Sunday, December 14, 2008

$4 Million Checking Winger?

Only in Edmonton, and only under coach Craig Mactavish will you see a guy that has averaged over 20 goals and 50 points his last 3 seasons thrown into a shutdown role.

Add in that Erik Cole is an UFA at years end and that he will likely be looking for his last long term contract, and this has the makings of a horror movie for Erik Cole.

Edmonton has a poor perceived reputation as a city to some hockey players, however any hockey player will enjoy winning, playing well, and playing fun hockey. None of those things are happening at the moment.

It must be incredibly hard for a player that won the Cup on a team with a 3 scoring line approach to be saddled on the 3rd line with the likes of Captain checker Ethan Moreau and young checker in the making Kyle Brodziak.

Why can't Craig Mactavish change his approach? For crying out loud he lost to a team that had 3 scoring lines in the Cup Finals, the Avalanche give us a tough matchup, why can't he bring himself to give it a try?

Erik Cole needs a playmaker from the left side or down the middle. I believe that there was a guy that fits that bill that was a healthy scratch against Vancouver, Reddox was his name I believe? ;)

Cole will be looking to get the hell out of here as soon as possible, and because of being miscast into a checking role he may have to take a 1 year deal and try to boost his value league wide thanks to "the Craig's" approach.

But hey, at least we can look forward to Pisani centering Moreau and Cole again when Fernie returns from his broken ankle. That's a pretty pricey 3rd line, a 3rd line making that kind of coin had better be able to shutdown and outscore the best players in this league.

I guess it's better that Cole isn't playing lights out, because then we'd know what we're missing when he bolts after this season.


doritogrande said...

"Cole will be looking to get the hell out of here as soon as possible, and because of being miscast into a checking role he may have to take a 1 year deal and try to boost his value league wide thanks to "the Craig's" approach."

Disagree with this. Once he's traded at the deadline to a Washington, Chicago or the like, he'll pull a Peca. He'll get that long-term contract on playoff success alone. Worked for Pisani, Moreau, Staios, Horcoff and Hemsky, didn't it?

And if you think Schremp is going to help Cole at even strength, man you're out to lunch. Captain America is getting killed, absolutely leveled at even-strength. He's a complimentary player at best. He'd put Cole offside every time. And even if Schremp manages to find an open Erik Cole, simple statistics says he doesn't score. Cole's lack of success is his own doing, not a function of team play. When your shooting percentage is that far below normal, that's on you. Unless you're Jarrett Stoll. Then you may blame the stick company.

Bryanbryoil said...

What was Pouliot's shooting % before Schremp was put on his line and he gave him that gift ion his first game and then made a quick play down to Cogs who then made a great pass?

What would Horcoff's shooting % be without those great cross ice passes from Hemsky?

I guess I'm out to lunch when I think that a guy like Schremp could help his offense more than terrific playmakers like Brodziak and Moreau.

As for playoff success, that is far from a given. Injuries, continued slumps, etc are all possibilities.

Lastly, as for Schremp getting "killed" at ES, I missed the Florida game, but like I said prior to that he created more than he gave up and if you include stepping onto the ice on a change and getting scored against as "killed" then I guess you're right.

doritogrande said...

If we're bringing Horcoff into this, then it should be brought up that 10 can at least keep up with 83 on an offensive rush. When's the last time we've seen Schremp out-skate anyone not named Cory Cross?

Great passing ability is one thing, and I'll freely admit there that Schremp's got that. After his second game however, he lost his level of compete and was properly benched because there were better options to go over the boards. The Florida game wasn't without it's lack of scoring chances without Schremp playing, so I really don't care how much he played. The team seemed perfectly fine with Schremp riding pine.

I suppose I'm painting myself into the "Schremp's a dud" corner, but truthfully I think he's a player. But love for a specific player can only get you so far, especially one with a very limited skill set. When he gets his career under him, I see him having success in a fashion very similar to how Teemu Selanne is succeeding this year. Powerplay specialist extrodinaire.

Paper Designer said...

Hey Dorito... who's the other guy who plays on the Horcoff-Hemsky line? Penner right? Clearly he's revered for his fleet footwork.

You don't need "players who can skate" with a fast player. You just need players who can complement. We've seen numerous combinations that work between one player that is clearly faster than the other, and we've seen countless combinations of players that have equal footspeed but simply don't work out together (Cole and Hemsky come to mind). This whole "we need someone who can skate with player X" is a bunch of hooey. Whether they work well together or not is not based on footspeed.

And I don't think MacTavish would be adverse to three scoring lines... but he'd need at least one of his second lines to be a reliable shutdown unit as well.