another offensive forward in Bondra?

Last year the Sens picked up Smolinski at the deadline and IMO was a much better move for a playoff run.

Where was this year's tough, proven, veteran playoff performer at the trade deadline?

Also, Lalime was inconsistent and shaky all year. Muckler never addressed this problem. Instead of Bondra and DeVries, Muckler at the deadline, should have been after the likes of Kolzig, Witt, Simon, and Barnaby.

My two cents.

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04-21-2004, 10:58 AM
  #10
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The thing about this series loss is that it was the regular season that lost us this round. Like all things in life you can't expect to not work hard until the last second. The Sens in this series had more passion than any other series they've played in but since they hadn't played this hard since last years playoffs they didn't know how to channel their energy. But IMO this is the best thing to happen to this team because there is no way that this team doesn't come out on fire throughout the next regular season and pick up great habits. As we've seen in the past this team plays best with a chip on it's shoulder
I think that Hossa next year will turn it up a notch just like he did this series. I thought he was easily the best forward out there all while having to face two amazing dmen in Leetch and Mccabe. This team will need to make some important moves in the offseason but nothing major. Hopefully we get a true number 1 centre and a true number 1 left winger. When we finally get a top centre and LW then we can talk about the Stanley cup.

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Old
04-21-2004, 12:06 PM
  #11
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Originally Posted by sensens
Clearly I'm somewhat biased towards John Muckler, but I'm really not sure you can blame him for many of these things.
You made a number of good points but Muckler isn't totally without blame in this. It's a sad day when you agree with Bill Watters, but he was right when he said "The only think Muckler accomplished with his trades for Bondra and de Vries was to increase the payroll by $10 M".

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04-21-2004, 12:07 PM
  #12
sensens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG FAN
Where was this year's tough, proven, veteran playoff performer at the trade deadline?

Also, Lalime was inconsistent and shaky all year. Muckler never addressed this problem. Instead of Bondra and DeVries, Muckler at the deadline, should have been after the likes of Kolzig, Witt, Simon, and Barnaby.
Yes, but what tough, proven, veteran playoff performers were available at the trade deadline per se? None of the people you mentioned fit that bill, and no players moved at the trade deadline really do either (I guess Leetch maybe, but is he really what the defence needed?). Every team needs that kind of player, but they really aren't easily acquired or frequently dealt. I agree that Bondra wasn't what we needed, but Muckler couldn't just sit on his hands. In terms of forwards, Walker wasn't available. Smyth wasn't available. O'Neill was hurt. What are you going to do? Not really many other options out there.

And as for Kolzig, Washington knew they had the only available commodity that would possibly improve Ottawa's goaltending situation, and they dug in their heels and played hardball (like they did a couple years ago with Philadelphia when they acquired Adam Oates). Do we remember that trade? Maxime Ouellet, and a 1st, 2nd & 3rd round pick just to RENT Oates? The last report regarding Kolzig that I heard was that they wanted a deal that included AT LEAST both Vermette and Volchenkov, and was rumoured to also include Rachunek. I'm sorry, Muckler gets crucified if he makes that deal - that's WAY too much for Kolzig, and they still would have had Lalime kicking around, because Washington apparantly wouldn't take him the other way (which would have been necessary, I think, in order to have rationally consomated the trade).

And would it really have made that big a difference? You could argue it maybe, but I'm not sure you can really key in on the goaltending as a critical failure when you're shut out 3 times. I'm not trying to say that there weren't other options that Muckler could have taken, but I think it's probably not accurate to say that he failed the team in any way.

I still say that the personnel was not the problem. We had everyone that we had last year, plus a few additions, and another year's experience. It's the on-ice product that failed, not the line-up card.


Last edited by sensens: 04-21-2004 at 12:12 PM.
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04-21-2004, 12:10 PM
  #13
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Sens fans- I'm not as familiar with your team, but from afar I would diagnose the main problem with Ottawa as the following:

A lack of depth at centre, particularly bona fide #1 and #2 centres. Bonk is a bust, and Spezza has not earned his ice time yet. Your other centres, while good character players, are certainly not top-line material at this point.

The fact is, your elite wingers would be burying more of their chances if they received more support from their centres. Your goaltending would then have been adequate to get the job done (Lalime had 6 good games prior to this one, don't forget).

We can talk about missing grit and character, but perhaps the simpler answer is that the team is too stacked at the wings but didn't address its problems at pivot...

