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10-26-2010, 07:09 AM
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I kind of just wish people would stop talking about whatever Filatov's ice time is each night and how often he is playing.

I originally thought going into the season that Filatov was a good fit on the 2nd line. Then I realized by about game 3 that those 3 players didn't have good chemistry together, and by game 5 I was thinking they needed to put Brassard and Voracek with Nash.

As a result, Filatov was going to get less ice time. He did look good in Sweden, but since then the best he has managed to do is making some good looking passes that haven't resulted in much, and outside of that has been largely invisible.

Something likes make me think he's better suited on the 4th line. Playing on the 4th line he should be playing like Raffi Torres was doing. Going out there and just taking shots at the goal, which is what he gets paid to do. He needs to get the puck on his stick, walk past the blue line, and figure a way either past the defender or use the defender as a screen and get the shot on net and make the goalie make a stop. Being on the 4th line, he isn't going to be playing against the other teams best defenders. If he can't get started there, he's not going to do much on the 2nd line.

I realize this means he's playing maybe 6-8 minutes less per night. But in all honesty, he's got to start getting on the score sheet before he can maybe move back up the 2nd line. I think his time will steadily get back up there, but he isn't just going to be blindly thrown out there for 15-18 minutes a night unless his play improves or our forwards go down with injuries. He's only 20 years old. I don't think playing in the ballpark of 8-12 minutes a night for the first third of the season is the worst thing in the world for him. It might actually help him channel his energy level and focus more while he's on the ice.

I personally prefer the kind of mixed line look as opposed to the stacked lines look and that's why it's hard to put Filatov anywhere else. I like having Nash, Brassard, and Voracek on a line. And I like having the top 7 players occasionally shuffling as the games goes along depending on how people are playing. You can put Vermette out there with Nash occasionally for important face-offs or something. You can put Umberger up on the 2nd line with Vermette and Huselius or one of the younger prospects.

Now, I don't know why you'd play Boll more than Filatov. My only real guess is that in a game like this against the Flyers, you'd expect it to be physical and dirty, and you'd like to have a guy like Boll on the ice who could fight someone if need be. But I think in most situations against normal opponents, you'd see Filatov more.

For that reasoning, I'm expecting to see a lot more of Filatov Thursday night. I think he'll probably get a good 10 minutes of ice time, where he might get shuffled occasionally with the 2nd line depending on Huselius play if he's on the 2nd line.

The best thing for Filatov would be for everyone to just lay off and stop talking so much about him. Let him figure things out for himself because you know the kid reads everything that people talk about him. Constantly wondering why he is playing badly and why he is getting so little ice time etc. I just hope he has friends on this hockey team who can talk to him and tell him how it is so that he can get out of this funk. This team can't and shouldn't hinge on such a young guy like Filatov, who is a guy where on most teams in the NHL would probably still have him playing in the minors or playing 4th line duty. Only maybe teams like Edmonton or the NYI would have him playing top 2 line duty.

Last edited by Gulvorn: 10-26-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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