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Time to swap Straka and Prucha on the top 2 lines...

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Old
12-01-2006, 03:10 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by BigE View Post
It may be the more realistic option, I agree, given the start he's had to this season. It may just so happen that we're left with no other alternative than to break up that line in order to give us more of a double threat. Prucha might receive a spark on that top line, and as long as Nylander-Jagr aren't separated you're probably preserving the bulk of the chemistry. And Straka's speed might benefit the Shanahan line.

I'm not going to make excuses for Immonen's first 10 AHL games or that horrible -14, but he's come on the last 10 games and I think he's got the tools and maturity level to play. He's 23, and if we don't even try the young center in our organization - who everyone pegged as a future 2nd liner - I think that is a terrible waste of an asset. This is the opportunity this kid needs: significant time in a sink or swim atmosphere.

And what if Immonen brings the spark to that second line that we're looking for, just as he did when he was called up last season, and gets Prucha's game going in the process? You've not only got your double-threat, but you've preserved your 1st line (as I've said many times, likely the best line in the league right now...).

Another thing about Immonen: He may not be as quick as Cullen, or Straka, but he's no slouch.
Now swapping Prucah-Straka is the more realistic option in your eyes?!?!?!?!

Can you say backtrack....

And mentioning Immonen's skating in the same breath as Cullen and Straka just takes the cake...classic!

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Old
12-01-2006, 03:13 PM
  #52
Fletch
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Without arguing too much more, Chosen...

since we're in disagreement, your statement: "They didn't fall apart and get swept because of having one great line. It was because Lundqvist's magic dust evaporated and Jagr got hurt." supports the notion that they fell apart because of having one line. More than half the problem was the fact that the Rangers couldn't control the puck and keep it off the Devils' stick. Perhaps had they had another line, some slack could've been picked up and the way the game was played may've been different.

BigE - I'm in agreement with you on Immonen. It wouldn't hurt. It is my opinion, though, that the second line is not his ultimate place in the NHL for Immonen, if anywhere, and that if he fails there, it shouldn't be construed as him being a total failure. I'd personally throw out his minus too as a defensive measure. I watched a few games in which he was a cumulative -5 or -6 and the only thing he could've been blamed for is not producing 5 or 6 goals to come out even. The 'Pack's defense has been often brutal (even with Kaspar there), and that's a large reason for that minus. It's like my argument against Rozsival's large plus.

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12-01-2006, 03:26 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
BigE - I'm in agreement with you on Immonen. It wouldn't hurt. It is my opinion, though, that the second line is not his ultimate place in the NHL for Immonen, if anywhere, and that if he fails there, it shouldn't be construed as him being a total failure. I'd personally throw out his minus too as a defensive measure. I watched a few games in which he was a cumulative -5 or -6 and the only thing he could've been blamed for is not producing 5 or 6 goals to come out even. The 'Pack's defense has been often brutal (even with Kaspar there), and that's a large reason for that minus. It's like my argument against Rozsival's large plus.
No, it shouldn't be considered a failure but at this point we really don't need another 3rd or 4th line centerman.

I just don't see how we lose for trying it, however; and, I don't see how Immonen will lose from trying it.

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't seen a single Pack game this year, which puts me at a disadvantage for two reasons - I'm willing to admit it, and I'm going off of the reports of others - both of which hurt my position. I do trust your assessment that his +/- is misleading. It's also worth noting that it has not changed much over the last month, and several conclusions can be drawn from that - no need to get into all of them.

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Old
12-01-2006, 03:34 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by JR#9 View Post
Not worth responding to.
Then you shouldn't have.

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Old
12-01-2006, 03:47 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
since we're in disagreement, your statement: "They didn't fall apart and get swept because of having one great line. It was because Lundqvist's magic dust evaporated and Jagr got hurt." supports the notion that they fell apart because of having one line.
I very much disagree with your conclusion because if we had broken up the lines last year along with Lundqvist's deterioration and Jagr's shoulder injury we would have been no better off than if the 1st line was kept intact and the other bad things happened. I fail to see what difference it would have made.

