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02-09-2013, 06:20 AM
Kepler 186f
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Originally Posted by CupofOil View Post
True but they were also bleeding goals against at an alarming rate and even though some of that could be attributed to the D pairings that they were playing with, some of that was also on Gagner, Hemsky and Yakupov who each turn the puck over too much in the neutral zone and a lot of times, got caught up the ice. Also, keep in mind, that they weren't creating nearly as many offensive chances as the top line, they were just cashing in on less opportunties. I couldn't imagine this line holding up over the long haul.

The bottom line is that something had to be done about the forward lines, it simply wasn't working as it was.
Everybody loves to focus on this being a supposed demotion of Yakupov but this is not about Yakupov, it's about improving the team. The team is more important than any individual player. Yakupov will still get plenty of PP opportunities to boost his offense and the 3rd line will likely get almost as many minutes as the top 2 lines since Krueger likes to keep his lines fresh by constantly rolling out different lines.

What Krueger is trying to accomplish with these changes is balanced scoring over 3 lines so he can roll them out equally and to also play Yakupov with more defensive minded players so that he can afford to take chances with the safety net of Belanger and Paajarvi providing solid defensive support.
Also, by adding Hartikainen to RNH and Eberle line (something i've been suggesting for a while), that adds sandpaper to balance out the skill in the top 6.

Think about it.... Instead of depending on 2 lines for offense, Krueger can roll out 3 separate lines with Eberle, Hall then Yakupov coming at the defense in waves.
I applaud Krueger for recognizing the lack of balance, realizing that the lines as they were weren't working and doing something about it early enough in the season.
There are no guarantees that this approach will work but something had to be done.
I'm excited to see if this experiment works.
Not over the last 6 games (other than Yakupov, a rookie). Here are their lines over the last six according to

N. Yakupov -3, 2 Gva, 0 Tka, 3 G, 3 A, 6 P
A. Hemsky -1, 2 Gva, 3 Tka, 3 G, 2 A, 5 P
S. Gagner 0, 3 Gva, 1 Tka, 1 G, 6 A, 7 P
T. Hall 0, 4 Gva, 7 Tka, 1 G, 4 A, 5 P
J. Eberle -2, 2 Gva, 4 Tka, 1 G, 1 A, 2 P
Nugent-Hopkins -1, 5 Gva, 2 Tka, 0 G, 2 A, 2 P

The worst culprit in the give away/Take away ratio is Hopkins at -3. Yakupov and Gagner follow at -2. Hemsky +1, Eberle +2 and Hall +3.

+/- is Yakupov worst at -3 followed by Eberle at -2. Everyone else is 0 or -1.

Hopkins and Eberle have both contributed a whopping 2 points over those 6 games (5 for Hopkins due to injury). All the others are around 1 PPG over that same period.

Last edited by Kepler 186f: 02-09-2013 at 07:07 AM.
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