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What's so great about the bottom six?

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Old
07-19-2012, 08:51 PM
  #1
orangeshinpads
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What's so great about the bottom six?

Two large, skilled forwards with size in the top six and a top four defenseman. That's what most of the talk is about. Those three players would be great to get, and hopefully one or more will come, but when I look look at this roster, I see the most weakness in the bottom six, and I wonder why.

I could stand it if the team didn't succeed based on inexperience of the talented and entertaining young forwards, because a) I'd have known they tried, and b) they're as good as you could hope for in the near future - they're staying put.

But why allow the team to loose a large dose of games because of those players that are the easiest to replace? ?

During the whole rebuild, it's been rightfully said that patience is necessary, but now, it's the young guys who are carrying the team. They don't need to be patient with veterans. I'd like to see what it would be like with effective players in the bottom six.

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07-19-2012, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeshinpads View Post
Two large, skilled forwards with size in the top six and a top four defenseman. That's what most of the talk is about. Those three players would be great to get, and hopefully one or more will come, but when I look look at this roster, I see the most weakness in the bottom six, and I wonder why.

I could stand it if the team didn't succeed based on inexperience of the talented and entertaining young forwards, because a) I'd have known they tried, and b) they're as good as you could hope for in the near future - they're staying put.

But why allow the team to loose a large dose of games because of those players that are the easiest to replace? ?

During the whole rebuild, it's been rightfully said that patience is necessary, but now, it's the young guys who are carrying the team. They don't need to be patient with veterans. I'd like to see what it would be like with effective players in the bottom six.
I agree, last year our young and "inexperienced" guys were the ones carrying the team. It was the likes of Eager, Belanger, Horcoff, Smyth (For the last half of the season) and Hemsky to an extent that weren't playing up to standards. But, then you'd have Renney throwing them right back out there with seemingly no consequences for their bad play. It was just a bad cycle as the Vets figured they didn't have to try as hard, they got their ice time no matter how they played.

I Hope Ralph holds accountability and rewards players with ice time for good solid play rather than how many numbers are in your GP column, like it seemed Renney was doing.

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07-19-2012, 11:04 PM
  #3
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I don't necessarily think that Renney wasn't demanding accountability, I think it was more along the lines that management (correctly) wanted to shield the young players.

RNH was excellent last year, but he did struggle on the road and against better opposition. The team wasn't getting to the playoffs last year no matter what, so they did the next best thing.

This year, Hall, RNH and co. will take bigger roles in both zones.

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07-19-2012, 11:39 PM
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1 - Our young kids were played protected minutes.

2 - Please take Eager out of there. It's not his fault that he was benched every time he did something properly.

3 - That's what happens when you give Ryan Smyth 1st line minutes with 3rd line talent. He isn't as durable as he once was but he's learned to deal with it by having learned to play a softer positional game. Still. The minutes caught upto him and he was gassed at the end of the year.

4- We'll see the likes of Lander, Pitlick and Hartikainen playing in the NHL next season. I don't expect to see any of them starting the season in the NHL. Write Pitlick off for having any chance at that. If Horcoff gets hurt I'm crossing my fingers that Lander gets all of his minutes. He's way better than Belanger. Pitlick and Hartikainen on the other hand are the kinds of guys we really need in our bottom six. Some guys that'll play clean while putting the fear of god into the opponents.

5 - As for a d-man, I'm content with Edmonton going with that they've got for now.
-Whitney might be decent next year. Some of you were crazy enough to think that he was almost back to his old self at the end of the 11/12 season.
-I don't think the Petry/Smid pairing was luck. I expect to see Petry put up even more points now that we've got a healthy and incredibly talented top 6.
-Justin Schultz... sounds like he's been promised top 4 minutes and I guess that means we have to give it to him. Last thing we want is to change him into some premadonna who wants to leave us.
-Nick Schultz. Dude seems like a decent #4 d-man if he's not expected to spend much time handling the puck.
-Sutton/Peckham horrible #6 d-men, but that's not a reason to go out and make big changes.

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07-20-2012, 12:24 AM
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I wouln't say our entire bottom 6 is an issue. Our 4th line is great.
Eager - Belanger - Petrell
Is a line that can play tough minutes as 2 of them are our best PK unit, and contains a faceoff specialist and 2 guys that can crash and bang, drop the mitts, and even score from time to time. Our 3rd line of
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones is where the problem is right now. Ideally you want your 3rd line to be 3 all around players. Horcoff and Smyth are to slow and not physical enough to make up for some of the lack of top 6 grit. I'll never complain about a guy who can play bottom 6 and chip in just under 20 goals while playing physical and winning puck battles. Jonesy is a guy that can stay in that spot. So ideally, our bottom 6 will have 2 more guys with size and speed that can chip in offensively... Conveniently, we have Paajarvi who should slot in well in Smyth's place and either Pitlick or Lander who can take over for Horcoff... So... Where exactly is the problem in our bottom 6?

