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Ola 01-10-2007 05:15 PM

The 3rd and 4th line
 
I could be one of the biggest fans of Betts, Ward and Orts on this board. I have kind of picked up on Hossa lately, and have always liked Holly, but aren't alone in that... I wouldn't give much for Hall though.

I do think they were a major major reason for us making the PO's last season, and that breaking up HMO have hurt us allot this season, but think they will get back on track now with Orts is back.

But, there is one thing I worry about with our bottom lines. I have since the NJD series. I think they bent down in that series. We had lost Ward, but I were defenitly still not impressed with them. They looked shaken up by the intensity and our 3rd and 4th defenitly struggled as much as our scoring, defense and goaltending in that series.

The same worries arouse after just watching the Isles game.

So my question is, can these guys handle thoose type of games? PO's and extreme rivaltys like against the Islanders? They still have allot left to prove IMO.

Someone like Betts got tremendous workcapacity, 60 minutes per night, 82 times per season, Betts is really important. He never seems to get tired, in terms of distance he skates a ton out there, even without scoring he is darn valuble in the regular season. Ward is a bit diffrent from Betts, not the same extreme workcapacity, but a bit more offensive skills. I do think Orts can thrive at any time, dooing what he is best. But I am worried for Betts and Ward.

I think one big reason for moving Moore were to get a player that really would step up in PO's situations and games like last night against NYI, and that management expected that from Hall. But Adam have been a dissapointment IMO, and I didn't have high expectations on him.

Here is another thing I kind of miss, weres the urgency? Especially with Hall, even Hossa who I don't expect any kind of urgency from have showed more.

Hall have been given up on by one team, youd expect him to be as "desparate" as guys like Orts and Holly, but he defenitly aren't.

Anyway, I think I would like to see some changes on the bottom two lines. Don't really know how to fix it. These guys say that they feel more comfortable with Orr in the lineup, maybe getting a real vet fighter would help. Are there any established vets out there that could help? I know Barnaby aren't available, but someone like him maybe?

At the same time, inorder to do that we have to make some room, not only by dumping Hall but next season too if a kid is ready.

In The Flesh 01-10-2007 05:25 PM

I like Ward, Betts, HOlwegg, Orts, and Hossa. Hall has done nothing to impress me. I'll give him the rest of the year, after that, bye bye. Once Orr gets off suspension I bet Hall gets scratched in the games Orr plays. I rather have Hall in there thou in place of Orr, he's trash.

SingnBluesOnBroadway 01-10-2007 05:30 PM

The problem is all those guys are similar one-dimensional players. And they are all bascially devoid of offensive ability.

Fletch 01-10-2007 05:41 PM

I like them, but...
 
they're fourth liners. Betts is on pace for two assists this season - too few for a centerman who gets 15 minutes of ice time, no matter his role.

As for this comment: "major reason for us making the PO's last season", that's very debateable. This team was 32-34 with Betts in the lineup. One must question what the lineup looks like without him getting so much ice time, but used as a fourth liner, PKer, and faceoff guy.

This team's third and fourth lines don't look so good if the Rangers don't have a top 3 goalie and a top 3 forward. It all flows down.

As for the intensity...they need an intense guy on the top two lines, perhaps two, mixed in with the finesse. That will make us notice the bottom two lines less.

SingnBluesOnBroadway 01-10-2007 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletch (Post 7623568)
tAs for this comment: "major reason for us making the PO's last season", that's very debateable. This team was 32-34 with Betts in the lineup. One must question what the lineup looks like without him getting so much ice time, but used as a fourth liner, PKer, and faceoff guy.

This team's third and fourth lines don't look so good if the Rangers don't have a top 3 goalie and a top 3 forward. It all flows down.

Exactly right. The Rangers made the playoffs because of Jagr and Lundqvist.

In The Flesh 01-10-2007 06:02 PM

Wards got speed and put in 10 goals a season.
Betts is a good faceoff man and can also put in 10.
HOllweg is necessary on this team, one of few players with grit
Orts has great energy, will hit, a good Pker and blocks tons of shots
Hossa is good defensivly and is still kind of a mystery, I think he can be a little more.

All these players you need to have a good hard working team. Hard work wins games.

We need major help on D.

Brooklyn Ranger 01-10-2007 06:24 PM

The biggest problem with our bottom 6 forwards is that all of them are best as 4th liners. Throw in the problems with the 2nd line and having so many one dimensional players on the bottom two lines is amplified. There just isn't enough scoring coming from them and they have been unable to really control the puck while they are on the ice.

