Thread: Team identity
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02-16-2013, 09:14 AM
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I'm much more worried about our top 6 than the bottom 6. Crosby's line tends to try to do an impersonation of our 4th line and it isn't working at all. It's actually kind of boring to watch as well. Spot on are the comments from the +/- thread regarding Sid not coming in with enough speed and trying to actually challenge a defender. If he is purposely trying to avoid contact (not saying that he necessarily is), that's fine, but we need to employ a much different offensive strategy in that case. Defensively, the 1st line has actually been much better than in the past.

The second line is much worse. The actually do a better job of maintaining possession, but their entire game is forced towards the perimeter or behind the net. Add to that, I don't see many people getting open as the skaters look like football receivers who cannot shed man-coverage. Malkin ends up along the boards too often and there is no threat in the middle of the ice. Perhaps they got so accustomed to playing with Kunitz that they don't know how to adjust their game to whoever is the left wing? Malkin only has 1 more goal than Craig Adams at the moment, and one less goal than Adams at even strength. And if their offense is sub par, their defense is borderline disastrous. Malkin/Neal are averaging over a goal/60 against more than Crosby's line.

I'm not really worried about the 3rd line because they've done an excellent job defensively against some very stiff competition. That's their job. Perhaps more scoring will come. For what it's worth, Sutter has more goals than Staal (who gets more ice time, top PP time, and has much better linemates). He is also dealing with a non-scoring version of Kennedy, so that has to be rough.

The 4th line seems to get at least one super shift every game that bottles the other team up in their zone, so keep up the good work. I'd like to see them at least try Jeffrey there instead of Glass sometime (how does he have an ironclad roster spot, exactly?).

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