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Flgatorguy87 07-06-2013 08:26 PM

"Top 6"
 
I hear people throw around things like "true top 6" all the time. I'd like to implement the honesty policy and ask a few questions just to get perspective.

1. What does "top 6" mean to you. Is it literally the top 60 players at each position?

2. How many points does it take to crack the 1st line & 2nd line?

Like I said its easy to throw out numbers after looking it up, but I would like to know what people's perspective is without hard numbers to look at.

I have already looked, which is the reason for my own curiosity, so I won't throw out numbers. I was wrong I will tell you that.

Dave is a killer 07-06-2013 08:32 PM

To me a true top six forward is a player who is top 60 in es ppg, strictly speaking

Flgatorguy87 07-06-2013 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave is a killer (Post 68864753)
To me a true top six forward is a player who is top 60 in es ppg, strictly speaking

I think this will be the consensus, but just to ask a little more. Top 60 for all forwards, or in separate forward categories?

Persona5 07-06-2013 08:37 PM

Top six Is based around how most teams roll their lines out. You have your top 2 lines as scoring lines and your third line is geberally an energy/checking line. Fourth line is a mix of checking and strong defensive forwards. That is how many teams desig. Their club around.


Nashville has built generally built around team scoring and no so called top line. It looks like we plan to run 3 limes for scoring and a checking defensive line for our 4th line. Since nashville can't seem to get their hands on elite talent at forward this is the next best thing.

Flgatorguy87 07-06-2013 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Persona5 (Post 68864903)
Top six Is based around how most teams roll their lines out. You have your top 2 lines as scoring lines and your third line is geberally an energy/checking line. Fourth line is a mix of checking and strong defensive forwards. That is how many teams desig. Their club around.


Nashville has built generally built around team scoring and no so called top line. It looks like we plan to run 3 limes for scoring and a checking defensive line for our 4th line. Since nashville can't seem to get their hands on elite talent at forward this is the next best thing.

So not really point total related at all, but more positional/game plan? That's a good perspective, and sounds like the way teams or players would view the lineup.

PredsV82 07-06-2013 08:48 PM

to me the "top 6" for any team are the two lines who are counted on to do the bulk of the scoring, and on hime ice are therefore given the most favorable line match ups.

the "bottom 6" traditionally have a "checking" line whose primary responsibility is shutting down the other teams "top" lines and the "energy" line whose primary reaponsibility is to skate hard, hit hard, and if possible draw penalties or at least disrupt the other team's flow

I Will Son 07-06-2013 08:48 PM

A forward who is a consistent threat at offense. A forward who generally puts up 60+ pts

Flgatorguy87 07-06-2013 09:02 PM

To the people who say top 6 is just a way of saying scoring lines....

Care to put numbers or expectations on what a scoring line should put up?

glenngineer 07-06-2013 09:22 PM

This is always a great discussion and interesting to say the least. I try not to define it as a top 6 forward but as 1st line talent, 2nd line talent and so on. There is a school of thought on the main boards that if a guy is on the "first" line, he's a first line talent. I don't buy that because some teams, not many, have two guys that are first line talents that play the same position. Pittsburgh is the perfect example. Is Malkin a top 6 forward, a top 3(elite player) or 1st line center? Well, depending on how you look at it, Malkin is either a 2nd line center or Crosby is. I don't buy that. I think it's based on talent and talent alone.

So how do you define a top 6? Like I said earlier, I think it's easier if you base it off of 1st line, 2nd line and so on. So let's use Chicago as an example. They roll two very good lines. Toews/Hossa/Saad and Kane/Sharp/Handzus. Now are all those guys top 6 talents? I don't think Saad is quite there yet and Handzus is more of a 3rd line center. To me they have 3 top 3 or elite forwards in Toews, Hossa and Kane. They are game breakers. I'd say Sharp is as solid a 2nd line talent as there is in the league.

Now people will say, there are 60 top 6 players in the league but if that's the case, is there really that sort of talent dispersed around the league as I've put before you, not at all. So my system is flawed to some degree but if you use stats/points solely, I don't think that's a fair representation of top 6 talent either. That would mean the top 60 scorers at each position would be top 6 talents. I don't always think that's accurate either. Injuries play a factor in that. If you look at Wilson at the time of his injury, he was definitely a top 6 forward by his production and play on the ice. So do you base it on PPG? I think PPG would define it would clearly than actual points scored. Now granted, you can't say Wilson was or wasn't one last year because it was an incomplete body or work. So if we based it on points, the Preds probably don't have any top 6 forwards on last years roster but we all know, there are guys that play here that are top 6 talents.

