The Third Line: Will it work for the Rest of the Season?
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01-14-2008, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
to take it further, Renney does not match each game. At home, he does try to get Betts out there for a lot of shifts against top lines. But he also plays them against fourth lines. I've seen occasions where Jagr goes against fourth lines, and I've seen occasions where Drury (with Prucha and Cally) went against top lines. Further, at about 8-9 minutes per game, they're barely playing 1/2 the ES shifts of other teams' top lines. Now to the point: Orr is -11 - is that a good stat for a guy going against top lines through 45 games? I'm not sure. Prucha has sucked, but somehow is a +1 in his 8-10 minutes of ice time - so to me that sounds like he's doing something out there; perhaps it's sound defense since he's not scoring and is still a plus. Sure he's here to score, but while he's struggling to score at least he's not out there hurting the team defensively.
But the real point is very few notice this if the top two lines are going. If they're going, other problems aren't accentuated, and the way this team was created and is coached, the reliance is on those guys (and perhaps rightfully so).
So many expected 20-30 goals for Prucha. Not sure how that's possible. My expectations at the beginning of the season were closer to 15. Why? Because he didn't have a real spot on the PP and he wasn't on the top two lines. What can one expect from a third liner with some PP time? 15 goals, 25 points. Will he hit that? We'll see, but to expect 25-30 goals is unfair. Of course everyone will shoot back with then what good is he? That's a question for Sather and for Renney. I can only base expectations on the manner in which I believe a player will be used.
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