Friday, March 16, 2007

Re-examining the Perrault deal

When the Perrault deal went down, I had two issues with it (discussed in detail here and here) in short:

  1. It didn't address or fix any of the core needs of the club (PK, defensive play)
  2. The opportunity cost was quite high (spare parts were dealt, the Leafs' problems remained) and never seemed to be part of the equation for MLSE or anyone else evaluating the deal
Well, seven games into the Perrault era, add two more issues to the list:
  1. The supposed depth on the Leafs D is gone when they need it most
  2. The Leafs knowingly traded Bell and a 2nd rounder for damaged goods

If there's one-lesson to be learned from last year's playoffs it's that there's no such thing as having too many D (c.f. Buffalo).

Now with injuries to Kaberle, Colaiacovo and Hal Gill (who did return to the game after getting stitched up) the Leafs had to rush back an injured Pavel Kubina and dress a healthy Wade Belak. McCabe logged 29 minutes against the Caps and will have to be good to go again Saturday night. I'd much rather have Bell available to fill-in on the blueline right now, but instead we have Perrault and his bum shoulder...

So to recap, that's our suddenly much needed depth on D and a second round pick for this:

at Washington 00-17:4700:3800:00100%
Tampa Bay0006:2400:5800:0037.5%
at Ottawa00010:532:1400:0050%
at New Jersey0*0-113:384:1600:0087.5%

Dressed for six out of seven games, one goal, no assists, -1, avg. 09:47 ice time per game. Wow. Nice work JFJ!

Raycroft, Maurice and Aubin

Given that Raycroft seems to struggle when he's tired/ plays too much hockey and given that the Washington match-up was allegedly the easier of the two back-to-back games this weekend, was anyone else surprised that Maurice gave Raycroft the start?

Wouldn't it have made more sense for Aubin to face the Caps and keep Raycroft fresh for the Habs?

Instead, Raycroft has to play back-to-back after another erratic start (goal #1 was horrible and I'm sure he'd like a mulligan on #4) in a big, pressure filled game in a city where his last start resulted in a .688 sv% and an early trip to the showers.

This speaks to a larger question: if Maurice and MLSE have such little faith in Aubin (9 starts out of 71 this season) why did the team decide to move Telly and knowing Raycroft breaks down under a heavy workload, why haven't they found an adequate back-up to help spell-off Raycroft?

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