That, in my opinion, is the cold hard truth right now. While I agree Little had his best game of the season last night, he didn't produce and it hurt us. This team will only go as far as it's "best players" will take them.
We're 8 games in, nearing 10, when does it become time that if these guys aren't producing, and we (likely) aren't winning, that it doesn't matter "how good they look".
I'm at the point now where these guys simply have to produce offensively, anything less does not help this team win hockey games. I am also at the point, however, of believing that some of these guys may just not be as good as we need them to be in order to play the roles we have them in. I don't want to sound like I am jumping the gun, or having a knee-jerk reaction, but is Ladd a top line LW? Is Little a top line center? is Wheeler a top line RW? The answers could all realistically be no, no and no.
But, I like this and I am not mad at what is happening. Why? because this is what we have, these are the cards we have been dealt. Do we have holes? what are those holes? are these guys good enough? All of these questions and many, many more will be answered as the season progresses and it will paint a picture for management.
I was 100% ok with management making no big moves in the offseason, because I am fine with them seeing this team for what it is and seeing this team for themselves. And, so far, they are doing just that. It's a learning process for everyone, coaches, management and even the players. As of right now, our record is an indication of our lack of production from our "best" and most relied upon players. It's that simple, to me.
In a sense I agree with you, they're not first line players imo just really because I don't think the three are finishers... the only one that can really finish on the team imo is Burmi... He has a really nice shot..
In this era of Hockey, you need finishers because their is not alot of goalies who will be beat... Boucher was one of them... or you need players to make plays that would all but guarantee a goal and the first line hasn't put each other in that position very often.
At the same time, I'm not really bothered by it cause this is the Jets and we can't really sell the few pieces we have for a real first line player...and by next year, maybe Burmi will be that and we'll add pieces around him..
The Little-Ladd-Wheeler line hasn't been producing - no question there. But who gets shuffled? Antro-Kane-Burmi looked really good, so I wouldn't want to go and tinker with that.
I'm thinking that Wellwood gets moved up. I'd swap him for Ladd, personally. I think Ladd *wants* to do well, but he's been throwing up a lot of soft passes, and seems to be missing a bit of an edge to his game. If that shuffle didn't work, then I'd move Ladd back up, and shuffle Wheeler down to 3rd line.
and if that didn't work, sit the 3 of them for a period. Maybe *that* will get them hungry. Paul Maurice mentioned that a lot of the Jets chances came on the rush, and when you talk about the first line, he's right. they move it up, take a shot, head back down the ice for teh most part.
now look at Burmi and Antro. The puck goes in and stays in. Same with the 4th line. They apply pressure and maintain possession. Not so with the first line. They need to be chasing hard like Burmi, Wellwood and Slater have been.
'm thinking that Wellwood gets moved up. I'd swap him for Ladd, personally.
I agree. I've been musing if Wellwood and Wheeler might click, given the chance. One of the things I've wondered with Wellwood, now that they have Kane moving more on the Antro-Burmi line, is that it's hard for me to see where he might fit with.
But Wellwood tends to be a nifty little player around the net. And one impression I've had about the Ladd-Little-Wheeler line is that even when they are getting shots on goal, they aren't picking up the rebounds well. How many times have we seen it that (for instance) Wheeler will knock in an average shot, rebound and out it goes?
Wellwood has a knack for nosing into those spots, picking up rebounds and making things happen with them, and he has a quick and accurate shot that's tailor-made for working near the crease. Obviously we still need to see better finish from Little and Wheeler, but if Wellwood was hunting around in there to pick up Wheeler's rebounds, it might help that line maintain possession -- and flip the pucks in the net.
we have a great first line guys its Kane-Scheifele-Burmi the problem is the year is 2013-14. Throw in Bogo and Toby on the points for the PP and we will be lethal
There are no short cuts......Q: who was the big pick up in free agency this year? A: Brad Richards who got a $60 million dollar 9 year contract ($6.6 a year) and he was invisible last night. he has 5 points in 7 games which is ok but who remembers watching him?? If he was on our first line it would help but we would not be a cup contender by any means
I think it was Holden who summarized it perfectly when he said we can make bold moves and get better but we will not be able to trick the system if we want to become a cup contender. TNSE have laid out their vision and for me it is the only vision if we want to be a top 5 team with a shot at the cup. the great news is we are not starting from scratch we are 2 years into a 5 year project.
I agree with this; I am sure Management is banking on those three carrying the offensive load in the future. I am not worried about Burmistrov or Scheifele being able to fill those roles; both of them are very talented and bring many intangibles to the table. Kane on the otherhand is worrying me a little; he has great physical attributes and has a lot of talent but he needs to think the game much better to be a legit first line player.
We know who the new 1st line is. But who really cares
The point being we have 1 line producing. It seems like every game either Ladd or Little is playing well. And wheeler is just holiding them back. Last night Little played great. 5 shots, 2 hits, great faceoff %. If he would have scored I would have for him. I am still not worried about Little. He did not score until game 9 or 10 last year. And still had 18 while missing 5-6 games due to injury during the year. If he plays like that he will break out. And if he gets going, people around him get better. But i say try Ladd- Little- Wellwood. Ladd and Little need someone who can set them up, Wheeler can't pass and his no vision at all. And Wheeler, like Little is snake bitten, so some of Littles nice passes are useless. Need to do something. That line gets going, we have 2 lines scoring, should get lots more wins.