Without Jagr and Lundqvist the team was going nowhere no matter how it was constructed. The same goes for this year even though we have added Shanahan and the marked improvement of Tyutin.

I don't see why people think if you move pieces of a flawed and extremely thin team around it will somehow mask the basic deficiencies. We have too many third and fourth line players and too many third pair defensemen.

This is why Jagr deserved the MVP last year hands down, in my opinion. No team would have fallen further in the standings than the Rangers without Jagr. Might still be true this year although you could make a case for a few other players.

Although perhaps slightly deeper than last year we are still paper thin in upper crust talent. One look through the deep Sabres and Ducks (just for example) proves just how thin we really are. The difference in depth of quality is almost numbing. The most criminal thing about the state of the Rangers is that aside from Lundqvist, all of our talent is old. If it wasn't for free agency the future could not be bleaker.

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12-01-2006, 03:48 PM
  #56
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You're right, BigE...

if the second line is ineffective anyways and the team still wins, does it hurt putting a guy like Immonen in there to see if he can get it going, thus replacing Betts with Cullen and Hollweg with Betts, moving Hollweg to wing. Could that be a better balance of centermen? Maybe. Could it be much worse? Probably not.

As for Immonen - it is disappointing how he started the season. We talk about character, and that may speak to his character a bit, which had been my biggest issue after coming out of preseason thinking he did well enough to get a look, but admittedly thinking that Dawes did better and if there was only going to be one to get the shot, Dawes deserved it. And going back to character, Immonen has shown a bit by bouncing back. So I'm a little less down on him than I was.

But in the end you're right - this team's problems lie elsewhere, although I believe there are a couple problems: scoring from other lines, consistency of the PP, and the defensive corps (in reverse order of importance). While you want to attack everything, if you're winning, I think you tweak before dealing.

Funny enough, this Rangers team is currently in first place (I think with the sixth best record in the Conference). Boston, with two games in hand, have only one less win and the same amount of losses. This race is tight. They're a few points comfortably in a playoff spot, and a few points from being on the outside looking in. These teams are so close to .500 it's not even funny.

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12-01-2006, 03:54 PM
  #57
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How about this....

the fact that they were able to muster-up four goals and four games shows how little depth they have in scoring and how they were very much a one-line team last season (one of those goals was by Prucha, from Jagr on the PP). And I never said that you could construct the lines in different ways last season to make that team better and win the playoffs. You said the one line thing was a GREAT thing. I disagree. That line was GREAT for the Rangers, but being a one line team is not a GREAT thing. Having good complementary lines for that one great line is a great thing. That's why Sather replaced Rucchin with Cullen and Sykora with Shanahan. Perhaps he hasn't achieved the desired results, but the idea is to reduce the dependence on one line so if he gets hurt, this team doesn't suffer like it did last season. Great lines are great to have. If that's all you have, that's not great.

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Old
12-01-2006, 05:18 PM
  #58
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First off, let's call a spade a spade here

Jagr will still pile up the points if I am his left wing. He is singlehandedly making Straka and Nylander seem like top-line players. Exchanging Prucha and Straka will not affect his production at all. However, not trying to get the other lines going is going to get nothing done. Shanny's wear and tear is showing, as he has slowed down (another problem for another time). Renney is perfectly inclined not to think outside the box and pray that Henke stands on his head every night and that Jagr is superman. That is going to have serious ramifications down the line.

There is a 2nd line center playing on the top line, but that is ok as Jagr will mask it. There is a 3rd line center, who is unsuited to play with skilled players, playing on the 2nd line and THAT IS having a negative impact. Cullen's presence on the 2nd line nueters scoring on that line as much as Betts's presence on the 3rd line lobotomizes any scoring from that line. And, last but not least, you have a wing who is far more effective as a wing, playing center on the 4th line.