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07-20-2012, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Conveniently, we have Paajarvi who should slot in well in Smyth's place and either Pitlick or Lander who can take over for Horcoff... So... Where exactly is the problem in our bottom 6?
Why not just get rid of Smyth, Horcoff and Jones before the start of the 13/14 season and have MPS-Lander-Pitlick as a third line?

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07-20-2012, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by thadd View Post
Why not just get rid of Smyth, Horcoff and Jones before the start of the 13/14 season and have MPS-Lander-Pitlick as a third line?
I have no problem with Smyth and Horcoff as part of the third line with Hartikainen or Jones; Smyth and Horcoff will be effective in a lessened role as third line players this season. You have to go to the well with the kids more often this year, as Smyth and Horcoff simply can't play the heavy minutes like they used to over the course of a season. Head-to-head, at this point, they'd eat the MPS-Lander-Pitlick line for lunch. Give it a year or two, this might change, but I don't think at this point it's really even all that close. Smyth and Horcoff are two reliable veterans, who will be effective this season, if they aren't ridden into the ground playing heavy minutes.

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07-20-2012, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
I wouln't say our entire bottom 6 is an issue. Our 4th line is great.
Eager - Belanger - Petrell
Is a line that can play tough minutes as 2 of them are our best PK unit, and contains a faceoff specialist and 2 guys that can crash and bang, drop the mitts, and even score from time to time. Our 3rd line of
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones is where the problem is right now. Ideally you want your 3rd line to be 3 all around players. Horcoff and Smyth are to slow and not physical enough to make up for some of the lack of top 6 grit. I'll never complain about a guy who can play bottom 6 and chip in just under 20 goals while playing physical and winning puck battles. Jonesy is a guy that can stay in that spot. So ideally, our bottom 6 will have 2 more guys with size and speed that can chip in offensively... Conveniently, we have Paajarvi who should slot in well in Smyth's place and either Pitlick or Lander who can take over for Horcoff... So... Where exactly is the problem in our bottom 6?
That would be fine, but reality might not bear that out. There's a good chance only one or none of Paajarvi, Lander or especially Pitlick will be ready to play most of an NHL season next year. On top of that, let's face it, returning veterans with contracts tend to stay in the lineup as a general rule. I'm not disagreeing with the upside of what you're saying, but I'm not too sure it's going to happen like that.

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07-20-2012, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Buddha View Post
I have no problem with Smyth and Horcoff as part of the third line with Hartikainen or Jones; Smyth and Horcoff will be effective in a lessened role as third line players this season. You have to go to the well with the kids more often this year, as Smyth and Horcoff simply can't play the heavy minutes like they used to over the course of a season. Head-to-head, at this point, they'd eat the MPS-Lander-Pitlick line for lunch. Give it a year or two, this might change, but I don't think at this point it's really even all that close. Smyth and Horcoff are two reliable veterans, who will be effective this season, if they aren't ridden into the ground playing heavy minutes.
Yeah, I did say the 13/14 season... which is the season after the next one.

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07-20-2012, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
I wouln't say our entire bottom 6 is an issue. Our 4th line is great.
Eager - Belanger - Petrell
Is a line that can play tough minutes as 2 of them are our best PK unit, and contains a faceoff specialist and 2 guys that can crash and bang, drop the mitts, and even score from time to time. Our 3rd line of
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones is where the problem is right now. Ideally you want your 3rd line to be 3 all around players. Horcoff and Smyth are to slow and not physical enough to make up for some of the lack of top 6 grit. I'll never complain about a guy who can play bottom 6 and chip in just under 20 goals while playing physical and winning puck battles. Jonesy is a guy that can stay in that spot. So ideally, our bottom 6 will have 2 more guys with size and speed that can chip in offensively... Conveniently, we have Paajarvi who should slot in well in Smyth's place and either Pitlick or Lander who can take over for Horcoff... So... Where exactly is the problem in our bottom 6?
That would be fine, but reality might not bear that out. There's a good chance only one or none of Paajarvi, Lander or especially Pitlick will be ready to play most of an NHL season next year. On top of that, let's face it, returning veterans with contracts tend to stay in the lineup as a general rule. I'm not disagreeing with the upside of what you're saying, but I'm not too sure it's going to happen like that.

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07-20-2012, 02:12 AM
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I'm actually predicting a big bounce back year from Eager.

I think he was under utilized AND I think he responded poorly to the way he was used as well.

I think the blame is on Renney for not using him in as many situations as he could have AND on Eager for not playing 100% in the situations he was put in. I get the impression those two were oil and water in their relationship.

I'm hoping it's a clean slate now with Krueger as head coach. This guy is a huge body and he has some skills and speed. He could certainly be that "big body" they need in the top 6 and even if he plays up his full potential in just a regular 3rd line role... he could be an invaluable asset to bang and crash out there.


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07-20-2012, 02:23 AM
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-Sutton/Peckham horrible #6 d-men, but that's not a reason to go out and make big changes.
Personally I think Sutton was/is pretty much a perfect #6 dman.

