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09-28-2011, 12:22 AM
  #1
SouthJerseyRanger
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Pack line seemingly being kept together

I for one think this is a fantastic decision by Torts. It would be so easy to experiment with Dubi on the top line with Gabby and Richards; or put Steps in between Dubi and Cally; or drop Anisimov lower because he plays a two-way game.

But this is a line that, at times, last year were putting up points at a top line pace playing against the other teams' top defensive units. They have natural chemistry, always seem to know where each other are, and work as hard as any forward unit in the league.

Now with opposing teams' most likely saving their big guns for the Richards-Gaborik combination, the Pack Line has the potential to reach even greater heights as a unit and individually. All 3 players are decent playmakers and decent finishers. We could see a situation where the unit continue to grow into one of the best forward combinations in the league... maybe 50-60 pts for each of them. That would certainly put them in some elite company as far as secondary scoring units go.

As excited as I am to see Wolski-Richards-Gaborik go to work, I'm just as excited to watch the evolution of this home-grown Ranger unit into one of the best and and most memorable lines in NYR history. Certainly they are a big part of the reason I have such high expectations for the team this season.

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09-28-2011, 12:28 AM
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SERE 24
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In a perfect world (too bad about that, eh?) we have the potential to see:

Richards - 75 points
Gaborik - 70 points
Wolski - 50 points
Dubinsky - 55 points
Anisimov - 50 points
Callahan - 50 points
Stepan - 45 points
Zuccarello - 40 points

Which is... a whole lotta points. By no means do I expect to have this happen, but it's not as if we don't have secondary scoring anymore. Some of these guys will still continue to improve and guys like Kreider, Miller, Thomas, etc. will join the squad eventually.

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09-28-2011, 03:03 AM
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I easily expect that to happen. This will be the first Rangers team in a long time to be a high scoring team if it stays healthy.

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09-28-2011, 07:39 AM
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I like line chemistry and consistency too, so I'm with you there. In fact, though I've warmed up to Tortorella, I think one of his drawbacks is his constant line tinkering.

But, that aside, it's all about winning. So if Dubi plays better than Wolski on the top line, do it.

BTW, in terms of our top 6 now, I think it has the potential to be sick--one of the top in the league. 3rd line looks very solid too, and the 4th is no joke. We're seeing depth we haven't had in god knows how long.

And our PP could by INSANE.

And trust me, I am anything but a homer. I'm a very realistic--and critical, when appropriate--fan.

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09-28-2011, 08:27 AM
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Jeds2StepOpus
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Through out the season, probably even in the first month of the season, a lot of players will play with Richards and Gabby.

I wouldn't exactly be shocked to see Torts roll out Dubi, Richards and Cally for a couple shifts; just to change things up or for the sake of experimentation.

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09-28-2011, 08:47 AM
  #6
mullichicken25
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i like it and dont like it at the same time

i love that line, without a doubt, i'm jsut not sold whatsoever that Wolski is the right guy for that 1st line wing

basically, my fear with Wolski on the 1st line is if they dont get possession of the puck cleanly down low in the zone the play is over. Dubi's bread and butter is chasing the puck in, getting or taking control of the puck, and maintaing possession down low so a play can develop

i think boyle has a lot of the same qualities in that respect, but he's falls a little short of dubinsky in all aspects. Pretty much I see him as a poor man's Dubi. I'd like to see Torts give him a shot with Gabby and Richards or, even better, as a Dubi replacement on the "pack" line if he gets pulled up

just my 2 cents, and i certainly wont complain about keeping that line together. They've got the best chemestry we've seen since Jagr and Nylander

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09-28-2011, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullichicken25 View Post
i like it and dont like it at the same time

i love that line, without a doubt, i'm jsut not sold whatsoever that Wolski is the right guy for that 1st line wing

basically, my fear with Wolski on the 1st line is if they dont get possession of the puck cleanly down low in the zone the play is over. Dubi's bread and butter is chasing the puck in, getting or taking control of the puck, and maintaing possession down low so a play can develop

i think boyle has a lot of the same qualities in that respect, but he's falls a little short of dubinsky in all aspects. Pretty much I see him as a poor man's Dubi. I'd like to see Torts give him a shot with Gabby and Richards or, even better, as a Dubi replacement on the "pack" line if he gets pulled up

just my 2 cents, and i certainly wont complain about keeping that line together. They've got the best chemestry we've seen since Jagr and Nylander
Agreed.

