: Post-Game Talk:
Rangers @ Jets 3/14/13 - Tort-O-Rella
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03-15-2013, 01:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Hi, I lurk here a ton and very rarely post, but it has gotten to the point where I really want to start posting, so here it is.
The #1 problem on this team is Torts' stubbornness. It's clear as day. He is not very good at making in-game adjustments. At all. His idea of in-game adjustment is shuffling line combinations together that don't really make much sense and don't put our guys into the best position to win. Yes, the lockout shortened season stacked the deck against him, but he has been the culprit of a lot of our problems this year.
1. Although Gaborik has started slow, it is the HC's job to put him in the best possible position to do what he does best, and that is, score goals. Do not play him on his off-wing, do not "bench" him when he has a bad shift, do not play him on a line with Bryan *****ing Boyle.
2. Kreider should never have been sent down. In last year's playoffs, the Capitals played a very conservative defensive system like the one we implement now. There was a lot of shot-blocking (Hell, I remember ALEXANDER FREAKING SEMIN was blocking shots and looking competent back-checking) and a lot of games where Holtby's athleticism was on full display. Despite this, Kreider really excelled in the playoffs and scored big goals. He displayed his speed and he seemed just fine. Fast forward eight months and all of a sudden, "he is not strong enough," "he makes careless turnovers," "does not use his body enough" etc. There have been excuse after excuse made for him. The problem I see is, plain and simple, Kreider is not put in a position to play well (much like Gaborik). I've always believed in the theory that you play your best guys, whenever, however, wherever. Doesn't matter. Kreider is an NHL forward. Is he polished yet? Of course not, which leads me to 3.
3. J.T. Miller. How Torts has not seen the untapped potential with him yet is mind-boggling to me. Yes, it will take some time and he still is prone to turnovers, like so many young players are, but he has shown the ability to throw the body and extend plays at the NHL level already. It is no surprise that the best stretches of hockey this team has played has come when Boyle (when he was scratched) and Richards (when he was hurt) were out of the lineup. This is no shocker, and these instances are not unrelated. Truth of the matter is, is that Richards is declining about a year-and-a-half sooner than ALL of us anticipated. That sense on the Power Play is gone. He isn't as strong anymore. He is still a good passer and has a good shot, but I personally don't see a true #1 Center anymore, I see a good #2B out there. I forgot who said this, but it was a member on this board. Richards looks more like a bad player having good stretches than a good one having bad ones. That is a huge problem.
4. Why were Hagelin-Stepan-Nash ever broken up in the first place?
I could go on and on about the game, but I'll end with what I think the line combinations SHOULD be going forward. Here is what I'd do.
Get Bickel off this team. As far away as you can get. Put him on waivers or something. Terrible.
1st Line: Hagelin-Stepan-Nash
(Stepan has looked and played like a true 1B 1st Line C about 75% of the time this year. He has unbelievable chemistry with these two and it just clicks.)
2nd Line: Callahan-Miller-Gaborik
(Emphasize to J.T. that he has to be a little less aggressive with his decision making and be more protective of the puck. In the two games Richards was out, this line was very, very good.)
3rd Line: Kreider-Richards-Pyatt
(This isn't really a "third line" by NHL standards I guess, but I think it is very important Kreider gets back up here as soon as possible. I think with Kreider's speed, Pyatt's good board play and Richard's smart, this line could click. Everybody compliments one another, like the 2nd Line.)
4th Line: Boyle-Halpern-Powe
(Just a very good checking line, that can win faceoffs and do the gritty things a 4th line should do. Boyle can still take faceoffs, but I think he lacks the creativity and skill-set to be a real 3rd Line C in the NHL.)
Pray Staal gets back soon and pair the D as such:
Extra D: Hamrlik
I have liked what I've seen from Eminger. He should have been playing A LOT sooner. I feel the same way with Stralman. They are good for what they are. Potential bottom-pairing guys, but at the same time they have been very good in their own end. Nothing to complain about. I like Gilroy, but I just don't think he has a spot here. You can see flashes in his game, but it has just never fully transitioned to an NHL player and I don't think it ever will.
BTW: Extra Forward: Asham. Send Haley back down and give him a call whenever somebody gets hurt.
That's it for now, I'll be posting more. Really interested to see if I can draw some intrigue and responses here.
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