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A Look at Fourth Lines in the Western Conference

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Old
07-26-2013, 01:48 PM
  #1
Cerebral
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A Look at Fourth Lines in the Western Conference

One of the big criticisms people have of the Oilers right now is their lack of depth in the bottom six. While Edmonton has six very talented forwards playing on the top two scoring lines, a number of people have been highly critical of MacTavish for not addressing the depth in the bottom six. There is no doubt the bottom six was extremely underwhelming last season so the question is, how do we compare to the Western Conference this season?

For the purposes of this thread, I'm projecting that Jones slides in on the third line at left wing (Jones-Gordon-Hemsky) and that our fourth line will look something like this:

Smyth-Lander-Joensuu

I've compiled a list of the fourth lines in the Western Conference based on projected lineups posted in the team forums. They're obviously not perfect but it should give us a rough look at what we're up against.

Chicago Blackhawks
Bollig-Handzus-B. Smith

Colorado Avalanche
McLeod-B. Malone-Bordeleau

Dallas Stars
Roussel-Fiddler-Garbutt

Minnesota Wild
Mitchell-Konopka-Rupp

Nashville Predators
Hendricks-Gaustad-Nystrom

St. Louis Blues
Sobotka-Lapierre-Reaves

Winnipeg Jets
Tangradi-Slater-Thorburn

Anaheim Ducks
Beleskey-Bonino-Maroon

Calgary Flames
Galiardi-Knight-Jackman

Los Angeles Kings
Nolan-Fraser-Lewis

Phoenix Coyotes
Klinkhammer-Chipchura-Bissonnette

San Jose Sharks
Burish-Desjardins-Wingels

Vancouver Canucks
Sestito-Richardson-Weise

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I'll leave out my own analysis for now - how does Edmonton stack up against the rest of the Western Conference? Is the lack of depth a legitimate concern?

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07-26-2013, 02:06 PM
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joestevens29
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Ours isn't great, but there are a lot of no name players in that list.

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07-26-2013, 02:14 PM
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shogun99
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If we go by whats posted on the main board our 4th line talent players would be
Hall - Gagner - Hemsky

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07-26-2013, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by shogun99 View Post
If we go by whats posted on the main board our 4th line talent players would be
Hall - Gagner - Hemsky
Not enough size and grit. Sestito-Richardson-Weise would run them over.
We really are screwed.

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07-26-2013, 02:30 PM
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beaterson
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Can someone enlighten me as to why Smithson isn't coming back? He was an alright 4th liner, I'd prefer him over Lander right now.

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07-26-2013, 02:33 PM
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GreatKeith
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Nashville has a pretty good 4th line.

Unfortunately the rest of their lines look like that too.

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07-26-2013, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by beaterson View Post
Can someone enlighten me as to why Smithson isn't coming back? He was an alright 4th liner, I'd prefer him over Lander right now.
Good question.

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07-26-2013, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by beaterson View Post
Can someone enlighten me as to why Smithson isn't coming back? He was an alright 4th liner, I'd prefer him over Lander right now.
I think MacTavish is convinced that our centre depth is good enough and Lander is an NHL player. Not sure why.

Or maybe he promised Keith Acton that his son would get a shot this season and doesn't want to add another roadblock.

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07-26-2013, 02:52 PM
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foshizzle
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I don't get this. Is the fourth line that important? Why not just build a whole team of fourth liners? A fourth line is going to play 7 minutes a game- not going to change the outcome of games very often.

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07-26-2013, 02:54 PM
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It's one thing to look at the fourth lines and be like - hey! we stack up pretty okay!

It's another thing around January to look at first lines and bang your head against a wall when the fourth line is now the second line because of injuries.

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07-26-2013, 02:57 PM
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joestevens29
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Originally Posted by foshizzle View Post
I don't get this. Is the fourth line that important? Why not just build a whole team of fourth liners? A fourth line is going to play 7 minutes a game- not going to change the outcome of games very often.
I don't have much expectations from our 4th line. I suspect if by x-mas we are having problems then MacT will address it with some proven talent, but for now he's trying out some potential hidden gems.

