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07-09-2011, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Drop the Sopel View Post
I just disagree with AV's fundamental belief of what a 4th line should be. He seems to want to run with 2 scoring lines, a checking line and a turd line. IMO championship teams shouldn't have a turd line. You need at least 1 player on every line that can skate, stickhandle and advance the puck through the neutral zone - AV doesn't seem to care to have anyone on his 4th line that can accomplish this and that's why he's always icing one of, if not the worst 4th line in hockey.

Whether it's Bolduc over Morrison, Volpatti over Shirokov or Tanner Glass over Cody Hodgson and Jeff Tambellini in the playoffs, they were all glaring mistakes IMO. I understand you want a certain element on your 4th line but there should always be a roster spot for 1 guy with an NHL skillset.

I just don't think you can get away with 3 useless hockey players on one line in today's game if you're aspiring to be a championship team - regardless of how many hits they throw. Hopefully Vigneault evolves and we see changes next season. I have a feeling we will. You just can't go 25 games without a single goal from your 4th line and think you're going about things the right way...
Well what NHL skillset should a 4th liner have? The ability to skate? The ability to hit? The ability to grind it out in the corners? The ability to play 8-12 minutes a game without hurting the team?

I don't think AV has the wrong fundamental belief of what a 4th line should be. Besides, Gillis likely has more input on what the makeup of the 4th line than AV has. I'm a bit old school in the way that I like my 4th line to be a crash and bang line whose role is to provide energy, wear out the other team, and kill time. If the 4th line can log more than 10-12 minutes without hurting the team that's a bonus. If the 4th line happens to score, that's a bonus. The problem of course is that AV hasn't had a 4th line who can go out there and log minutes without wearing out our team's Dmen.

With that said, in today's NHL, you can't just have goons on your 4th line. You need guys who can skate and who are skilled enough to play the game at the speed of today's NHL. Think Oreskovich in the playoffs. He was out there hitting everything that moved. That's the type of 4th liner I want. Not Brendan Morrison or Shirokov.

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