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04-21-2004, 12:51 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensens
What are you going to do? Not really many other options out there.
My point on Muckler is why did the Sens need Bondra? All you did was add a scoring winger to a team loaded with scoring wingers. Its like adding a cup of water to a large bucket of water - how much difference is it really going to make?

I think the Sens would have been much better with someone like Chrs Simon. A tough, gritty, stand-up guy who can take a regular shift and chip in a goal here and there.

As for Kolzig - he was just an example. Muckler didn't address the Sens biggest problem - goaltending. Lalime was inconsistent and shaky for much of the season. Kolzig, Kiprusoff, Salo were all available. I'm not saying that those three were necessarily going to be an upgrade but maybe if you had someone pushing Lalime his play would have improved.

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04-21-2004, 12:56 PM
  #15
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Originally Posted by chara
the number 4 seed beat the number 5 seed. Period. That's the way its supposed to happen. If it doen't, its an upset.

That's a crutch, and you know it.


The Sens were only 1 point behind Leafs. Toronto losing to Ottawa would have hardly been an upset. What if New Jersey (6th place, and one point behind Philly) beat Philadelphia. Would that have been an epic upset, because it was a 3-6 match? not really. So let's not use seedings as a reason not to be upset.

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04-21-2004, 01:40 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG FAN
My point on Muckler is why did the Sens need Bondra? All you did was add a scoring winger to a team loaded with scoring wingers. Its like adding a cup of water to a large bucket of water - how much difference is it really going to make?

I think the Sens would have been much better with someone like Chrs Simon. A tough, gritty, stand-up guy who can take a regular shift and chip in a goal here and there.

As for Kolzig - he was just an example. Muckler didn't address the Sens biggest problem - goaltending. Lalime was inconsistent and shaky for much of the season. Kolzig, Kiprusoff, Salo were all available. I'm not saying that those three were necessarily going to be an upgrade but maybe if you had someone pushing Lalime his play would have improved.
I can't disagree about the Bondra deal... I wasn't overly thrilled with that one from the get-go. I think Simon would have been the wiser addition also, but to be fair to Muckler it seems doubtful that Martin would have played him any higher than the 3rd line (and even that in itself seems doubtful), which is not where Simon is going to chip in his goals and be effective as 'the big man'. And that's yet another way that Martin hurts this team (IMO) - in order to effectively add to this team, you have to account for how Martin is likely to use the player. Simon in Colorado, Washington, New York and Calgary is not even close to what Simon would have been in Ottawa. Therefore, it's really pretty doubtful that the deal would have made much sense.

Now as for Kolzig, I have to disagree with you there - Kolzig is not just an example, he really was the only viable answer for this team in terms of potentially improving their goaltending. I mean, are you really going to take on a nearly $4M/yr contract for a struggling Tommy Salo to 'push' Lalime? And Kiprusoff was hardly known to be a potential #1 goaltender. Check his stats from the past few years: (http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...id%5B%5D=15587).

They aren't bad or anything, but there's a reason why San Jose only got a 2nd round pick for him (which actually seemed like a lot to give up at the time). Was it really clear that he was better than Prusek at the time? I would seriously question that. What about $8M/yr for Joseph with a lockout brewing in a small market city? No, there really were very few options in that regard also. It really was essentially Kolzig or bust, and Washington took the hard line and no deal was made. Muckler was trying hard on that one too... everyone knew it was the deal that might have put them over the top, but Washington just asked for too much. When you hear the names that were volleyed around, I think it was the right decision to hold off.

And again, this was not exactly the trade deadline that people thought it would be. It's pretty easy to volley some of these names around, but think about what the environment was at the trade deadline, and about what players were actually available. There were few useful options, and Muckler took a shot at making a splash in a weak trading year, and it didn't work. But to be honest, I still don't see goaltending as the problem. I fully realize it cost us game 7, but I don't think the evidence supports the claim that it was our biggest weakness.


Last edited by sensens: 04-21-2004 at 02:14 PM.
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04-21-2004, 08:34 PM
  #17
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As they say, stats and over analysis are for the losing team.

Bottom line (to steal from Jacques...) is that Lalime had to be the best player on his team if they wanted to go all the way - and he wasn't.

Toronto's best player was/is Belfour.

If your goalie is not your best player you may as well pack up and go home from the start.

