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03-11-2013, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I guess having Richards be able to feed the puck back to Ratelle is nice, but I really feel a lot of Ratelle's playmaking will be wasted with Gare being the main triggerman for the line. Then again, it'll still be better offensively than just about any other third line.
Gare is a very goal-heavy player, putting up four top 10s in ES goals playing with Craig Ramsay and Don Luce, who were worse offensively than Gare and were both assist-heavy players, which makes their offense a bit less valuable compared to a more pure goal scorer like Gare. You could make the argument that basically any linemates you could put Ratelle with on a 3rd line won't take full advantage of his playmaking while still being a respectable line defensively and in terms of physicality. Here's a look at Gare & Richards compared to Gilbert and Hadfield at ES:

Gilbert: .2653 adjusted ES Goals/Game over 1,065 games
Hadfield: .225 adjusted ES Goals/Game over 1,002 games

=.4903 adjusted ES Goals/Game playing with Jean Ratelle

Gare: .2723 adjusted ES Goals/Game over 827 games
Richards: .1597 adjusted ES Goals/Game over 550 games

=.432 adjusted ES Goals/Game playing with Ramsay/Luce(Gare) and Gagne/Knuble/Lupul/JVR(Richards)

Richards is obviously the big weak link here compared to the other 3. His point totals probably won't translate totally to wing, but as a wing, his goal totals would probably increase a bit while his playmaking would decrease. Vic Hadfield confuses me because he played with Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert for around 10 years, and scored 30 goals just once. But when he went to Pittsburgh at the tail end of his career, he put up back to back 30 goal seasons playing next to guys who are nothing compared to Gilbert and Ratelle. Where was Hadfield's finishing ability when he was likely on the receiving end of all those great passes from Ratelle and Gilbert?

Take into account the fact Hadfield, Ratelle, and Gilbert played together and Gare/Richards played with inferior linemates, I don't think it's that big of an issue at ES. Richards and Ratelle will be on the PP, while Gare will rely on the strong ES goal scoring he exemplified in Buffalo.
As for special teams, you have a lot of talent on the second PP, but it is going to be very guilty of over-passing, and I don't really see much of a net presence. With all the centers you have, it seems like you might want to consider playing Ovechkin or Taylor at the point of the powerplay.
What about this:



For the first unit, it gives the option for Taylor or Ratelle to be a shooter. Taylor is often looked at as a playmaker, but people forget that he led the PCHA in goals 3 times. It would mean that our 1st PP unit doesn't have a true trigger man, but two guys that can both score, and a great net presence in front with Stevens. Then for the 2nd PP, there is still no net presence, but it functions more like a normal line.

The PK is somewhat underwhelming, at least on the blue line. One change I would definitely make is to put Hitchman and Armstrong on their proper sides.
I wasn't paying any attention to sides, I'll make that adjustment. I was trying to limit Park's minutes a bit, but do you think he could do triple first unit duty? Also, what do you recall about Niedermayer on the PK? It doesn't look like he killed penalties all that much in NJ.

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