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Would removing Ryder from the first line really hurt it?

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Old
10-20-2006, 06:16 PM
  #1
Habitant#1
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Would removing Ryder from the first line really hurt it?

I think that the top line's succes is mostly due to Higgins and Koivu's chemistry. This isn't meant to be a shot at Ryder, who's been excellent so far.

Also, Kovalev is at his best when he plays with the best. He's not the kind of guy that will make people around him better, but he will always be able to keep up with his linemates.

I Propose switching him with Ryder to get the following:

Higgins-Koivu-Kovalev
Samsonov-Plekanec-Ryder

A lot of teams like to have 2 guys on Kovalev, to keep him from deking the pants off their players. I think this would give extra space to Koivu and Higgins, who would definatly know how to use it.

It also gives Samsonov and Plekanec a finisher. We all know that Samsonov is a dangler and that Plekanec isn't particularly well suited for the role he's currently assigned. I always though he liked to control the puck thought not to the same extent as Samsonov. Ryder, who's playing physical so far, could either get in position for that lethal shot, or hang around the net for the dirty goals.

I don't know how having two right handed wingers on the line would work though, any thoughts?

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10-20-2006, 07:04 PM
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Mike8
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Yes. You vastly underestimate Ryder's presence through his tenacity, forechecking, opportunism and penchant for finding the open spaces to let go of his shot (and get a second chance off the rebound).

You can say that Higgins does most, if not all of this as well. However Ryder's got more of a tenacious urgency to his game, compared to a more methodical, patient (mature?) Higgins (and Koivu) approach. Ryder's more explosive.


As far as your proposal goes: I don't think it's a good move. The top line is working great; exceeding all of our wildest dreams. I think, given that fact, we can come to the logical conclusion that the three players are perhaps playing above themselves. There are three reasons for players playing above themselves: a) they're really just that good, and were underestimated before; b) the sum is greater than the individual parts; c) they're on a hot streak.

The most logical answer in figuring out why the line is working so well is a mixture of all three aforementioned factors.

Because of that: the line should not be broken up until the hot streak ends (if it's a hot streak at all).



Now, I also believe Carbonneau's decided on another solution to this problem: swap Perezhogin and Samsonov. Let's see how that goes before proposing any other switch(es).

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10-20-2006, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Yes. You vastly underestimate Ryder's presence through his tenacity, forechecking, opportunism and penchant for finding the open spaces to let go of his shot (and get a second chance off the rebound).

You can say that Higgins does most, if not all of this as well. However Ryder's got more of a tenacious urgency to his game, compared to a more methodical, patient (mature?) Higgins (and Koivu) approach. Ryder's more explosive.


As far as your proposal goes: I don't think it's a good move. The top line is working great; exceeding all of our wildest dreams. I think, given that fact, we can come to the logical conclusion that the three players are perhaps playing above themselves. There are three reasons for players playing above themselves: a) they're really just that good, and were underestimated before; b) the sum is greater than the individual parts; c) they're on a hot streak.

The most logical answer in figuring out why the line is working so well is a mixture of all three aforementioned factors.

Because of that: the line should not be broken up until the hot streak ends (if it's a hot streak at all).



Now, I also believe Carbonneau's decided on another solution to this problem: swap Perezhogin and Samsonov. Let's see how that goes before proposing any other switch(es).
Mr. 8 or shall I call you Mike. I agree with your analysis. Ryder and Higgins both have different games. Yes, they both have the ability to score, but in different ways. Higgins is more likely to score off the rush while Ryder is more likely to find a spot and wait for the pass to one-time his shot into the net. Ryder is simply looking to put the puck on net as soon as he get's it, hence supporting the "explosiveness" theory of yours. This is what makes that line work as Koivu is clearly responsible for carrying the puck while Higgins and Ryder feed off of him in different ways. They each have their roles on that line and play them to a tee. That's where our number two line goes wrong. I believe it is unclear to them as to what their roles are on that line as they all like to carry the puck. Samsonov and Kovy both hang on to the puck too long which creates turnovers since they aren't looking to pass. Plekanec is confused by this which makes him question why he is a center if his wingers are doing that job. You just can't have a center and 2 wingers who are trying to be centers on the same line. If Kovy and Sammy accepted the fact that Plekanec is responsible for carrying the puck and understand that they have to simply give him puck support in the offensive zone then it would work.