All that smacks of a dysfunctional forward set. Moving Prucha up to LW on the top line, Straka to C on the 2nd line & Betts down a spot to the 4th needs to be tried.
Prucha-Nylander-Jagr
Shanny-Straka-Hall
Hollweg-Cullen-Ward
Hossa-Betts-Ortmeyer/Orr

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Old
12-01-2006, 06:09 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
Renney is perfectly inclined not to think outside the box and pray that Henke stands on his head every night and that Jagr is superman.
When Fletch talked about realistic alternatives this is the type of thought that went through my head.

Given our head coach and his past - which I must say is a good predictor of his future actions - we have to look at what is a realistic alternative. It seems to me this organization, and this includes the cigar-smoking big man 100 ft above the ice, is far too hesistant to promote from within. We didn't fair too badly relying on three young players last year - although admittedly the staff was kind of forced into it - and I don't understand how we can abandon some of this thinking.

I can't state enough how emphatic I am about the opportunity that is beginning to present itself.

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12-01-2006, 11:36 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
Jagr will still pile up the points if I am his left wing. He is singlehandedly making Straka and Nylander seem like top-line players. Exchanging Prucha and Straka will not affect his production at all. However, not trying to get the other lines going is going to get nothing done. Shanny's wear and tear is showing, as he has slowed down (another problem for another time). Renney is perfectly inclined not to think outside the box and pray that Henke stands on his head every night and that Jagr is superman. That is going to have serious ramifications down the line.

There is a 2nd line center playing on the top line, but that is ok as Jagr will mask it. There is a 3rd line center, who is unsuited to play with skilled players, playing on the 2nd line and THAT IS having a negative impact. Cullen's presence on the 2nd line nueters scoring on that line as much as Betts's presence on the 3rd line lobotomizes any scoring from that line. And, last but not least, you have a wing who is far more effective as a wing, playing center on the 4th line.

All that smacks of a dysfunctional forward set. Moving Prucha up to LW on the top line, Straka to C on the 2nd line & Betts down a spot to the 4th needs to be tried.
Prucha-Nylander-Jagr
Shanny-Straka-Hall
Hollweg-Cullen-Ward
Hossa-Betts-Ortmeyer/Orr
It's not all that bad of an idea but I would seek a more balanced lineup in this fashion:

Hollweg (I still feel he should at least be given a shot at playing with top liners)-Straka-Jagr

Hossa-Nylander-Shanahan
Prucha-Cullen-Ward
Hall-Betts-Orr/Ortmeyer

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Old
12-02-2006, 08:38 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Given our head coach and his past - which I must say is a good predictor of his future actions - we have to look at what is a realistic alternative. It seems to me this organization, and this includes the cigar-smoking big man 100 ft above the ice, is far too hesistant to promote from within. We didn't fair too badly relying on three young players last year - although admittedly the staff was kind of forced into it - and I don't understand how we can abandon some of this thinking.
I am beginning to think that until the organization rids itself completely of the Sather taint, it is not going to get much better.

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12-02-2006, 12:53 PM
  #62
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yeah once sather is gone the team will be in first place...oh wait a second...

giving kids an extra 4 minutes a night is more important than winning...oh wait a second...

well the more kids you have in the lineup the more points in the standing...oh wait a second..

well if jessiman and falardaeu made it this team would be "MUCH" better off...oh wait a second..

if our kids were ready (like they were last year) they would be given a shot...now that is true..


Last edited by Son of Steinbrenner: 12-02-2006 at 01:04 PM.
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Old
12-02-2006, 01:11 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
Moving Prucha up to LW on the top line, Straka to C on the 2nd line & Betts down a spot to the 4th needs to be tried.
Prucha-Nylander-Jagr
Shanny-Straka-Hall
Hollweg-Cullen-Ward
Hossa-Betts-Ortmeyer/Orr
Worth a shot, though I'm not convinced that Straka is a good enough center to make the second line work.

Strange as it my seem, I do think Jagr's great enough to possibly make Straka viable as a first line center and Nylander's good enough to make the second line work.

Man, I gotta tell you I'm really pissed that Immonen didn't respond when he was initially sent back to Hartford.

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12-02-2006, 01:21 PM
  #64
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Ok, Prucha is my favorite player on the whole team, but still...

