Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cory Sarich

I'm sure this picture is a little painful for most Flames fans but I think it's important to remember that at one point Cory Sarich won the Cup and it may not hold as much weight as the MSM may indicate but it does have value.

Most Flames fans that I have talked to seem to agree Sarich is overpaid ($3.6 cap hit) but the higher the cap rises the more appropriate his salary seems to get. He's not a bad defensive defenceman, doesn't do anything great but nothing terrible either. Generally makes safe plays and obviously had that one incredible hit on Patrick Marleau in the 08 playoffs.

Looking at his desjardins numbers there is a lot of red, but thankfully it's exactly where we would expect it to be; at his offensive numbers. Make no mistake, Cory Sarich was not brought on board to score goals, he was brought on board to stop them.

As was obvious to anyone who watched the Flames last season, Sarich played with Regehr on what basically amounted to a defensive shutdown unit. Sarich played the second toughest opposition minutes for defenseman (behind Regehr, so basically equal toughness) and did not a bad job; his GAON were 3rd among defenceman, behind Vandermeer and Aucoin who both played against much lesser opposition.

I have a feeling this year that Regehr will be paired with Phaneuf and therefore Sarich has to expect a new defensive partner at EV. Without Regehr at his side I imagine his play will remain steady but now Flames fans will be able to get a better picture of how much of a difference maker he really is.

Projection: 2nd pairing defenceman
Key Stat: 2nd quality of opposition among defenceman


Kent W. said...

Sarich was an odd case last year. There were multiple games where he was sure and steady. Then there were the ones where everything went to hell and he was just outright terrible. I remember most of March being a debacle for the guy, for instance (maybe he was injured).

Like you, I would like to see Sarich anchor the 2nd pairing this season. No more chaos duos in the top 4, plus it's time Dion started facing the big boys every night.

therealdeal said...

Sometimes he just you get that feeling too?

therealdeal said...

Oh, I should add that sometimes it seemed as if Sarich and Regehr had massive communication breakdowns on the ice.