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01-15-2013, 04:50 AM
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A couple of things that I definitely think are overlooked in this discussion:

1. Nash must find chemistry with whatever center he plays with.

This is the most important goal to reach. And its very important that we reach it fast to.

What is not as important is that the full line of players Nash is on finds chemistry with each other. One forward on the ice, at a time, always has to pull back a little. If you have two guys that works together, that is enough. Nyls and JJ can score despite having Isbister on their line. If you put like Zherdev with Nyls and JJ, one of Nyls and JJ will attack alot less than if Isbister has that role. Ok.

Earlier when I thought Nash would play LW I suggested that Nash-Richards should have Pyatt on their line for this very reason. Pyatt would become a slave on that line. He would understand his role, fall back when needed and so forth. With Richards-Nash, Hagelin will do the same. Its also important to remember that Richards is more or less worthless at transporting the puck up ice. Hagelin is good at getting the puck up ice.

In the end, I think arguments could be made for all LW's on the team to play on that line. Or atleast try them. Gabby-Richards-Nash could find instant chemistry. Kreider might find his spot on that line. Just like Isbister could play with Nyls and JJ, Asham could play with Richards-Nash (from the get go atleast). In Asham you get a real slave there. Taylor Pyatt could play there. To the extent Rupp is a LW, he might still not be the best idea though... But Hagelin definitely makes alot of sense there. He got prior experience with playing with BR. He is great on the backcheck and on the forecheck. And so forth.

2. We as a team has played our best hockey by far, when we have had a deep lineup. By far. Under Renney. And under Torts. Even by just loosing our 4th line for stretches, it has had immidiate negative effect.

Also, whatever ranking is attached to each line, we also as a team has for long stretches found it valuble to for example play a 3rd line more than a 2nd line or a 4th line more than a 3rd line.

I don't buy the arguments that the top 6 players necessarily should play on the top 2 lines at all. I could definitely see a lineup like this:

being more successful than


I mean, right after signing Drury and Gomez (the biggest UFA bonanza in ages), we started with something like:
1. Hossa-Gomez-Jagr
2. Prucha-Drury-Shanahan
3. Hollweg-Betts-Callahan
4. Avery-Dubinsky-Orr

And then went with:

1. Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr
2. Prucha-Gomez-Shanahan
3. Straka-Drury-Callahan
4. Hollweg-Betts-Orr

I remember writing a ton of posts on the troubles we had back then. We had lost two centers in Matt Cullen and Nylander. Drury was alot slower than both and was worthless in taking the puck up ice. Ryan Callahan and Dubinsky was definitely not the player they are today, and Ortmayer had also bolted. We started the season with a decent 1st line by all accounts but a slow second with Drury and Shanny, Betts centering a very stiff but still decent 3rd line and no 4th line at all. And while Gomez and JJ put up some pts together, with did not get optimal production from both as the two of them always wanted the puck in the same sitautions. We got some pts in the standings but not many, and we were just not good at all the first half of that season. By playing JJ with two 4th lineers/border line 3rd lineers (at the time, we really did move up a border line 3rd lineer and a 4th linner to the first line), by bumping back Drury and by putting Betts on the 4th, we improved and became -- by far -- the best team in the league (in terms of gettnig pts atleast) the second half of the season, heck even for 5/8s of the season if I remember correctly.

And, I am sure many have forgot, but it was a really big deal to put Drury on the 3rd line. We signed a 7m center and put him on the third, Brooks and co wrote alot about that. But we improved tremendously from it. My point is just that its a helluva lot more important to have a team that works than two top 2 lines that has optimal production.

Last edited by Ola: 01-15-2013 at 05:05 AM.
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