I just don't know that there's a perfect way to define it. I had gotten into a discussion if Mark Streit was a top pairing defenseman. I said no and they said yes. Granted, they got to watch him on a nightly basis but just because he played on the top pair, does that mean he was a top pairing guy. Offensively yes but defensively I think he's weak so how do you judge a talent like that?

I think it's easy to define some guys who are sure fire top 6 talents but it gets a bit washy when you get in to the next tier of guys. The elite players are easy, it's after you get through the guys like Sharp and Ribeiro where it gets iffy. I'd be interested to see what people's list would be at each forward position. I wonder if we start with a list of top 30 at each position and then go to 31-60 to make it easier?

maplepred 07-06-2013 09:37 PM

If you took our crop of forwards and put then on 'most' NHL teams, we only have like 1 or 2 top six guys.
Wilson I think is a sure fire top six at this point. Hornqvist is borderline. Beck may develop into that as well as forsberg. But not this season.

Flgatorguy87 07-06-2013 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maplepred (Post 68867001)
If you took our crop of forwards and put then on 'most' NHL teams, we only have like 1 or 2 top six guys.
Wilson I think is a sure fire top six at this point. Hornqvist is borderline. Beck may develop into that as well as forsberg. But not this season.

Not trying to pick on you, but your beating the drum pretty hard in every thread about us not having a true top 6....so what is your cut off as far as point per game or point totals or whatever tangible stat you want to use.

The point of this is just to try to get rid of the "mystery" and opinion of "top 6 players" and maybe have a better idea of what the overall consensus definition is.

Great post above Glenn. Completely agree in regards to Crosby/Malkin discussion. I think the point you are making is that some teams have no true top line players by production alone.

Webersmashpuck 07-06-2013 09:56 PM

Top 90 point getting forwards is a fair definition to me. I would say if the player is fairly consistent in reaching that rank they would be a top 6 forward. If that's the case, Legwand, Fisher, and Hornqvist would be locks. Cullen has been before and is on the cusp of that rank. Wilson, Forsberg, and Bourque could be in that territory as well. Now injuries will factor in but we have plenty of top 6 guys. Just no star offensive players, maybe Wilson and Forsberg will be those guys but we never know.

Persona5 07-06-2013 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maplepred (Post 68867001)
If you took our crop of forwards and put then on 'most' NHL teams, we only have like 1 or 2 top six guys.
Wilson I think is a sure fire top six at this point. Hornqvist is borderline. Beck may develop into that as well as forsberg. But not this season.

I dont think you are giving our forwards enough credit really. Wilson, horny, fisher, and legwand are all legit top six forwards.

There is also the issue of line mates you play with. Would you say cunitz is a better forward than the above predator forwards i mentioned? What kind of production would our guys have playing along side crosby? This is why teams need those elite talents because they can make those borderline top six guys look like allstars. This is what the predators lack. We dont have that player that makes everyone they play with look really good. Im hopefull wilson starts to do that or maybe even forsberg but that is what we lack.

The two teams tht played for the cup have those players on bergereon and toews. We still laxk that so we went out and got 3 lines that can hopefully produce enough to get into the playoffs.

ilikeblocks 07-06-2013 10:20 PM

NHL teams are straying away from the two scoring lines approach, especially after the previous lockout. Solid playoff teams have 3 scoring lines (with a little luck from a 4th or a 4th augmented with a double shifted offensive talent) - you can't put all you eggs in six forwards anymore.

Iron Duke 07-06-2013 11:10 PM

Point totals tend to be a bit lower than I think people expect for "top 6" forwards. 40-45 points is passable for many teams, 60+ is legit first liner, imo.

vopatsdad 07-06-2013 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glenngineer (Post 68866465)
This is always a great discussion and interesting to say the least. I try not to define it as a top 6 forward but as 1st line talent, 2nd line talent and so on. There is a school of thought on the main boards that if a guy is on the "first" line, he's a first line talent. I don't buy that because some teams, not many, have two guys that are first line talents that play the same position. Pittsburgh is the perfect example. Is Malkin a top 6 forward, a top 3(elite player) or 1st line center? Well, depending on how you look at it, Malkin is either a 2nd line center or Crosby is. I don't buy that. I think it's based on talent and talent alone.