I would be thrilled if Wolski could secure that spot and have a career year.

Based on his history however I just don't see that happening. He was pretty much invisible the one preseason game he got to play with them as well even though the two of them were flying around the ice. Not trying to read too much into one game but just saying.

Wolski is the key here, and because I don't see him keeping a stranglehold on that top line LW spot, the next logical choice is to put Dubinsky there.

The reason I will be in favor of this, when, not if, it happens is because I have no fear that adding another player to Cally and Arty's line will be a huge detriment.

Whatever player benefits from getting to play with Arty and Cally will reap the rewards of that. And I think that the potential of how good Dubi with Richards and Gabby could be might make some of us forget the pack line ever existed.

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09-28-2011, 09:42 AM
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The team slides together best if Wolski makes the top line.

If he ends up doing nothing, put Fedotenko up there.

Only line i'm not loving right now is Rupp-Stepan-Zuccarello. Kind of a thrown together line of what remains after the first 3 were assembled.

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09-28-2011, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ruckus View Post
Agreed.

I would be thrilled if Wolski could secure that spot and have a career year.

Based on his history however I just don't see that happening. He was pretty much invisible the one preseason game he got to play with them as well even though the two of them were flying around the ice. Not trying to read too much into one game but just saying.

Wolski is the key here, and because I don't see him keeping a stranglehold on that top line LW spot, the next logical choice is to put Dubinsky there.

The reason I will be in favor of this, when, not if, it happens is because I have no fear that adding another player to Cally and Arty's line will be a huge detriment.

Whatever player benefits from getting to play with Arty and Cally will reap the rewards of that. And I think that the potential of how good Dubi with Richards and Gabby could be might make some of us forget the pack line ever existed.
IMO, that's where Boyle would be a superb fit.

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09-28-2011, 09:54 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by SLU Hockey View Post
The team slides together best if Wolski makes the top line.

If he ends up doing nothing, put Fedotenko up there.

Only line i'm not loving right now is Rupp-Stepan-Zuccarello. Kind of a thrown together line of what remains after the first 3 were assembled.

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Originally Posted by jas View Post
IMO, that's where Boyle would be a superb fit.

Couple things I don't like....First, if Boyle and Stepan are both going to be playing center I would much rather Stepan play with Feds and Prust (mostly because I assume that line gets more ice time).

Second, Mats Zuccarello being on this team and playing 4th line minutes with Mike Rupp on the opposite wing makes absolutely zero sense to me. Mostly because Torts is not a guy known to roll his lines. Maybe that changes this season because of our depth, but I find it hard to believe that line gets a lot of ice time based on the top three that are ahead of it. Avery being on that line with Rupp and whomever makes much more sense.

Third, putting Boyle at wing with Arty and Cally would be fine with me. I think that makes a lot of sense actually and they would be solid.

The problem here is what happens with Wolski then? It doesn't make sense putting him on the 4th line either. I guess if you want to keep Zuccarello here simply because he has the potential to be a shootout specialist then so be it. I don't have an issue with that. Your fourth line is kinda screwy that way though because it'd be like Wolski-Rupp-Zuke, something that doesn't make sense.

Hopefully Wolski clicks up there. That would be huge.

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09-28-2011, 10:00 AM
  #11
Jeds2StepOpus
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Ultimately, it all hinges on and it is all about which players have chemistry together and gel well.

It's always fun for us fans to sit around evaluating what looks good and ideal on paper, drawing up lines, and speculating on and playing armchair Head Coach. But chemistry will decide it all.

