Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Check the I.R.

I've got a quick Globe on Hockey look at three teams whose seasons are already near derailment due to key injuries.

I picked Nashville, New Jersey and Tampa Bay — although Vancouver and Edmonton have a case at this point given their bluelines. With every team so evenly matched, it's nearly impossible to overcome the loss of a top defenceman or scoring forward and make the playoffs these days.

8 Comments:

At 9:09 PM, November 07, 2007, Anonymous bohologo said...

Edmonton's missing Souray, Pitkanen, Green, and Roy on the blueline. Moreau and Pisani are out among the forwards. Oilers fans wish their problems were on the scale of Nashville's, TB's, or Jersey's.

 
At 9:20 PM, November 07, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

True enough, although I don't think that's necessarily the reason Edmonton won't make the playoffs this season.

They likely wouldn't have with a full roster.

 
At 12:06 AM, November 08, 2007, Anonymous bohologo said...

Well sure, but in your piece you noted, "a longshot to make the playoffs...something that could be said for all three of these teams," a characterization that certainly fits the Oilers healthy or not. I think we agree here, but my point is that Edmonton situatino is arguably worse than the teams you highlighted in your Globe column. Which is of of course a product of the pernicious Eastern media bias.....

 
At 12:09 AM, November 08, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

You say in the column that a large part of Martin Brodeur's struggles are the guys who have been playing defense for the Devils. One thing I'm curious about is whether the quality of the defensemen really plays more of a role in goal prevention than the quality of the forwards.

More precisely, does having quality defensive minded blueliners have more of an effect than quality defensive minded forwards. Is the term "Defenseman" actually a misnomer? Are they just another player on the ice, who might be offensive- or defensive-minded?

 
At 12:22 AM, November 08, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

What I was going for was that, with the amount parity in the league, one major injury can derail an otherwise decent team's chances. (Not that it was articulated all that well.)

 
At 1:32 AM, November 08, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

I think it was clear in your post that these three teams were playoff longshots because of their injury situations, as opposed to the Oilers, which were unfortunately a longshot regardless.

You might have added that perhaps the most noticeable effect of the salary cap is the lack of depth on most rosters. It seems that if you're going to win these days, you have to have underpriced talent on your roster.

 
At 9:14 AM, November 08, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

Although, come to think of it, I'm not buying it in the case of New Jersey. Langenbrunner and White? That's like Leaf fans saying they would be contenders if Wellwood and Colaiacovo weren't hurt. Certainly the Oilers could wish that they'd only lost a second-line forward and slightly-above-average defenceman.

 
At 3:04 PM, November 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might have added that perhaps the most noticeable effect of the salary cap is the lack of depth on most rosters. It seems that if you're going to win these days, you have to have underpriced talent on your roster.

Mike Babcock made a comment on that topic a couple weeks ago. He mentioned that depth used to be players, such as good-quality skaters on the fourth line that could contribute as another team's second line might, but now with the salary cap a team's depth is actually measured in health.

 

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