So how do you define a top 6? Like I said earlier, I think it's easier if you base it off of 1st line, 2nd line and so on. So let's use Chicago as an example. They roll two very good lines. Toews/Hossa/Saad and Kane/Sharp/Handzus. Now are all those guys top 6 talents? I don't think Saad is quite there yet and Handzus is more of a 3rd line center. To me they have 3 top 3 or elite forwards in Toews, Hossa and Kane. They are game breakers. I'd say Sharp is as solid a 2nd line talent as there is in the league.

Now people will say, there are 60 top 6 players in the league but if that's the case, is there really that sort of talent dispersed around the league as I've put before you, not at all. So my system is flawed to some degree but if you use stats/points solely, I don't think that's a fair representation of top 6 talent either. That would mean the top 60 scorers at each position would be top 6 talents. I don't always think that's accurate either. Injuries play a factor in that. If you look at Wilson at the time of his injury, he was definitely a top 6 forward by his production and play on the ice. So do you base it on PPG? I think PPG would define it would clearly than actual points scored. Now granted, you can't say Wilson was or wasn't one last year because it was an incomplete body or work. So if we based it on points, the Preds probably don't have any top 6 forwards on last years roster but we all know, there are guys that play here that are top 6 talents.

I just don't know that there's a perfect way to define it. I had gotten into a discussion if Mark Streit was a top pairing defenseman. I said no and they said yes. Granted, they got to watch him on a nightly basis but just because he played on the top pair, does that mean he was a top pairing guy. Offensively yes but defensively I think he's weak so how do you judge a talent like that?

I think it's easy to define some guys who are sure fire top 6 talents but it gets a bit washy when you get in to the next tier of guys. The elite players are easy, it's after you get through the guys like Sharp and Ribeiro where it gets iffy. I'd be interested to see what people's list would be at each forward position. I wonder if we start with a list of top 30 at each position and then go to 31-60 to make it easier?

Well thought-out post. Very helpful. Thanks, Glenn.

theTooth 07-06-2013 11:35 PM

Looking at the top 90 forwards, we'd have none qualify from last year. Going back 2 years Legwand and Fisher would sneak in the bottom. I think the issue is we don't have a top 60 forward (based at least on points from the last two years) . Injuries hurt - but that's why you need some depth.

[ranking based on point totals]

12-13
---------
Cullen - 98th
Legwand - 118th
Fisher - 145th
Wilson - 166th
Stalberg - 135th
Hornqvist - 222nd (injured)

11-12
---------
Legwand - 82nd
Fisher - 87th
Hornqvist & Stalberg - tied at 126th
Wilson & Cullen - tied at 165th

worstfaceoffmanever 07-07-2013 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave is a killer (Post 68864753)
To me a true top six forward is a player who is top 60 in es ppg, strictly speaking

If that's your metric, then here's the list of teams with a full complement of top six forwards at the start of last season:









... ta-da! The closest was Boston with 5. Only eight teams had at least a line's worth of top six forwards by your definition. Three of those teams missed the playoffs entirely, and only two made it past the first round. The Stanley Cup champions had two.

A top six forward, strictly speaking, is a player who can make a big enough contribution to play on his team's first or second scoring lines as defined by the coach (generally measurable through playing time). A top six forward is derived from a combination of subjective observation (How well does he handle the puck? Does he know when to be selfish? How accurate are his passes? Can he consistently deceive a goalie 1-on-1? etc.) and objective statistical benchmarks, like 50 points or 0.6 points per game. I suspect there are, at any given time, about 100-120 players in the NHL who meet the qualifications for a "top six forward" as is often bandied about here.

The thing is, teams tend to develop those players in-house and keep them there. Nashville has either had extenuating circumstances (Radulov, Hartnell), or has seen its high-end forward prospects simply fail to develop (Upshall). Wilson seems to have stemmed that tide, and maybe now Beck, Bourque, and Forsberg (maybe even Cehlin, Watson, and/or Aberg) can turn it. It will take another year or two for that core to fully emerge, but we might finally have our scoring woes put to an end for a while once they get rolling.

deanwormer 07-07-2013 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I Will Son (Post 68865287)
A forward who is a consistent threat at offense. A forward who generally puts up 60+ pts

There aren't 180 (6 guys X 30 teams) guys in the league to put up 60+ points though. season prior to last there were 58 guys that had 60+; at 180 you had 37 points - and those have Dmen in there, too, so it's really a lower number than that to get to a top 6 F's across the league more like 32/33.