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09-28-2011, 10:14 AM
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The Mouth
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prediction :anisimov will be moved off that line and replaced by Stepan

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09-28-2011, 10:23 AM
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If Dubinsky ends up on the top line wing, moving Boyle to wing on the Pack line would be great. I could see Cally throwing pucks into traffic and Boyle getting a ton of garbage goals. If the top two are Duby-Richards-Gaborik and Boyle-AA-Cally, I'd put the Wolski-Stepan-Zuke line back together for the 3rd line (I recall that line being effective for a stretch last year). That leaves Avery, Rupp, Fedotenko, Prust, and EC to rotate the 4th line.

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09-28-2011, 11:18 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asphyXy View Post
If Dubinsky ends up on the top line wing, moving Boyle to wing on the Pack line would be great. I could see Cally throwing pucks into traffic and Boyle getting a ton of garbage goals. If the top two are Duby-Richards-Gaborik and Boyle-AA-Cally, I'd put the Wolski-Stepan-Zuke line back together for the 3rd line (I recall that line being effective for a stretch last year). That leaves Avery, Rupp, Fedotenko, Prust, and EC to rotate the 4th line.
This is what I would do as well if Wolski doesn't stick on the first line.

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09-28-2011, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mouth View Post
prediction :anisimov will be moved off that line and replaced by Stepan
they tried that several times last year, and Stepan wasnt NEARLY as effective with those 2 as AA was.

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09-28-2011, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Inferno272 View Post
they tried that several times last year, and Stepan wasnt NEARLY as effective with those 2 as AA was.
But he is American, so it has to work.

This team needs to not fix what isn't broken. AA is a good even strength guy, Stepan is going to be a bigger contributor on the PP. Based on what we have seen there is a chance that the PP lines up something like:

Callahan-Boyle-Gaborik

Wolski-Richards

and

Dubinsky-Anisimov-Stepan

Del Zotto-Girardi

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09-28-2011, 03:20 PM
  #17
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If Boyle works out on the left wing on the first line, and we keep the PAC line, we can create a great offensive third line of WW - Step - MZA.

This line would be as good as most second lines around the league. Non-playoff teams, which make up almost half the league (aka almost half of our opponents), generally have a second line worse than this one.

The first line would score 85 goals.
The second line would score 60.
The third line would score 50.
The fourth line would add 25.
Part-time Rangers will be good for 5.

On defense, last season we scored 27, so expecting the same this year is reasonable.

That's 252 goals, which last year would be second best in the East.

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09-28-2011, 03:28 PM
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Boyle can be pushed up to the top line if WW doesn't work out. He's looked good in camp so far.

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09-28-2011, 06:50 PM
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The Mouth
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Originally Posted by Inferno272 View Post
they tried that several times last year, and Stepan wasnt NEARLY as effective with those 2 as AA was.

AA always seems to get bounced line wise and is on a short leash with Torts. Torts loves Stepan and gives him latitude up the yin yang.

I hope you're right and he keeps them together.

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09-28-2011, 07:06 PM
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I agree with jas and ruckus. The "pack line" chemistry is supremely overrated. That line worked because ANY LINE with Dubinsky and Callahan works because they are hard workers with skill. I like Anisimov and he's definitely improved but the majority of his points last season were the result of cally and dubi making things happen. He's a good fit there, but I also think Stepan would be if he ever got more than two games at a time with them. As would Boyle.

I like the idea of the ABC line.
Boyle-Anisimov-Callahan
Dubinsky-Richards-Gaborik
Fedotenko-Stepan-Zuccarello
Avery-Rupp-Prust
Wolski

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09-28-2011, 07:11 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by The Mouth View Post
AA always seems to get bounced line wise and is on a short leash with Torts. Torts loves Stepan and gives him latitude up the yin yang.

I hope you're right and he keeps them together.
Dunno about the short leash part.

I think Tortorella might have noticed that whatever line Anisimov seems to play on, the cycle and defensive play seems to miraculously improve. He made Shelley and Prust into the Ranger's top line in 09-10, and was the glue that held the Dubi-Cally line together.

Remember what happened when they put Todd White on that line? Stepan? Christensen? very little good came of any of those attempts.

To be clear, just because Stepan had a 20 goal rookie campaign does not mean he is better than Anisimov, and just because a player is better than another does not automatically mean they would be a better fit on any given line.