Oh, and I believe the answer regarding the success of that line is b) the sum is greater than the individual parts.

Koivu had a similar chemistry in 1996 or 97 I believe when he played on a line with Recchi and Savage. They were, actually, the most productive line in the league for the first two months of the season until injuries to Savage and then Koivu put an end to it. Koivu actually eluded to that scenario when asked about his chemistry with Higgins and Ryder.


Last edited by LesHabsRock: 10-20-2006 at 07:57 PM.
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10-20-2006, 07:45 PM
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I dunno, but he rocks in 2k7. I just beat my brother cuz of him. He wants a rematch, but I'm holding off.

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10-20-2006, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by LesHabsRock View Post
Mr. 8 or shall I call you Mike. I agree with your analysis. Ryder and Higgins both have different games. Yes, they both have the ability to score, but in different ways. Higgins is more likely to score off the rush while Ryder is more likely to find a spot and wait for the pass to one-time his shot into the net. Ryder is simply looking to put the puck on net as soon as he get's it, hence supporting the "explosiveness" theory of yours. This is what makes that line work as Koivu is clearly responsible for carrying the puck while Higgins and Ryder feed off of him in different ways. They each have their roles on that line and play them to a tee. That's where our number two line goes wrong. I believe it is unclear to them as to what their roles are on that line as they all like to carry the puck. Samsonov and Kovy both hang on to the puck too long which creates turnovers since they aren't looking to pass. Plekanec is confused by this which makes him question why he is a center if his forwards are doing that job.
I think that's dead-on. Also, all three are scrappy on the boards and work hard all the time and are balanced defensively from Higgins to Koivu to Ryder, in that order.

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10-20-2006, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by raketheleaves View Post
I think that's dead-on. Also, all three are scrappy on the boards and work hard all the time and are balanced defensively from Higgins to Koivu to Ryder, in that order.
Yes, I agree. All three pay the price along the boards in the offensive zone. The second has Kovalev who is very good at grinding along the boards and Plekanec isn't so bad either. I believe Samsonov is the weakest link on that line since he is simply not good at all along the boards. Samsonov should learn to find holes in the offensive zone to receive passes and shoot the puck rather than skate around once he has the puck.

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10-20-2006, 08:26 PM
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Great insight Mike8 and LesHabs!

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10-20-2006, 10:57 PM
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I wouldn't break up the first line but if I had to, I'd unite Ryder with Plekanec and Perezhogin, not Samsonov. That trio would more closely resemble Ryder's present line than Samsonov-Plekanec-Ryder. Another thing. The rationale for shaking up the lines is the disappointing play of Samsonov, and I don't think shifting Ryder would help at all. Samsonov simply has to be demoted to a lower line and made to earn his way back.

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10-20-2006, 11:18 PM
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The simple solution is for Kovalev to finally wake up and start playing with an ounce of urgency.

The Kovalev that we are seeing doesn't belong on the top line, nor does he deserve to be. Really, to me, he is the biggest disappointment so far of this young season.

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10-20-2006, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Nash13 View Post
The simple solution is for Kovalev to finally wake up and start playing with an ounce of urgency.

The Kovalev that we are seeing doesn't belong on the top line, nor does he deserve to be. Really, to me, he is the biggest disappointment so far of this young season.
Greater than Samsonov?

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10-20-2006, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes View Post
Greater than Samsonov?
IMO, yes. Kovalev is supposed to be a leader on this team, and he hasn't shown up. I am personally willing to give Samsonov some more adjustment time in Montreal. If he is still not putting up points, i'll be the first to be on him.

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10-21-2006, 01:14 AM
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les Habs
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I wouldn't touch the first line with your dic... I mean a ten foot pole.