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04-21-2004, 10:26 PM
  #18
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Winning teams are strong up the middle and strong in goal. Ottawa doesn't have a #1 center and doesn't have an elite goaltender. Is it any surprise that they lose in the playoffs ? Who's ever heard of a team built on wingers ? I agree with the people who aren't crucifying Muckler for not getting Kolzig. McPhee tried to hit a home run and as a result both sides lost: Caps have to eat Kolzig's $6.5MM salary while, ironically, having great, cheap goaltending prospects waiting in the wings and Sens lose in round 1 because they have a goaltender who cannot win when his team needs him the most. The dilemna I see is that the Sens have a #1 center (Spezza) and a #1 goaltender (Emery) in waiting, but they're simply not ready yet. So what do you do? Mortgage the future trading for help at center and goal when you've got arguably the top young players/propects in hockey at each position ?

And one question: If Lalime plays as he should and say the Sens win Game 7 by a 2-1 score (quite conceivable had the team not been demoralized by the weak goals), how many people would be calling for Martin's head on a platter right now ?

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04-21-2004, 10:33 PM
  #19
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add a few gary roberts type wingers to the top two lines and get a quality goalie and i see no problems

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04-21-2004, 11:46 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensens
. I'm not trying to say that there weren't other options that Muckler could have taken, but I think it's probably not accurate to say that he failed the team in any way.
I don't trust him to get the job done.
Schaefer is the only real positive NHL move I've seen. (I've liked the minor league deals).

Smolinski adds little to this team. He really shouldn't be on our special teams or top lines. But we gave up a very good prospect and gave him $2.5M. Which will cause payroll problems when our youngsters ask for new deals.

Simpson was relatively cheap. It was time to dump Schastlivy. But then again, Simpson didn't really do much. Was he really better than Hnidy?

DeVries... was he really better than Rachunek? Because after nickle-n-diming Rachunek on a contract, we trade him for the same D-man. Only he's much older and makes 3 times as much money.

Bondra was more of what we already had. You said playing him on the LW with non-physical players was wrong... Who's spot on the RW was he going to take?
Also, the physical player argument is the problem here.

I think we've been begging on this board for at least as long as I've been around (probably longer) for somebody who can stand in front of the net.

I've watched GM's as far back as Pierre Gauthier make deals for failed power forward projects:
Mike Prokopec- the PF we traded 3 guys for, who couldn't hit anyone without falling down.
Kevin Brown?- the PF without a heart
Charlie Stephens- our current project. Keep your fingers crossed.

That of course, isn't counting the guys we've drafted. Of which, Josh Langfeld is the current success story. But I just don't see him taking the punishment and making as big an impact as Holmstrom in the playoffs.

Basically, Muckler has spent a lot of money and traded a lot of good prospects for players that we didn't need or who didn't make an impact.
While at the same time, ignoring a glaring issue which Gauthier was trying to fill 8 years ago. The only difference is that Gauthier had time to give projects a chance.

This is how a team like the Rangers gets built!!!


Last edited by trentmccleary: 04-21-2004 at 11:51 PM.
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04-22-2004, 01:07 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
I don't trust him to get the job done.
Schaefer is the only real positive NHL move I've seen. (I've liked the minor league deals).
I love the Schaefer deal, but I'd have to say that the Varada deal was pretty good also. Klepis' value dropped off hard when he left the WHL and returned to the Czech Republic, and Varada plays a type of game that fills a void in Ottawa. The fact that Buffalo has since traded him (for Mike Grier) is probably also an indication that they weren't overly thrilled with his development. I also like the de Vries trade more than most people seem to at this point. If Martin wants to go and play him on the 3rd pairing, that's his business. Muckler added a player who's won a cup, is quite a bit more physical than Rachunek was, and is a far far better team player. Rachunek was a healthy scratch around the time that we traded him, he was a cancer in the dressing room, and reportedly demanded a trade. What exactly are you supposed to do as a GM? Not to mention that that particular deal was pretty much universally heralded at the time as a very solid move by the Sens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
Smolinski adds little to this team. He really shouldn't be on our special teams or top lines. But we gave up a very good prospect and gave him $2.5M. Which will cause payroll problems when our youngsters ask for new deals.
Tim Gleason apparantly wasn't going to sign with us, and his ability to re-enter the draft was looming. In return, we got a solid veteran player who can play all three forwards positions. He's not exactly overwhelming, but I wouldn't say that he adds little. He was part of probably our best 5-on-5 line down the stretch, and Martin (IMO inexplicably) broke them up just in time for the playoffs to start to accomodate Todd White. Signing him to the 4-year contract that we did also allows us the versatility to trade him down the road if need be. Also, if he hadn't resigned Smolinski, then we'd have looked pretty bad for having given up Gleason for a rental player. From my chair, Muckler actually maximized the return and player asset potential in that deal (though personally I did like Gleason a lot).


Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
Bondra was more of what we already had. You said playing him on the LW with non-physical players was wrong... Who's spot on the RW was he going to take
I agree about the Bondra deal in principle, however given that there was seemingly pressure to make a bit of a splash (especially for a goal scorer), the deal went down. Now it should be noted that both Havlat and Hossa were originally drafted as LW-ers, and Martin moved them to RW because he typically likes to have C-RW pairings locked up. Hossa is the more positional-dependant RW of the two, so personally I would have moved Havlat to left wing to accomodate this - likely up to one of the top 2 line LW spots to bolster our offensive capabilities (he already plays there on the top PP unit). Bondra as the 3rd line RW probably would have made more sense than what we did, especially when it became pretty clear that he wasn't going to be able to handle top defence unit matchups. I find that, once again, this is a matter of how the player is being used, which is Martin's business, not Muckler's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
I think we've been begging on this board for at least as long as I've been around (probably longer) for somebody who can stand in front of the net.
I agree with this, of course. To a certain extent Varada can do this, but it seemed like Martin told Bonk to go and do it instead (again, this is Martin choosing these roles). But as much as I like him, Varada probably shouldn't be anywhere near the top-6 anyways.

Of course a top-6 power forward continues to be the biggest need for this team. That being said, the primary reason for us not having swung a big deal to bring in this vaunted power forward (IMO) is first and foremost that such a deal would be a very big deal, involving at least one of our major core players (if we expect to get a productive, physical, legitimate top-6 callibre power forward). Now bear in mind that we've had essentially a rotating door of GM's over the course of Martin's tenure in Ottawa (people seem to keep stealing them from us), most of them quite young and not really overly experienced. The first thing that most of them did when they started was talk about maintaining the core of this team, and not making any overly radical moves until they had time to assess the team. Well, most of them were gone before they established themselves too much, and so deals of that magnitude were rare - limited essentially to the Yashin trade, which was a trade of necessity due to the timing.

That's why I like Muckler - he came in and started making good moves right away. Now that he's had a couple years, I think he's in a good position to FINALLY make the necessary major moves to revamp this team. The first being to fire Jacques Martin, the second being (hopefully) to finally and at long last address that most pressing and often talked-about need for a high-end power forward that just seems to become more and more evident as a problem area for this team.

Personally I think Muckler's done a very good job. He's finally got the Sens at the table for major players (as opposed to the Yuha Ylonen/Mike Prokopec kind of moves), and he has the personal swagger and experience to speak and act with authority on these initiatives. IMO changing GM's at this point would just lapse us back into that endless "don't rock the boat" mentality that is innately linked to both Martin's prolonged, stagnant influence on this team, and the failure thus far of any GM to make the necessary moves to transform this team from a collection of excellent base talent to a team capable of challenging for the Cup.


Last edited by sensens: 04-22-2004 at 01:16 AM.
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04-22-2004, 01:24 AM
  #22
trentmccleary
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Hossa was always a RW.
Havlat was drafted as a centre (hence the experiment the year White took the 2nd line job).
Varada doesn't seem big enough... and honestly, he could play without a stick and we wouldn't notice the difference. He can't handle the puck, he can't shoot the puck and I don't see him getting that job done.

Bondra. Over the course of any given game, he was all over the offensive zone. He was ineffective everywhere. The only purpose he seemed to serve was as target practice for Toronto's hitters (like Calle was to us).

Smolinski... is a jack of all trades and master of none. He really just looks like a placeholder until we can actually fill the spots we need to fill.

You're right about Gleason and I couldn't care less about Klepis. But they still had some hype to them when they were traded. They could have gotten us something closer to what we needed.

Power forward... I may not have made it clear in this thread, but I am strongly against overpaying for the possibility of getting a player who is going to be injured all of the time.

I want Tomas Holmstrom or a reasonable facsimile. There has to be a Holmstrom type somewhere in this league on a crappy team just waiting to be traded.
Those two former 1st rounders... would have been better spent on this guy.

