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700 lbs of what????

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Old
10-31-2003, 01:43 PM
  #1
DKH
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700 lbs of what????

I like that name the best but I'll tell you they are not reminding me of Mogilny-LaFontaine-Andreychuk or even the Legion of Doom lately. I'd keep it for awhile, especially since the composition of lines 2 and 3 seems near perfect- heck even the Zamuner-Green-McCarthy line on paper looks like a fantastic multi skilled 4th line capable of offering the ultimate in flexability.

However, my concern is the first line- they are the straw that stirs 'this' drink; if they are playing well the other lines are going to follow suit. There is no reason why a line as skilled (and expensive) as Samsonov-Zinovjev-Lapointe can't score a goal a game; and a third line with Axelsson-Rolston-Bergeron is a pretty talented threesome also of scoring at near a goal a game.

Knuble gets a free pass to me- he's an up and down winger who compliments the other two. Yes, the other TWO. IMO they are the engine to this team. Thornton has extraordinary talent and I love the guy- but to bring it consistently like Yzerman, LaFontaine, Messier, Forsberg and Sakic is another thing. You'd have to hold a gun to my head to deal him; and it was only one game ago he made that sweet pass to Knuble for a goal and made several other outstanding plays. But I notice a few things about his nightly performance. First, he can float in and out of the game like some of my posts; and secondly he can be clutched and grabbed enough to worry more about the officials not calling it and his game gets grounded. If he gets hit hard he can wake up and just take over. He needs to understand he's going to be held due to his stature and then its up to he and his linemates or even Sullivan to adjust to what the refs are calling, how the lines are playing and what the score is.

If the Broons are ahead- no problem. Teams are focused less on shutting down that line and more on transition and scoring; if the Bruins are on the road even losing by a goal teams for whatever reason also seem to have more of that scoring and offensive mentality. HOWEVER, when teams come into the Fleece its as if Bill Belichek has designed a defense to suffocate the Thornton line and for 2 1/2 games it has worked. Joe was awesome the last half of the Devils opening night game but other than that he has been completely shut down.

Murray has scored 85 goals the past two seasons and its right to expect another 40 goal season- maybe thats not fair, but considering who he plays with 30 goals or less would be a poor season. He had few if any chances last night and because he's not the most agile guy he needs to move around to get open. If he stands around its easy to cover him. He really needs to move and if I was Sullivan that would be my mantra to him- you skate and move around your fine- you don't your not even going to get shots let alone goals.Its interesting how much he depends on Joe the way Hodge depended on Esposito.

SOLUTION- patience first and foremost- I'd start every game with that line and watch it like New England weather. If they are being suffocated like last night even midway thru the second I move up Samsonov to try and get some space opened up and add a wrinkle. I also explain to Knuble what I may do ahead of time and explain I ask nothing more of him than to do what he's been doing. He'll be out there one way or another but sometimes Joe and Murray need a jolt of energy and Samonov if anything is that.

I'd tell Joe that the great ones work thru it- maybe I put together a video of Forsberg or even Esposito, two guys who have been held and interferred with with the best of them. I almost said Mario but he quit so thats out :p ; anyways- when it comes to Joe its playing thru the clutching and grabbing; Murray its moving, moving, moving.....

Last night should be an anomaly not a 700 lb eye sore.

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10-31-2003, 03:24 PM
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Magnus Fulgur
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700 pounds

The line needs to be more creative.
When they cycle down low...everyone in the league knows the routine. It's hard to stop, but it's no secret. They shouldn't stop doing it, but they should do it every OTHER drive into the zone.
When Joe crosses the line and pulls up, everyone in the league knows he's going to pass. He doesn't shoot, and he doesn't pull a move and then drive to the net.
When Joe drives to the net...he pulls the drop pass or peels off for the cycling.
Joe's a great passer, but he's forcing Muzz to take impossible feeds. I think Muzz has been open, but Joe's taking too long to make the perfect pass...the passes would be perfect if Muzz was a robot. With Knuble, Joe's just dishing it off, perhaps not thinking Mike needs to be treated to preciously. As a result, Knuble's got the goals, and Muzz doesn't.

Samsonov should never be brought up in desperation to spark things up. The top line needs to know that it's their responsibility to play up to their capabilities. There should be no sense that there is a backup plan or an escape route to solve their problems. It's up to them. All 700 pounds.

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11-01-2003, 03:39 AM
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misterjaggers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedbsfan
The line needs to be more creative.
When they cycle down low...everyone in the league knows the routine. It's hard to stop, but it's no secret. They shouldn't stop doing it, but they should do it every OTHER drive into the zone.
When Joe crosses the line and pulls up, everyone in the league knows he's going to pass. He doesn't shoot, and he doesn't pull a move and then drive to the net.
When Joe drives to the net...he pulls the drop pass or peels off for the cycling.
Joe's a great passer, but he's forcing Muzz to take impossible feeds. I think Muzz has been open, but Joe's taking too long to make the perfect pass...the passes would be perfect if Muzz was a robot. With Knuble, Joe's just dishing it off, perhaps not thinking Mike needs to be treated to preciously. As a result, Knuble's got the goals, and Muzz doesn't.

Samsonov should never be brought up in desperation to spark things up. The top line needs to know that it's their responsibility to play up to their capabilities. There should be no sense that there is a backup plan or an escape route to solve their problems. It's up to them. All 700 pounds.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Thornton and Murray are becoming too predictable. Fortunately, Knuble crashes the net or they'd hardly be scoring...

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11-01-2003, 05:21 AM
  #4
SToMper!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterjaggers
I think you hit the nail on the head. Thornton and Murray are becoming too predictable. Fortunately, Knuble crashes the net or they'd hardly be scoring...
I think Knubles early season goals are a result of the Thornton/Muzz prediction. Everyone is trying to block that connection and Knuble has benefitted. The key thing is predictability.....if they change up that aspect of the 700 line they should really be able to confuse the opposition.

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11-01-2003, 05:59 AM
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This line would be so much better if Joe would just go to the net every once in a while. The guy's mission every game is to pass the puck when possible, and I admit he is a good passer, but he is certainly not the best to just be passing all the time, he's got other skills.

I honestly believe he could become a top goal-scorer in the league if he tried to skate the puck wide on defenceman more and cut in. I know the guy could do it, he's a good skater with some great speed when he gets going and it would create some major havoc for defence.

I want to see more goals like the Devils goal he scored last season when he went through 3 guys from the blueline and put a nice little move on Brodeur. Not saying he has to do it constantly, but doing it the odd time could make him a much dangerous player.

There are times he had perfect opportunities to go to the net and decided not to, that's when he should at least. Two years down the road he'll be doing this... I want it now though.

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11-01-2003, 06:42 AM
  #6
Magnus Fulgur
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Joe

Have you noticed that since Joe's become an automated puck dispenser instead of a hockey player that his shot STINKS. It's as innacurate as Rolston's from last year. He needs to stop his bad habits now or he might lose some of his natural skills.

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