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02-02-2013, 06:19 PM
Burnt Biscuits
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Originally Posted by Aerchon View Post
I have a buddy who always tells me the Oilers could easily put together 3 scoring lines. Always argues there is no reason it shouldnt work.

There is a reason why forwards are broken into top 6 and bottom 6 types.

Your top six are used as much as possible against weaker coverage and in the offensive zone. They have slick skills and sweet hands to create offense. Those sweet skills almost always come at the expensse of proper defensive positioning and thinking. You typicaly need at least 2 if not all 3 forwards on a top 6 line to be thinking offense to score a goal. One person not on the same page and you turn the puck over and it is back down the ice.

Your bottom 6 forwards need to be all thinking defense. They are put out against the best to shut them down. Its nice for them to have the ability to score a gritty goal or 2 here and there but ultimatly the bottom 6 NEED to be thinking defense every second they are on the ice.

Edmonton has tried, far too often with far too little success to sprinkle offensive minded players in thier bottom 6. Or defensive minded players in the top 6. It IMO is one the main reasons why the Oilers have finished 30, 30, 29th the last few years.

You will notice that Ralph Krueger is not making that same mistake. He has everyone on thier lines all thinking the same things all working together for thier top 6 or bottom 6 roles.

I am not a coach. Besides the common sense of how much easier it is for everyone on a line to have the same common objective I do not know why this works so well in the NHL but it does and has for a long long time.

Top 6 all need to be offensive minded players. Bottom 6 all need to be defensive minded players. Or at least have the ability to play that role 100%. Obviously some players have the ability to play both.

Ales Hemsky and Linus Omark are not those kind of players. They can not play both ends of the ice. Not even slightly. Niether of these players should ever be on a third line, or a fouth line. The just flat out suck too much in those roles. And hate it to boot.

Thus the reason Linus will never play in edmonton probably ever again. Unless we lose a lot of our current top 6.

Linus isn't good enough to crack our current top 6. Not even close.
That is outdated thinking and really isn't how today's game operates on many teams (especially out west) 1st lines will go head to head with one another more often than not. I don't think it is as important as it previously was to have designated shut-down lines, it's more about out-scoring the opposition. I think the objective should be to put 4 effective lines out there and you want each line to be able to give you a little different look and have different strengths, which a coach can exploit as the game situation dictates.

Our first line works best when they use short passes to breakdown the defense and get them chasing.

Our 2nd line is usually Hemsky skating the puck in for an offensive possession and then either Gagner or Hemsky distributing the puck for a quick opportunity on net. This line is the one most people want to tweak, and I think we can all tell success on this line is mostly going to be about getting Yakupov into the right spot and delivering the puck into his wheelhouse for a shot. Personally I like this line how it is right now, I'm not sure Yak is really ready to be the guy we all count on for this line to be successful just yet; when he is it will probably be him and Gagner, along with a complimentary player (likely a strong 2 way player or someone with size and a little offensive touch around the net).

Our 3rd and 4th lines lack any real identity and are not terribly effective we have some useful players on those lines who play roles on the team but don't really form any cohesive line to deliver positive results on a consistent basis.

To me Hartikainen is someone who is going to be a mainstay going forward and a line should be built around on what makes him effective which is his cycle game. We should be looking to get someone who can compliment his boardwork and 1 other player who can help a little on the board work, but mostly specializes in sneaking away from traffic for the quick shot or cleaning up the garbage off a rebound chance.

Most effective 4th lines in the league are built on a strong forecheck with a priority on hitting. I don't think we should stray away from that formula, it creates energy, sets a quick tempo, wears down the opposition. It also creates turnovers and when teams start making turnovers it can almost become contagious in the line-up. All of this would benefit our other lines and leads well into the kind of team I think we want to become.

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