Ryder's really impressed me this season with the added dimension to his game and the three together just have me giggling like a schoolgirl.

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10-21-2006, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes View Post
I wouldn't break up the first line but if I had to, I'd unite Ryder with Plekanec and Perezhogin, not Samsonov. That trio would more closely resemble Ryder's present line than Samsonov-Plekanec-Ryder. Another thing. The rationale for shaking up the lines is the disappointing play of Samsonov, and I don't think shifting Ryder would help at all. Samsonov simply has to be demoted to a lower line and made to earn his way back.
You won't have to because our PK and PP have been solid and with only one line scoring plus the offensive contribution from the 3rd line we've been successful thus far. Sooner or later we'll need consistent scoring from the 2nd line. This cannot continue.

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10-21-2006, 03:45 AM
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As far as I like Kovy I think he would be a poison for the 1st line. Line is usually 2 player + somebody to complete these player and Kovy isn this type of player. He bring his style of play on his line and I dont want this tactic for this line AT ALL!

The only way I could consider Ryder on the second is is to be the third man on a Kovalev Samsonov Ryder line. He would be the goal scorer that this line need but so far we should keep the 1st line as it is they work really well so...

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10-21-2006, 07:58 AM
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I would personally keep Ryder on the 1st line.

I'm not confident that he will be as productive playing without Koivu.

I feel that Higgins, on the other hand, is capable of being effective with or without Koivu. Even though he's been dynamite with Koivu, I think the team should temporarily dismantle the first line in order to help the team's scoring balance.

I would swap Samsonov with Higgins...that could be something worth trying. I think Samsonov needs to play with Captain K to get his game going. Sammy would benefit from being with two guys who play with fire every game. In the meantime, Higgins will provide some of that much needed fire to the second line.

I would try the following:

Samsonov-Koivu-Ryder
Higgins-Plekanec-Kovalev
Perezhogin-Bonk-Johnson
Latendresse-Begin-Murray

or maybe even:

Samsonov-Koivu-Ryder
Perezhogin-Higgins-Kovalev
Plekanec-Bonk-Johnson (Pleks and Johnson showed some chemistry in preseason)
Latendresse-Begin-Murray

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10-21-2006, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
I would personally keep Ryder on the 1st line.

I'm not confident that he will be as productive playing without Koivu.

I feel that Higgins, on the other hand, is capable of being effective with or without Koivu. Even though he's been dynamite with Koivu, I think the team should temporarily dismantle the first line in order to help the team's scoring balance.

I would swap Samsonov with Higgins...that could be something worth trying. I think Samsonov needs to play with Captain K to get his game going. Sammy would benefit from being with two guys who play with fire every game. In the meantime, Higgins will provide some of that much needed fire to the second line.

I would try the following:

Samsonov-Koivu-Ryder
Higgins-Plekanec-Kovalev
Perezhogin-Bonk-Johnson
Latendresse-Begin-Murray

or maybe even:

Samsonov-Koivu-Ryder
Perezhogin-Higgins-Kovalev
Plekanec-Bonk-Johnson (Pleks and Johnson showed some chemistry in preseason)
Latendresse-Begin-Murray
Horrible move taking demoting Higgins.

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10-21-2006, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by PattyRoy View Post
Horrible move taking demoting Higgins.
Playing with Kovalev is hardly a demotion...he is our most talented player, in case you forgot.

I think Kovalev would greatly benefit from playing with Higgins.

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10-21-2006, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattyRoy View Post
Horrible move taking demoting Higgins.
What's even more horrible is promoting Samsonov.

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10-21-2006, 09:19 AM
  #19
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Playing with Kovalev is hardly a demotion...he is our most talented player, in case you forgot.

I think Kovalev would greatly benefit from playing with Higgins.
Anybody would benefit playing with Higgins, but Koivu would certainly not by seeing him replaced by a struggling and disinterested Samsonov. That line is firing on all cylinders at the moment, I just can't understand why people want to dismantle it to have the 2nd score more. What if the 1st stops producing as a result?