In the end, they are just another symptom of how poorly this team has been put together.

Ola 01-10-2007 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletch (Post 7623568)
As for this comment: "major reason for us making the PO's last season", that's very debateable. This team was 32-34 with Betts in the lineup. One must question what the lineup looks like without him getting so much ice time, but used as a fourth liner, PKer, and faceoff guy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway (Post 7623469)
The problem is all those guys are similar one-dimensional players. And they are all bascially devoid of offensive ability.

Yeah, but they changed momentum, put the other teams on their heels, so many times, at the very least held their own.

Jagr's comment that they were the best 3rd and 4th line hed ever played with weren't without merit. They defenitly did a helluva job. Put Barnaby-Mess-Simon there and you might get 20 more goals but not make the PO's.

With our 1st line playing like they do, we really don't need much scoring from our bottom 2, scoring 3 in a game should be enough to win it.

And I think especially lately they have looked pretty good again. Though I am not saying that a handful more goals would have hurt...

Though, the biggest problem I have is how they seem to dissapear when the gooing get tough. I can understand if Jagr or Nylander had problems in the PO style type of games, but 3rd and 4th lines can never step down in thoose type of situations, especially not guys like Betts, Hall and Ward. They are supposed to be our character guys, along with Holly, but its like Hossa steps up in big games, Ward, Betts and Hall steps down. That is a suprise, and a terrible one if it don't change for the better.

Ola 01-10-2007 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brooklyn Ranger (Post 7623982)
In the end, they are just another symptom of how poorly this team has been put together.

Yeah, getting Hall was a very bad "call".

Another thing thats freakin amazing, is that Tom Poti were booed here, but Hall aren't. Poti is a D, were its much much harder to be physical then as a forward. Poti also had a offensive side and played decent in the transition game.

Hall is a decent fighter, though who is it that have to stand up for the organization, a 35 y/o Brendan Shanahan while Hall is sitting on the bench looking at chicks in the stands.

From Driver, to Popovic, to Poti, if anyone deserves beeing booed its Hall. Though its just something with the fans at MSG and defenders. Not a single forward have been booed as long as I have followed the team, not even Val Kamensky (and Adam Hall)...

polako 01-10-2007 07:07 PM

I like the bottom line players except for Hall, for reasons already mentioned.

I'm curious to see if Greg Moore could make an impression on the bottom lines.

As for offense, I would expect some more out of Hossa and Hollweg.

True Blue Bleed Blue 01-10-2007 07:10 PM

To answer your question Ola...there are some guys out there. However...if one is not acquired...then you play Orr for Hall. Again...

Jed= Hustle...finish checks..block shots...PK

Hossa= strong on the puck...good when he plays with some emotion (rare). Solid on PK...really developing nicely

Hollweg= Please...don't be fooled by JOrts thread

Betts= Great Defensive center...and simply a terrific checking player.

J Ward= Same as Betts.

If you don't throw Orr in there...then the one thing your missing is a tough guy or enforcer or whatever ya wanna call it.

Fletch 01-10-2007 07:20 PM

A 43 year old Mess...
 
Barnaby and Simon blows away any combination of third and fourth line players on this team and would greatly enhance this team. I can say that with a lot of confidence.

Yeah, other lines do not have to score, but just remember the outcomes of games from the beginning of March through the end of the playoffs - seemed as though this team could've used scoring other than from Jagr, or at least an excuse not to play Jagr 25-27 mimutes on any night down the stretch.

If the bottom two lines consistently went against top lines and shut them down, perhaps that would be somewhat of a different story. Considering they go out there against whomever, including top lines, second lines, third lines and fourth lines, it's really hard to dismiss their lack of production. One assist from a centerman with about 15 minutes of ice time. That's gotta be a low throughout the league. Zero points for Hollweg through 40+ games and nearly 9 minutes of ice time. One goal for Hossa in 40+ games. I don't care what line you are on, more production is needed with that kind of ice time.

I'm not expecting 20 goal scorers, that's a given, but I'm not expecting zero goals, one assist, one goal, etc., through 1/2 the season either.

In The Flesh 01-10-2007 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by polako (Post 7624417)
I like the bottom line players except for Hall, for reasons already mentioned.

I'm curious to see if Greg Moore could make an impression on the bottom lines.

As for offense, I would expect some more out of Hossa and Hollweg.

