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Forum: Armchair-GMDec 26, 2019 at 4:32
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Cgf</b></div><div>Heading into the playoffs with Graves on the top pairing is just asking for trouble IMO. He has done an admirable job so far, but he's playing over his head and the longer you ask him to continue doing so, the more likely you are to run into trouble. And if we wait until we run into those problems, we may no longer be able to do anything to address them before the playoffs kick-off. Similar thing with Bura as our 5th best forward. He's done well for us so far, but there is always the risk that he won't bounceback quickly from his next coldstreak (like he has been doing thus far) &amp; he's just dreadful against the puck...genuinely one of the worst defensive forwards we've ever had that was a full-time NHLer.

Zucker's checked out in Minny and Murray's as likely to break on any given night as EJ...but when on form -- as being traded to us should rejuvenate him the way being traded to a playoff team has rejuvenated Hall -- Zucker's a much more reliable goalscorer than Bura, whose forechecking provides a lot more against the puck, and when healthy, Murray is a rich man's Graves...better defensively (especially in transition), a more reliable outlet passer (meaning fewer silly turnovers), and a decisively better skater. Obviously there's the health risk with Murray, but if he wasn't injury prone he wouldn't be gettable at a reasonable price...and we wouldn't need to condition the pick on his health.

I wouldn't re-sign Zucker or Murray past their current deals...though I'd happily give Pageau the ~5.25 per he's failing to get out of Ottawa if the term is only 4-5 years (preferably 4)...but for the rest of their current deals both would fit our style really well and address two of our three most exigent question marks until the kids are ready to take those jobs for themselves.</div></div>

Well I expect Cole - Johnson to be the 1st pair in the playoffs like last year. You can put Zadorov with Makar on the 2nd pair and let Graves play 3rd or something. IMO the 1st round pick in the upcoming draft is more valuable than gambling on Murray to be in good form and stay healthy.

As for Burakovsky. Have you seen him play for the Caps? If you did, you know he has been one of the best Caps in the past two postseasons. Sure his production wasn't good at the Caps since he showed just flashes of what he's capable of. But his playoff performances were simply great. He's been good st the Avs and he has done a good job on both the MacKinnon and Kadri line. BTW, Zucker is more like a 20-25 goalscorer. Burakovsky can score that much too