The top 90 scorers - the top 3 guys - that cutoff for points was 52 (and yes, a handful of Dmen in there, so it's a tad lower). So while we on the board kick around Leggy and Fish aren't top 6 guys or we don't really roll out a #1 line (Fish, Leggy and Marty all in that top 90, Horny, SK, Wilson and Smith all solidly in the next 90) we really have been more effective when you measure scoring then we generally acknowledge on the boards.

So, top 3, low 50s, top 6, high 30s. (an aside - year before was 1 pt lower at Top 3, 2 points higher at top 6 - Matt Cullen was that cutoff).

FFWRX 07-07-2013 01:21 AM

Im guessing that Spaling is the incorrect answer here.

Legionnaire11 07-07-2013 06:16 AM

In the "Top 6" however, there is a huge difference between #6 and #1... What we really need in Nashville is a legitimate first line center. That would really solve so many issues and I think it's what a lot of people mean when they're saying that we need to land that top-6 player.

A real first line center would be that 70 point player who boosts the level of his wingers. Look at what Wilson, Bourque and Beck did last season and then imagine them with Eric Staal, Anze Kopitar, Joe Thornton, John Tavares, Jason Spezza...

When that first line gets going, it allows the second line center (Fisher/Legwand) to be slotted properly and also takes a lot of scoring pressure off of them and gives them some more favorable matchups so the play level of the second line increases as well (in theory)

It doesn't have to be a Crosby or Malkin megastar type, but the next level down would do the trick and this roster has never even come close to a player of that level. So the pursuit of top 6 talent really comes down to the lack of one player.

glenngineer 07-07-2013 08:39 AM

After my post last night I did some research and I think the ppg stat is more useful than point totals. I think that gives a truer gauge as to what players are top 6 versus guys that just put up points.

Here's a good link to the season before the lockout. I used centers with the stat of ppg. Take a look and see what people think.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...iewName=points

tserberis* 07-07-2013 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ffwrx (Post 68875295)
Im guessing that Spaling is the incorrect answer here.


He is still developing to a true top 6 according to DP

Dave is a killer 07-07-2013 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever (Post 68873821)
If that's your metric, then here's the list of teams with a full complement of top six forwards at the start of last season:









... ta-da! The closest was Boston with 5. Only eight teams had at least a line's worth of top six forwards by your definition. Three of those teams missed the playoffs entirely, and only two made it past the first round. The Stanley Cup champions had two.

A top six forward, strictly speaking, is a player who can make a big enough contribution to play on his team's first or second scoring lines as defined by the coach (generally measurable through playing time). A top six forward is derived from a combination of subjective observation (How well does he handle the puck? Does he know when to be selfish? How accurate are his passes? Can he consistently deceive a goalie 1-on-1? etc.) and objective statistical benchmarks, like 50 points or 0.6 points per game. I suspect there are, at any given time, about 100-120 players in the NHL who meet the qualifications for a "top six forward" as is often bandied about here.

The thing is, teams tend to develop those players in-house and keep them there. Nashville has either had extenuating circumstances (Radulov, Hartnell), or has seen its high-end forward prospects simply fail to develop (Upshall). Wilson seems to have stemmed that tide, and maybe now Beck, Bourque, and Forsberg (maybe even Cehlin, Watson, and/or Aberg) can turn it. It will take another year or two for that core to fully emerge, but we might finally have our scoring woes put to an end for a while once they get rolling.

I meant Top 180 in ES PPG... **** ... and yes I separate Wingers from Centermen ... so take the top 60 Centermen & Top 120 Wingers

BigFatCat999 07-07-2013 10:16 AM

To me it's an antiquated term I personally believe in a top 9 and a bottom 5 plus the two way forward that can bounce between Milwaukee and Nashville,

My definition is the 9 guys you trust the most not to hurt your team. The bottom 6 are role players who add grit, eat minutes so your top 9 can rest, aslo can be dispersed within your lines to add an element to a pairing which it is lacking.

Players are becoming more two dimensional. In the 80's blocking shots, back checking were foreign concepts. Now, players have more cardio ability to be on the ice forever. If you look at the TOI/G of all the players they range between 15:00-19:00

The Preds have 3 #2 lines but the opposing team is facing a #2 line for 50 minutes and a 4th who wants to kill you for 10. A top pairing defense for 50 minutes where you can't do ****. Even if you have the #4 line and the 3rd pairing out there you are so beat up and tired from trying to get the through the forecheck, you are spent and disorganized for the 3rd pairing.... Then you have to get one past Rinne


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