Agreed. Me too about G Moore

Fletch 01-10-2007 07:35 PM

Greg Moore...
 
needs to start doing more at the AHL level before we start thinking about what he'd look like at the NHL level. A scorer in the NCAAs, he's going to be 23 and really isn't scoring much. He's also not really a grinder. Byers is the third line grinding type, but his hands recently weren't too impressive and he really didn't throw the body around a lot in the last couple games. He's putting up points and racking up the PIMs, but still needs more developing. But he's still quite young (I think 21, or 20 going on 21). He could develop into the type of third liner we've been clamoring for - a tough kid who can grind and put up points. We'll see. Still got a ways to go. And Callahan's there too - a kid who needs to get back to grinding it out after becoming a goal scorer. He too could be that prototypical third liner, as opposed to fourth liners playing on a third line.

Ola 01-10-2007 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletch (Post 7624552)
Barnaby and Simon blows away any combination of third and fourth line players on this team and would greatly enhance this team. I can say that with a lot of confidence.

I don't agree. I think a 40 y/o Mess and thoose two wouldn't even contribute 50% of what our 3rd line is contributing right now.

There is so much more in hockey then scoring goals. Winning the game is all that matters. What Betts and Co. contributes in normal regular season games is that every time the other team looses the puck they have to skate the length of the ice, win a battle in the corner and then counter attack. If Mess, or even a line of Nedved-Lindros-Carter played on our 3rd line, theyd only have to do that every 4th shift, theyd would never be pressured by backcheckers, and they would go up against two alone defenders, without any help from the forwards at, all the time. I have seen how Barnaby-Mess-Simon lines looks for 7 straight freakin years...

Someone with a history of beeing a good offensive player defenitly doesn't always, or even often, transform into a good 3rd lineer, I strongly belive they more often then not suck there...

If anything we saw that during our 7 year stretch when we only had lines like Barnaby-Mess-Simon as 4th lines or 3rd lines.... You can have one guy like Mess on your bottom two lines, but then he must be flanked by guys who works both ways, not Barnaby and Simon, but Orts or someone like Betts or Ward.

There is allot of talk about Jagr getting us to the PO's, and that our 3rd and 4th line didn't help much.

Can someone explain this thinking to me?

The problem I have is that while Jagr scored a ton, our 1st line had good numbers, defenitly not great. They had 99 goals, thats defenitly not out of the ordinary. If we talk about this as a unit/lines thing, thats what matters, right? I mean there is no diffrent for the team in that perspective if the RW have 90 goals if his LW and C have 3 apice, right?

If we are talking about this as a "lines" thing, our 1st line scored avg or good numbers, our 2nd line scored below avg.

How could the 3rd and 4th have not have a impact on a team like that? I mean Lundqivst were good, defenitly, we wouldn't have made the PO's without him. But we had more pts then something like 18 teams in this league, IE we had more the good goaltending and a decent 1st line.

I mean, we always talk about beeing prepaired for games and stuff like that. Like its a norm to play 110% every game, which it isn't. But anyway, Betts, Orts and co. comes to play every night 82 games of the season, on most of the nights they are able to shift the momentum, get the puck down low, force the other team to play defense, often their best players too ect.

Thats IMO so much more important then what a extra 20 goals forward would be for this team.

The only problem I got with em is if they can't provide that in PO type of games. We didn't get it against NJD and we saw what happend, we saw it again last night.

Ola 01-10-2007 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletch (Post 7624713)
needs to start doing more at the AHL level before we start thinking about what he'd look like at the NHL level. A scorer in the NCAAs, he's going to be 23 and really isn't scoring much. He's also not really a grinder. Byers is the third line grinding type, but his hands recently weren't too impressive and he really didn't throw the body around a lot in the last couple games. He's putting up points and racking up the PIMs, but still needs more developing. But he's still quite young (I think 21, or 20 going on 21). He could develop into the type of third liner we've been clamoring for - a tough kid who can grind and put up points. We'll see. Still got a ways to go. And Callahan's there too - a kid who needs to get back to grinding it out after becoming a goal scorer. He too could be that prototypical third liner, as opposed to fourth liners playing on a third line.

I agree 100%.

I think we got Orts as a spark on the 4th line. He'll fix the defensive aspects on that line without much help, he'll pressure any defense in any situation ect.

Hossa, well, if he plays like he have lately, I think he could hold on to a spot.

