Thread: Rant Time
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11-11-2003, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by slats432
I am not saying that you never shuffle the deck. I am saying that the Edmonton Oilers never get a chance to build cohesive units for their lines because they are never the same way twice.
The RPM line has been the same all season, and with the exception of last night, the DYT line has been the same for the past 5 or so games. So saying that the lines are never the same twice isn't true.

If as you say, every game that you have a tough 15 minutes and go down 2-0 you shuffle the deck...and then the next game, you go down 2-0 and you shuffle the what point do you wonder what the lines should be at all?
I have no idea, and god help us if the Oilers start out every game down 2-0... but if I am a coach, I am not continually rolling my same lines out there if they are just going out and getting their butts handed to them, because at some point your team needs to do 2 things... 1. make a defensive stand and 2. get back into the game. It also has to do with other factors, i.e. the same player continually getting beat along the boards, or continually turning the puck over... if the same things are happening over and over during a game, you have to do something.

The players never get an opportunity to find a familiar set. They don't get a chance to find their stride. The team beat up on the Habs, tied a tough Ottawa team and played one dog against the Leafs which they dominated but Tommy couldn't shut the door. When was the team in so rough shape that they needed to be shaken up?
No, but injuries have happened during that time, which has required changes (isbister and reasoner). Plus you don't want to try and rely on rookies like Salmo and Sarno too much, because they are still learning.

Quote: don't see my point, don't care to, and you want the lines to be the continuous shaken, not stirred, martini that MacT serves up every couple of games.

That is fine. I think it sucks.
I do see your point, and in fact I agree partially. When it ain't broke, don't fix it... but lots of things have been broke, and they have all needed fixing. There is 2 ways to do it when things are going wrong...

1. Let it go and hope it works itself out.
2. Change it to help speed up the process.

There are pros and cons to both.

1. Let it go and hope it works itself out.

pros: in long term scenario(say a 10 game stretch), if things finally turn around, you have a group that has gained confidence, knows how to play with each other, and knows their role. In a short term scenario (during the game), you more or less need the one big play to turn it around, or even a lucky bounce and everything could be right again.

cons: Long term: how long do you wait? Every day you think it has to be this game... but what if this game never comes? Then you are stuck with a lineup full of guys who have no confidence, and you are questioning how much longer you should let it go before you make a move. Short term: same thing... how long do you wait... if it's 2-0 15 minutes in, do you wait for the 3-0 goal to make changes, or do you wait for the mid-point of the 3rd... what if you make the changes that spark your team, but make them too late, and you run out of time? Do you keep putting them out and keep up hope that nothing bad happens?

2. Change it to help speed up the process.

pros: long term: your hope is eventually something will click together, and that maybe the fear of demotion (ice time, pb or farm wise) will provide an added boost. You won't have guys ragging on the same linemates game after game if things aren't going right. You can see who performs well in what scenario, or maybe who might be a better fit in a certain situation. short term: maybe moving one person to a different line gives them a new dimension that they needed agaisnt the particular team they are playing against, or an increase in ice-time for a 4th liner gives them an extra boost, or some time on the bench for a 1st liner lets them think about what they can do differently.

cons: long term: there is the lack of cohesiveness, players don't know who their linemates are, or what their role is, or get lost on the ice because they aren't sure who their linemate will be. short term: sometimes players just don't have game legs right off the bat, and you are taking away the lines cohesiveness, some players may not respond how you would like to extra ice or less ice and worsen the situation.

There are good points in both situations, and it really depends on the coach's personality and the team itself... but to discount Mac-T's knowledge of the importance of line cohesiveness is being blind to the fact that maybe he actually knows what he is doing is what this team needs.

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