Nathan MacKinnon - Rookie Season
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11-13-2013, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Originally Posted by
I just don't think there is a reason to rush MacKinnon into the 2nd line role when the team doesn't need it. That line might produce more offensively (I have my doubts, but am willing to concede that thought), but would give up more goals. In essence I don't think it makes the team better.
I think there are plenty of ways to continue the 3 line setup if the Avs want to continue down that path (I don't think that they do personally). Doing something like this next year would still equate to 3 great lines:
Landy-Stastny-Talbot/UFA/Rookie (obviously the shutdown line, but still has talent to put up points)
McGinn-MacKinnon-Tanguay (used as a sheltered offensive line)
That balances out the scoring quite nicely, and when injuries hit it could be condensed into a top 6 or maybe Agozzino/Sgarbossa/Smith/Bourke/etc are able to step into a role on the wing.
Now if the Avs don't want 3 scoring lines, long-term either Stastny is gone or converts to the wing. MacKinnon will not be the player converted to wing. Right now (and maybe for a year or two) he will play more wing because he isn't strong enough physically, doesn't play good enough defense, and is weak on faceoffs. Those will all come in time, and he will take over a top 6 center role when Roy determines he is ready. Playing occasionally on the wing isn't unusual for a young, highly talented center.
I think adding another skilled winger would help if they want to continue the three line approach, but I still don't think it will work as well as hoped. It's not just about linemates, it's also the role. I don't think MacKinnon has been in that go to role, and he hasn't felt the burning to be the guy to put up points. Once he had that good PP shift, and he saw the confidence in him to be THE guy and go get a goal when he was put on Stastny's line, he really picked it up. He needs that role, the same way Duchene needs it, and at some point they will give it to him.
That will push Staz back into a similar situation as Nate now where he just doesn't have to score much, so he won't feel that pressure. He'll be primarily a defensive guy, playing with less talented linemates, and it will likely culminate in him just playing a simple game and not producing at the near PPG rate he is now.
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