Hollweg provides hitting, and good defense most of the time. Looks a bit heavy though, more so then last season. If we could replace him with some hitting and better overall skill I would think about it. The biggest reason for it because Ryan have, in terms of skill, not devleoped at all since last season, probably (the only reason I can come up with) because he haven't taken care of himself perfectly. At the same time, he ought to have some potential to improve then. What would Holly provide this org. 4 years from now, thats the question I think you have to ask yourself. Can he make a Todd Harvey turn (and last unlike Harvey..)? Instinctivly Holly, Betts (as a 4th lineer) and Orts are the 3 I would like to keep for the future, the ones I like the most.

Maybe we should consider Dubinsky. I think he is the only one in HFD who could help out.

Like;

Hossa-Dubinsky-Ward
Holly-Betts-Ortmayer


Send Hall to the ECHL. Maybe he would wake up then and protect his captain instead of letting our top scorer do the job. Rotate Orr for Holly if he is needed.

Though, while that 3rd line might look very good at times on the ice, you know "good on paper", I am not 100% sold on it comming through defensivly enough.

But at the same time, if we are up 1 goal and there is 10 minutes left to play, you ride Holly-Betts-Orts as a 3rd line and sit Dubinsky. I would try it.

ATLANTARANGER* 01-11-2007 05:29 AM

Like the defense on this team, thre is too much duplication of the same type of bottom 6 forward. 3 are fine, 6 is too much. We need some scoring and effective physical play from the bottom 6. I think Cullen belongs on the bottom 6. The answer in part may be that if we acquire a legit #2 center some of the bottom 6 problems get resolved by slipping people like Cullen into a role they are more suited to play.

92hatchattack 01-11-2007 07:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ola (Post 7625024)
I agree 100%.

Hossa-Dubinsky-Ward
Holly-Betts-Ortmayer



i LOVE the sound of this. I think with the speed that holly and orts give, plus the growing sence of offence brewing in holly, that 4th line would be very fast and make the other teams scramble. HBO BABY!

Hossa-Dubinsky-Ward sounds good too.... could really use a little more offence in dubinsky, and just cross our fingers that marcel keeps oretending he is his brother :)

Fletch 01-11-2007 08:32 AM

ola...
 
'didn't help much' may be strong, but when you have commodity-type players, there is a sense that there are a lot of players who can do that single-dimensional job and it's not that dynamic. Whereas if you have third liners who are going to score a bit, while providing that grit, you're talking about different players, and ones that are more valuable.

Again, for all the talk about Betts and how great he's been, this team has a losing record with him in the lineup going back to day 1. It is my belief that when he went down last January, the third line looked better because it played better together, and generated more offense (and became a plus line compared with a negative line). Ward, for all his faults, looks for other players on his line, resulting in more offense from the line as a whole. Betts doesn't look for other players. He will get his goals, that's a given, and he would be pretty much as productive on the fourth line with a couple less minutes. This is my main issue with the 'third' line. Last year this team had a great fourth line (the HMO line). Great. They produced about as much as you'd hope, they brought energy, cycling, support and good defense. I don't think this team has that line yet this season, and is still searching for optimal third liners.

shoothepuck 01-11-2007 08:42 AM

The problem here is, that your asking average/below-average 4th liners, to play above average hockey on both the 3rd/4th lines, all night, all season long, and it's just not happening. Add to that, (like someone stated above), 6, #4, D men, (at best), to play many minutes as top pairs, and lots of pk time, and the outlook is not good.

Ola 01-11-2007 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletch (Post 7629419)
'didn't help much' may be strong, but when you have commodity-type players, there is a sense that there are a lot of players who can do that single-dimensional job and it's not that dynamic. Whereas if you have third liners who are going to score a bit, while providing that grit, you're talking about different players, and ones that are more valuable.

Again, for all the talk about Betts and how great he's been, this team has a losing record with him in the lineup going back to day 1. It is my belief that when he went down last January, the third line looked better because it played better together, and generated more offense (and became a plus line compared with a negative line). Ward, for all his faults, looks for other players on his line, resulting in more offense from the line as a whole. Betts doesn't look for other players. He will get his goals, that's a given, and he would be pretty much as productive on the fourth line with a couple less minutes. This is my main issue with the 'third' line. Last year this team had a great fourth line (the HMO line). Great. They produced about as much as you'd hope, they brought energy, cycling, support and good defense. I don't think this team has that line yet this season, and is still searching for optimal third liners.

You make some good points on the 3rd line and on the 4th line I defenitly agree.

