Make the call: Grabovski or Ribeiro?

Make the call: Grabovski or Ribeiro?
October 23, 2013, 5:30 pm
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10.23.13: Caps week in review

Over the summer there was a lot of time spent on this website debating the value – and replacement value - of Mike Ribeiro.

Could the Caps afford to keep him? Could they afford to lose him?

In the end, the Caps opted to let Ribeiro walk all the way to Phoenix, where he signed a four-year, $22 million contract. Too much – many argued – for a player who will be 36 at the end of the deal.

The Caps instead signed center Mikhail Grabovski to a low-risk, one-year, $3 million contract.

Three weeks into the season, Ribeiro and the Coyotes are riding a seven-game points streak. Ribeiro has five goals and four assists in that span, while the Coyotes are 5-0-2.

 “I just like those moments,” Ribeiro told azcentral sports after his second straight two-goal performance. “I like to be out there and make the play that is going to make us score a goal or just make a nice play. I just like to be in those moments.”

"There's things he's doing that make him a very smart, complete player, and he still doe that in his own elements," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. 

"He’s not a big guy that’s going to run over anybody. He does it with smarts and skills.”

Which brings us to Grabovski. Through nine games, Grabovski has four goals and three assists, but four of those seven points came in the opener when he recorded a hat trick and an assist. Grabovski has been dropped from the second line to the third line and is averaging 16:30 a night.

Through 10 games this season Ribeiro has four goals and five assists while averaging 18:11 a game on the Coyotes’ top line.

The biggest knock on Ribeiro has always been his penchant for taking bad penalties and his inability to stay on the right side of the plus-minus sheet, but in 10 games this season he’s taken just three minor penalties and is a plus-2.

Grabovski has taken just one penalty and is a minus-2 while trying to gain a firm grasp of Adam Oates' system.

Many believed the Caps would miss Ribeiro the most on the power play, but they’re humming along with the best unit in the NHL.

So what’s your take? All things considered, did the Caps do the right thing by replacing Ribeiro with Grabovski? Do you think their offensive numbers will even out by the end of the season? And who would you rather have in a playoff series?