WHAT HAS HE DONE THIS SEASON TO DESERVE FIRST LINE MINUTES??

-Answer: Nothing

Please don't hark back to last season's accomplishments. If you do, then be prepared to give clean slates to Kasparaitis, Malik & Rozsival as well.

Reducing the minutes of your most in-form player at the moment (Straka) does not make much sense to me.

My suggestion: Get Prucha on the PP. The problem is where? Shanny, JJ, and Straka have been the best performing players this season, and you can't really dump Nylander or your only Dman from that 1st unit, so therein lies the problema...

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12-02-2006, 02:25 PM
  #65
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Prucha's a sniper, Polako...

he needs guys to get him the puck to shoot. He's not a puck-carrier, he's not a playmaker. He's a sniper. Cullen and Shanny are not getting the puck to him for a shot. Jagr can, and has, and it proved to be successful. Because Prucha hasn't lit it up means he doesn't deserve a shot? While people think that when one talks about linemates it's used as an excuse, but very often, for me, it's a reality. Prucha doesn't dog it out there. He plays hard. It seems clear, however, that the second line didn't have chemistry. That's not Prucha's fault. That's Renney's job to find where each guy best fits. Some guys need playmakers to be successful. Prucha's one of those guys. Heck, how many less goals would Hull have had he not played with Janney or Oates? Plenty. I think we expect too many players to do it themselves. Prucha's not one of those guys, I don't think.
EDIT: Polako - agreed about the PP, but there's no room. The lack of PP time hurts goal scorers; the PP can get them confidence and good shooting opportunities to keep them, or get them, in a rhythm. But them the breaks.

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12-02-2006, 02:30 PM
  #66
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klingsor...

"Man, I gotta tell you I'm really pissed that Immonen didn't respond when he was initially sent back to Hartford"

same here. He's turned it around on the scoresheet, which is a good thing, but may be too late.

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12-02-2006, 04:32 PM
  #67
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Fletch,
Agreed, Prucha's a sniper, but I don't think he deserves the first line minutes at the moment, with the top three performing so well. The onus is on Renney, or Sather, to find him a complementary player to play as 2nd line C, whether that be Immonen or a player from outside the organization

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12-02-2006, 05:22 PM
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
"Man, I gotta tell you I'm really pissed that Immonen didn't respond when he was initially sent back to Hartford"

same here. He's turned it around on the scoresheet, which is a good thing, but may be too late.
Interesting that from purely a statistical point of view, Dawes has done the opposite. Although he hasn't scored a goal yet, he's put up 7 assists in 6 games. Perhaps his return has sparked the offensive of the Pack just a bit.

Lost in all of this is the rather disappointing production of Brandon Dubinsky at the AHL level. I hate assessing things based solely on statistical production, but I expected greater scoresheet contributions from the kid - especially after the NHL camp that he had.

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12-02-2006, 05:29 PM
  #69
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Funny you should say that, BigE...

since I was clamoring for Renney to send Dawes down for that same reason. Without making excuses for Immonen, in a few games I watched, he played with Weller and Byers, with whom he had zero chemistry, and as such, his production suffered. When you can't get a cycle going, and someone isn't converting your chances, or isn't getting you chances to bury, it's tough to put up points. Combine that with poor defense, and you get a big minus. Immonen could've done better, but at the same time, it is possible for a line to go down together.

Having said that, Dawes hasn't looked great at all. I've only seen parts of four games, maybe three, but he hasn't looked liked a guy who wants to get back to the NHL quickly. Perhaps he's getting his timing back from the limited action he got the last few weeks, but that can only be part of it; one would expect more from him, especially in the goal department. Immo's game picked up with him and Callahan. They do show some chmistry at least.

Dubi's play has been brought up in the prospects page. He's not playing well at all. It's very disappointing, especially considering the playoffs he had. I'm on a different end in terms of how his preseason was, as I didn't think much of his play the last few games, but saw that he was a raw talent. He too needs to play with decent wingers, and in Hartford, there's only a couple.

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