Adds a strong physical presence (hits like a truck), is defensively responsible(co-leader in +/-) and he even potted 10 points in 52 games... not a bad total for a 6th dman. What more could you really possibly want from a #6 dman?

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07-20-2012, 04:46 AM
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Personally I think Sutton was/is pretty much a perfect #6 dman.

Adds a strong physical presence (hits like a truck), is defensively responsible(co-leader in +/-) and he even potted 10 points in 52 games... not a bad total for a 6th dman. What more could you really possibly want from a #6 dman?
I have to say I agree about Sutton. I haven't heard too many people praise him. He seems to be a guy with a great attitude, and there are times when he dangles opponents with stick work too. It's fun to watch.

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07-20-2012, 06:09 AM
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Im fine with starting the season with things the way they are, but if we say the same results from guys like Belanger and Eager, they need to benched or removed from the team. I'd love to see Lander or Vande Velde get some games. Hartikainen and Tyravainen as well.

If Krueger is able to make ALL players accountable, whether they're 21 or 31, thorn I'm not worried because I think we have hungry players ready to steal jobs. If Krueger continues to treat veterans differently from young players, then I don't see their being much improvement unfortunately.

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07-20-2012, 08:37 AM
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i think our bottom six is set up properly we just need guys like belanger and eager to play like they did every other season of their careers except last year. i dont even see how anyone can complain about jones he is exactly what a 3rd lined should be, puts up decent points and can play the hard minutes. horcoff will settle into his 3rd line duties and be fine. smyth will play his roll. petrell does what he is asked and hordy can step in and be a pain when ever he is needed. i thin last year was an anomaly for belanger and eager so it think we will see drastic changes from those 2 lines.

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07-20-2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by orangeshinpads View Post
Two large, skilled forwards with size in the top six and a top four defenseman. That's what most of the talk is about. Those three players would be great to get, and hopefully one or more will come, but when I look look at this roster, I see the most weakness in the bottom six, and I wonder why.

I could stand it if the team didn't succeed based on inexperience of the talented and entertaining young forwards, because a) I'd have known they tried, and b) they're as good as you could hope for in the near future - they're staying put.

But why allow the team to loose a large dose of games because of those players that are the easiest to replace? ?

During the whole rebuild, it's been rightfully said that patience is necessary, but now, it's the young guys who are carrying the team. They don't need to be patient with veterans. I'd like to see what it would be like with effective players in the bottom six.
Out bottom six will include guys like Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Shawn Horcoff, Eric Belanger, and Ben Eager, all solid bottom six players. Petrell played well in a bottom six role last year too. I'm not sure what you want to change, but the bottom six shouldn't be a problem, assuming Krueger uses Eager properly.

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07-20-2012, 10:31 AM
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Why not just get rid of Smyth, Horcoff and Jones before the start of the 13/14 season and have MPS-Lander-Pitlick as a third line?
Assuming these guys all continue developing, the only issue I see is that Pajaarvi may fit well in the top six. But, in that case, Hartikainen can take his spot.

Pajaarvi-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Yakupov

Or something along those lines.

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07-20-2012, 10:52 AM
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What is so great about the bottom 6:

We have 2 centers who offset the inexperience and faceoff suckness of our top 2Cs
We have wingers like Smyth, Jones, Eager, Petrell, Hartikainen who offset the lack of grit in top 6.
We have decent PKers in bottom 6.

our bottom 6 IMO is hardly an issue.

We need to add some grit (a 200+ hits\season player) up front. If it is in top 6 ..its even better.

A Kulemin\M.Martin\Ott etc is still needed.. Hartikainen is the closest thing we have in our system.

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07-20-2012, 12:52 PM
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I'm much happier with the bottom six going into this season than last. For one, Horcoff and Belanger are pencilled in as the bottom two centers. While I like Lander as a prospect, he was not ready last season and was part of one of the worst fourth lines I've ever watched.

Second, the bottom six is much more clearly defined this season. The fourth line is full of legitimate NHLers, as is the third. Smyth, Horcoff, and Jones are all decent third liners. Eager, Belanger, and Hartikainen/Petrell/whoever are all good fourth liners.

The only problem I have is that the team is still not physical enough up front. But I do think the Oilers have two lines that can be thrown out at any point in the game, which is great. Hell, I can see games where the Belanger line shuts down the other team's top line if the Horcoff line isn't cutting it.

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07-20-2012, 01:34 PM
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Bottom 6 Top 6, ones gets the idea that these have some meaning based on the ammount of usage these terms get.

I assume they might have some utility as a description for guys trying to break down the game with statistics, but actually I doubt that.

Personally, I think we are finaaly at the point where we can setup our team to make other teams respond to us. If thats the case, I think a willy coach can set some lines up to keep the ice tilted in our direction.

What that means for "bottom 6 and top 6", Im thinking alot of fans might be fairly unhappy, especially seeing as Horcoff is not a shut down center so using him in that position is a really bad idea.

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