SML 01-11-2007 10:13 AM

I think a major problem, and I tried to address it in a thread that was locked immediately, is that when teams do tighten up on our guys and the going does get tougher, nobody does anything. My example focused on Witt. They're acting like this clown is Larry Robinson. He's not that good. The fact that we allow this guy to alter our game plan is ridiculous. Since we have 6 bottom line forwards who we are all saying aren't going to score, why isn't one of these guys trying to goad Witt into a penalty or get him off the ice for a fighting major? Why not give him something to concentrate on and get him off his own game, instead of letting him get our guys off theirs? This is why we need not just a guy like Orr, but team toughness. These guys have to start sticking up for each other and I mean not only when someone crosses the line into cheapshot territory, but all the time. If I'm an "enforcer" and you're playing my teams best player too close, I single you out. If I can't get to you, I go play your guy too close. Far too often we allow marginal guys like Witt or Jay Pandolfo to alter the course of the our gameplan. If we have 6 interchangeable guys on the 3rd and 4th lines, some of these guys have to start taking one for the team and doing something about this.

eco's bones 01-11-2007 11:23 AM

Well it's not only not enough production from them but they're not agressive (or don't hit) enough. They just check and try not to be scored on. Betts is not a third line center and Hollweg is not a third line wing. I'm not sure what Hall is. Really this is where the team seems to be the most inadequate. Cullen as a third liner would add something--maybe with Ward but none of the others seem to have any real offensive flair. We need to bring in another second line center.

Ola 01-11-2007 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SML (Post 7630116)
I think a major problem, and I tried to address it in a thread that was locked immediately, is that when teams do tighten up on our guys and the going does get tougher, nobody does anything. My example focused on Witt. They're acting like this clown is Larry Robinson. He's not that good. The fact that we allow this guy to alter our game plan is ridiculous. Since we have 6 bottom line forwards who we are all saying aren't going to score, why isn't one of these guys trying to goad Witt into a penalty or get him off the ice for a fighting major? Why not give him something to concentrate on and get him off his own game, instead of letting him get our guys off theirs? This is why we need not just a guy like Orr, but team toughness. These guys have to start sticking up for each other and I mean not only when someone crosses the line into cheapshot territory, but all the time. If I'm an "enforcer" and you're playing my teams best player too close, I single you out. If I can't get to you, I go play your guy too close. Far too often we allow marginal guys like Witt or Jay Pandolfo to alter the course of the our gameplan. If we have 6 interchangeable guys on the 3rd and 4th lines, some of these guys have to start taking one for the team and doing something about this.

I agree. Thoose small details are lacking. Like pressuring a Rafalski, like everyone getting out of their way to hit the other teams puckmoving D, stuff like that. Darn I even see it from the Swedish national team more then I doo from the NYR.

We got very little stuff like that gooing. Holly upsetting Forsberg is the only thing I can think about.

I can understand us not wanting things to get out of hand, we wouldn't benefit from it since we got pretty fragile leaders so to speak. But sometimes we needs to start initiating things, and give back some. I thought guys like Holly, Orts, Ward and Betts would have that in their blood, but obviously they don't.

Maybe we must get someone like Maltby here to learn this kids a thing or two.

Esa 10 01-11-2007 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SML (Post 7630116)
I think a major problem, and I tried to address it in a thread that was locked immediately, is that when teams do tighten up on our guys and the going does get tougher, nobody does anything. My example focused on Witt. They're acting like this clown is Larry Robinson. He's not that good. The fact that we allow this guy to alter our game plan is ridiculous. Since we have 6 bottom line forwards who we are all saying aren't going to score, why isn't one of these guys trying to goad Witt into a penalty or get him off the ice for a fighting major? Why not give him something to concentrate on and get him off his own game, instead of letting him get our guys off theirs? This is why we need not just a guy like Orr, but team toughness. These guys have to start sticking up for each other and I mean not only when someone crosses the line into cheapshot territory, but all the time. If I'm an "enforcer" and you're playing my teams best player too close, I single you out. If I can't get to you, I go play your guy too close. Far too often we allow marginal guys like Witt or Jay Pandolfo to alter the course of the our gameplan. If we have 6 interchangeable guys on the 3rd and 4th lines, some of these guys have to start taking one for the team and doing something about this.

:handclap: :handclap: :handclap:

This is exactly what I find infuriating about our bottom 6. You can't score, fine. Find a different way to be productive. None of these guys is going to be mistaken for Jay Pandolfo, we don't have 6 potential Selke nominees on our hands. Interestingly, Colton Orr did exactly that in the 2nd game vs. the Isles. Jagr proceeded to score on the subsequent 4 on 4. I am NOT talking about running people. Just get under the other guy's skin, be a pest when you're on the ice.


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