Plugging Holes: Southeast Division
Key offseason fixes for the Panthers, Caps, Lightning, Jets and Canes
- Harry How/Getty ImagesRoberto Luongo could solve the Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltending issues.
With the Stanley Cup finals in the books, it's time for every NHL team to tinker with its roster and see how it can retool for next season. The analysts of Hockey Prospectus provide some help, identifying the biggest shortcoming on every NHL roster using their GVT valuation metric (explained here) and offering a unique suggestion on how to fix it for 2012-13. The series continues with fixes for the five teams in the Southeast Division, where the Capitals need to add an ingredient that would have been unthinkable two seasons ago
The hole: Scoring depth
As the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings have taught us this postseason, playoff success is derived from forcing the opposition to concentrate on all four of your lines. Teams with a very clear top-six and bottom-six have found the going a little bit tougher as their skill players were more easily neutralized. The Capitals had a divide that was among the clearest in the league this year, with Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin on one side along with Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson getting the lion's share of the offensive-zone draws, while grizzled muckers such as Joel Ward, Mike Knuble and Troy Brouwer were charged with the tougher assignments. The result was a Caps team that was tighter in the back, but struggled to score.
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