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01-28-2011, 03:54 PM
  #56
Andrew Knoll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William H Bonney View Post
I just don't think we have enough offensive talent to sacrifice someone for the sake of Westgarth sitting at the end of the bench to potentially challenge someone to most likely a staged fight for a couple reasons. First, how many "heat of the play" fights has Westgarth been in? Of his 7 fights this year, 4 were staged off of the face-off, 2 were in scrums after the play, and 1 was a heat of the moment fight against Scott where Westgarth got destroyed. It'd be one thing if Westy was getting into fights because he was involved in the play, throwing his weight around, irritating our opponents, etc. It's different, at least to me, when it's just a staged square off involving a guy on his 4th shift of the entire game. It'd be different if we were dressing a fighter that contributed something offensively but Westy right now isn't that guy. Second, I don't think we have a forward outside of Kopitar that's shown they even deserve a double shift and I don't think Kopi has shown he has the necessary endurance and tenacity for that opportunity at this time. Again, I feel we're better off rolling a fourth line with 3 capable players intended to put pressure on the opposition, which adds up over time so a Kopitar, Brown, Williams, Stoll, etc. can take advantage when it matters.

I get, in certain games, having Westy dressed for that potential but the 36 games he's dressed so far don't qualify for all of those.
Yeah I think they have overused him a bit but that doesn't mean he belongs back in Manchester either. Being a heavyweight is a weird gig, you don't find a lot of willing dance partners. This whole argument speaks to the broader issue of the importance of an enforcer in today's game, I don't have an answer for that.

That said, when Westgarth hasn't dressed, it's not like the fourth line has been terribly productive. When Clifford was there, it was an energetic bunch, same with Lewis but now those guys have moved up in the lineup. Poni and Zus without a speedy player to recover pucks and increase tempo seems like an iffy combination. I do think there is more continuity without Westgarth in the lineup and of course a lot hinges on how Sturm ultimately integrates into the team and if Loktionov stays up. If Sturm gives them another solid, two-way player and Loktionov stays up, maybe it's time to get faster and let Clifford/Simmonds handle the scrapping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIEHARD the King fan View Post
Politely, I disagree. Sure you can roll four lines, but only three will be effective.

AS for MORE LINE COMBO's, havent we seen enough of that stuff already.
Maybe I was unclear, what I was saying is that if the game is tight in score and/or fast in pace, you slide a forward from your top nine into Westy's spot, just the way you would if you had only dressed 11 forwards. I don't have any issues mixing and matching lines, look at what Tampa Bay did in their cup year or what the Flyers have done at times under Laviolette. Fresh looks and chances to develop chemistry. On this type of basis, it's much less risky that juggling the whole lineup for sixty minutes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurrilino View Post
I just want to remind you of Detroits 4th line with Draper.
These guys were always on the ice with the opponents top line, complete shut 'em down and Draper scored 30 goals.
This is what a 4th line should look like. A powerfull tool to take the opponent top line out of the game.
Now i think about Westgarth and how he fits in that picture......


If anyone asks me i want a Clifford - Lewis - Simmonds 4th line.
Murray gives the third line lots of duties, I like what you posted as a third line with Zus taking over center duties where the matchup dictates it.

Talking about that Detroit fourth line as a model is like talking about Lemieux, Francis and Jagr when pondering who the Kings' top-line left wing should be.

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