Kovalev might be our most talented player, doesn't matter one bit who he's playing with when he's not showing up. And so far, he hasn't. He plays with no urgency at all. The only one who can spark this prima dona out of his funk is Kovalev himself. He's supposed to be the leader of his line and he isn't taking charge right now. If anything, he or Samsonov are deserving of a demotion. If you want to promote and reward hard work as I feel Carbo does, you can't promote guys who are mailing it in since the begining of the season to the top line.

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10-21-2006, 11:14 AM
  #20
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Originally Posted by LesHabsRock View Post
Mr. 8 or shall I call you Mike. I agree with your analysis. Ryder and Higgins both have different games. Yes, they both have the ability to score, but in different ways. Higgins is more likely to score off the rush while Ryder is more likely to find a spot and wait for the pass to one-time his shot into the net. Ryder is simply looking to put the puck on net as soon as he get's it, hence supporting the "explosiveness" theory of yours. This is what makes that line work as Koivu is clearly responsible for carrying the puck while Higgins and Ryder feed off of him in different ways. They each have their roles on that line and play them to a tee. That's where our number two line goes wrong. I believe it is unclear to them as to what their roles are on that line as they all like to carry the puck. Samsonov and Kovy both hang on to the puck too long which creates turnovers since they aren't looking to pass. Plekanec is confused by this which makes him question why he is a center if his wingers are doing that job. You just can't have a center and 2 wingers who are trying to be centers on the same line. If Kovy and Sammy accepted the fact that Plekanec is responsible for carrying the puck and understand that they have to simply give him puck support in the offensive zone then it would work.
I think you're analysis of the 2nd line is 100% dead on. I agree. The 1st line is doing great, and to coin an over-used but true adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I don't see Carbo breaking up a line that's clearly working for one that isn't. The problem is the 2nd line, not the 1st, so that's where the work needs to be done. I think Carbo's idea of putting Perezhogin on the 2nd line with Pleks and Kovy will do wonders for the 2nd line. Zogs is much more creative with the puck than Sammy who appears to me at least to be talented, but someone low on the hockey IQ totem pole. From what I saw last year, Zogs appears to love playing with Kovy and the reverse seems to be true. I really think, from what I saw, Kovy likes playing with Zogs. Also, Zogs and Pleks seem to have a great chemistry from what I've seen. I really can see Zogs on the 2nd line getting this line producing. Sammy loves carrying the puck so much that he'll carry it til he loses it (often anyway). Neither Bonk nor Johnson seem to be huge puck carriers and can certainly supply the kind of puck support that a player like Sammy needs, with all the turnovers. Sammy might even learn eventually to look around and see if there's someone he can pass the puck to occasionally. Miracles DO happen. If Sammy doesn't work on the 2nd line, well you can always let him spend some time on the 4th until he figures things out. Lots of options on the 4th and on the Bulldogs to fill out the 3rd line. Kostsytsin for one. I know people will scream about someone with Sammy's salary playing on the 4th, but if that's what it takes for him to figure out his role, then so be it. Just my thoughts.

Cheers.

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10-21-2006, 11:43 AM
  #21
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Great insights from a lot of people in this thread, especially regarding the first line. I think what our second line is missing is a true bread-and-butter finisher who can forecheck, fights on the board and cycle the puck, because Kovy and Samsonov don't seem to do it consistently and Plekanec, while good, doesn't have the size not the touch around the net to be trully effective in this role. If Perezhogin can't do it (I think he played pretty well so far, but the results aren''t been there yet), then ironically Lantendresse would be a natural for that role. Unfortunately, I think most of you will agree that he isn't quite ready yet, and need some seasoning before being a realistic long term option.

Also, I'm not thinking at all about signing him, but I believe Yannick Perreault would have been an interesting fit between Samsonov and Kovalev. While not physical and not really good defensively, nobody can't deny Perreault abilities in the crease and his production concistency during his career, and of course his faceoff skils are always a bonus.

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