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09-28-2011, 07:21 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuccarello Awesome View Post
I agree with jas and ruckus. The "pack line" chemistry is supremely overrated. That line worked because ANY LINE with Dubinsky and Callahan works because they are hard workers with skill. I like Anisimov and he's definitely improved but the majority of his points last season were the result of cally and dubi making things happen. He's a good fit there, but I also think Stepan would be if he ever got more than two games at a time with them. As would Boyle.

I like the idea of the ABC line.
Boyle-Anisimov-Callahan
Dubinsky-Richards-Gaborik
Fedotenko-Stepan-Zuccarello
Avery-Rupp-Prust
Wolski
Dubi has had chemistry with Jagr, Zherdev and Gaborik. Callahan had chemistry with Shanahan, and later, Gomez. Tortorella also used Boyle between Dubi and Cally last year, and they were effective. I think a Boyle/AA/Cally line would be one of best defensive lines in the league, and could put up 55-60 goals.

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09-29-2011, 02:32 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuccarello Awesome View Post
I agree with jas and ruckus. The "pack line" chemistry is supremely overrated. That line worked because ANY LINE with Dubinsky and Callahan works because they are hard workers with skill. I like Anisimov and he's definitely improved but the majority of his points last season were the result of cally and dubi making things happen. He's a good fit there, but I also think Stepan would be if he ever got more than two games at a time with them. As would Boyle.
I believe you have this backwards. And Dubi and Cally would tell you so. Many times in interviews and articles last year, they credited their line's success,... due to the play of AA in the middle. How he has gotten much stronger than the previous year. Dubi and Cally's career best season, was a direct result of AA centering them. There is no "pack line' without Artem Anisimov in the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthJerseyRanger View Post
I for one think this is a fantastic decision by Torts. It would be so easy to experiment with Dubi on the top line with Gabby and Richards; or put Steps in between Dubi and Cally; or drop Anisimov lower because he plays a two-way game.

But this is a line that, at times, last year were putting up points at a top line pace playing against the other teams' top defensive units. They have natural chemistry, always seem to know where each other are, and work as hard as any forward unit in the league.

Now with opposing teams' most likely saving their big guns for the Richards-Gaborik combination, the Pack Line has the potential to reach even greater heights as a unit and individually. All 3 players are decent playmakers and decent finishers. We could see a situation where the unit continue to grow into one of the best forward combinations in the league... maybe 50-60 pts for each of them. That would certainly put them in some elite company as far as secondary scoring units go.

As excited as I am to see Wolski-Richards-Gaborik go to work, I'm just as excited to watch the evolution of this home-grown Ranger unit into one of the best and and most memorable lines in NYR history. Certainly they are a big part of the reason I have such high expectations for the team this season.
I couldn't agree more. And I have said, Tort's would have to be nuts to break up the one line that worked last year. We have enough LW'ers to rotate in that top spot without having to break up the pack line. IMHO, anyone can play with Gabby and Richards. Hell, I'll bet even Hank would do well on that LW. But seriously, lets give Wolski a shot. He had 65 pts one year removed. 65 pts would have led all Rangers in scoring last year. He deserves a shot. Then maybe Rupp and Avery getting a shift here and there.

I have even went as far as saying the Pack line could be considered our top line, considering the minutes played last year. But that might be a stretch with Richards here now. Richards been averaging 21 minutes the last 3 seasons. And Gabby averaged 21 minutes in his first year here. So in rethinking, they will most likely get the most minutes with the pack line not far behind with maybe 18 a game.

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09-29-2011, 03:03 AM
  #24
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The third line is the only line that really isn't built. I expect an all american line of Kreider-Stepan-Miller to eventually be put together.

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09-29-2011, 08:31 PM
  #25
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I think the issue is basically synergy

the pack line has already shown that synergistic chemistry

hopefully Wolski fits the top line and doesn't make enough boneheaded plays to force Torts hands and a line shuffle

then again line shuffling is a major part of the NHL

Boyle with the top line from time to time would be an interesting shift to watch, especially if the big guy crashes the net

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