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04-22-2004, 01:52 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie Loach
And one question: If Lalime plays as he should and say the Sens win Game 7 by a 2-1 score (quite conceivable had the team not been demoralized by the weak goals), how many people would be calling for Martin's head on a platter right now ?
I would be - I've called for his head for several years now. The way a team plays reflects heavily upon their coach - when people criticize this team for being too passive, peripheral and not doing the things it takes to win (not just get a lot of shots)... and you see rampant evidence of a coach not doing the things it takes to motivate a team at critical junctures (and I really don't mean just screaming like a madman)... I think you have to conclude that the coach just isn't getting the job done. Seven consecutive games where the Leafs score first (eight, if you count that rather important final game of the season), three shutout losses (again, four if you count the final game), two more games with only one goal in regulation... for the 'top offence' and 'top PP' in the NHL? Remembering, of course, that these problems are hardly the exception to some kind of otherwise marvelous playoff record that Martin has... quite the opposite.

And if we're playing the speculation game, what if in game 6 Chara doesn't score, or one of those late 3rd period chances for the Leafs goes in (neither of which would really have fairly been considered Lalime's fault) - am I to believe that, in a series in which Lalime (under those circumstances) would never have let in more than 2 goals in any of the 6 games, people would be simply assuming that Lalime would be run out of town? I don't think so.

But I think you can pretty safely assume that Martin would still be in the hot seat (even more so), and absolutely deservedly so.

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04-22-2004, 02:19 AM
  #24
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What is the status on Simpson? Will he likely be re-signed? He is a type of guy I would take on my team anyday of the week. One of my favorite players in the NHL.

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04-22-2004, 02:57 AM
  #25
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Not to be overly argumentative, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
Hossa was always a RW.
Hossa was listed as a LW on draft day (I still have the guide), though he was able to play both sides at the world junior tournament for Slovakia (and I believe he did play more RW at that time). He also played RW in Portland, but that was after the Sens had placed him at RW with Yashin and McEachern for those few games he played with the team before they sent him down. Now he is a left handed shot, but he's become most effective at using that to his advantage in some of his more effective power and puck control moves (hence my comment about him being far more positionally a RW than Havlat is).


Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
Havlat was drafted as a centre (hence the experiment the year White took the 2nd line job).
Havlat was listed as a C/LW on draft day (again, have the guide), but can play all three forward positions (as we've seen). The fact that he actively plays the LW on the top PP unit should probably make him a no-brainer to take a regular shift with one of the top-2 lines, as opposed to dwelling on the 3rd line still. Of course, this rarely happens because Martin seems obsessed with dispersing the top offensive talent on this team across as many lines as possible, as opposed to creating a true #1 line that might actually score 5-on-5 with some semblence of regularity come crunch time in the playoffs.

Sorry, pardon the rant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
Smolinski... is a jack of all trades and master of none. He really just looks like a placeholder until we can actually fill the spots we need to fill.
I think this is pretty much true, though he fits the bill perfectly of what Martin loves in terms of versatility and 'interchangeable part'-type ability. Martin apparantly specifically mentioned Smolinski as a player he'd like to have brought in. In a rare moment of defence on my part for Martin, apparantly he also lobbied for Peter Schaefer, who is among my very favorite Senator players.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
I want Tomas Holmstrom or a reasonable facsimile. There has to be a Holmstrom type somewhere in this league on a crappy team just waiting to be traded.
Those two former 1st rounders... would have been better spent on this guy.
Yes, but who exactly? I agree that Holmstrom would be great, but try getting him off of Detroit (and we did for a long time). Varada is actually one of a handful of players who fits the bill as potentially that type of player (and we did find him on a crappy team). I'd love to see Varada played like Holmstrom (especially on the PP) and see what happens, but of course Martin won't try that because they have their vaunted '#1 PP in the league' already. Personally, I think a good coach could probably make a Holmstrom clone out of someone like Vaclav Varada or Denis Hamel pretty effectively if they set their mind to it, but we really really don't have that particular coach in place right now.

And, in spite of your comments about Varada, I think he might be, in fact, the ideal candidate for that role - this is a guy who scored 50G in the WHL, 30G in 45GP in the AHL one year, and has three 30pts+ seasons to his credit in the NHL (which is essentially the kind of output that Holmstrom puts in, with the difference being that Varada virtually never gets PP time, which is where Holmstrom has scored nearly half of his career goals in the NHL). They're physically almost identical, and Varada certainly has the disposition necessary to be a serious problem in front of the net.

But again, you need a coach with the right mindset to take advantage of a player with those abilities. Even if Martin was handed Holmstrom, I'm not convinced that he'd even use him effectively on the PP in the role that's essentially made his career.


Last edited by sensens: 04-22-2004 at 03:01 AM.
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