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07-26-2013, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerebral View Post
One of the big criticisms people have of the Oilers right now is their lack of depth in the bottom six. While Edmonton has six very talented forwards playing on the top two scoring lines, a number of people have been highly critical of MacTavish for not addressing the depth in the bottom six. There is no doubt the bottom six was extremely underwhelming last season so the question is, how do we compare to the Western Conference this season?

For the purposes of this thread, I'm projecting that Jones slides in on the third line at left wing (Jones-Gordon-Hemsky) and that our fourth line will look something like this:

Smyth-Lander-Joensuu

I've compiled a list of the fourth lines in the Western Conference based on projected lineups posted in the team forums. They're obviously not perfect but it should give us a rough look at what we're up against.

Chicago Blackhawks
Bollig-Handzus-B. Smith $2.137M

Colorado Avalanche
McLeod-B. Malone-Bordeleau $2.885M

Dallas Stars
Roussel-Fiddler-Garbutt $2.988M

Minnesota Wild
Mitchell-Konopka-Rupp $4.325M

Nashville Predators
Hendricks-Gaustad-Nystrom $7.6M ()

St. Louis Blues
Sobotka-Lapierre-Reaves $3M

Winnipeg Jets
Tangradi-Slater-Thorburn $3.142M

Anaheim Ducks
Beleskey-Bonino-Maroon $2.625M

Calgary Flames
Galiardi-Knight-Jackman $5.613M (Knight has a rookie max deal of $3.75M, but his base is only $0.9M)

Los Angeles Kings
Nolan-Fraser-Lewis $2.85M

Phoenix Coyotes
Klinkhammer-Chipchura-Bissonnette $2.238M

San Jose Sharks
Burish-Desjardins-Wingels $3.375M

Vancouver Canucks
Sestito-Richardson-Weise $2.65M

_________________________________________________

I'll leave out my own analysis for now - how does Edmonton stack up against the rest of the Western Conference? Is the lack of depth a legitimate concern?


I've added the cap hits of the 4th lines you've listed. They range from $2.137M on the low end to $7.6M on the high end with an average of $3.494M. Only 3 western teams have more expensive 4th lines.

The Oilers' 4th line of Smyth-Lander-Brown is on the higher side at $3.887M. Personally, I'd like to see the 4th line as Joenssu-Lander-Jones, which is just below the average at $3.35M. If we do something crazy like put Hemsky on the 4th line (Smyth-Gordon-Jones seem to fit style-wise), then our salary structure goes way out of whack. A Joensuu-Lander-Hemsky line carries a $6.85M cap hit. It's not the most expensive 4th line in the conference, but it's close to double the average.

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Last edited by misfit: 07-26-2013 at 03:04 PM.
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Old
07-26-2013, 02:58 PM
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What is our 4th line anyways?

Smyth/Lander/Brown?

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07-26-2013, 02:58 PM
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joestevens29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofool6110 View Post
It's one thing to look at the fourth lines and be like - hey! we stack up pretty okay!

It's another thing around January to look at first lines and bang your head against a wall when the fourth line is now the second line because of injuries.
What can you truly expect in cap world? We can't go out and spend 8 mil on the 4th line just in case our 2nd and 3rd line get hurt.

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07-26-2013, 02:59 PM
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CupofOil
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Originally Posted by beaterson View Post
Can someone enlighten me as to why Smithson isn't coming back? He was an alright 4th liner, I'd prefer him over Lander right now.
Outside of faceoffs, i don't see what made Smithson better than Lander last season.
He was literally invisible every game expect the last one with the meaningless goal.
Lander didn't put up the points but he was noticeable at least, solid on the cycle, getting his nose dirty at times and was solid on the PK. He was starting to play pretty well before the injury and i actually don't mind giving him a shot at #4C this season.
I'd rather see Lander develop in that role because he has an actual future here than an incredibly mediocre player like Smithson, Konopka or Steckel who have no upside whatsoever, seems like a waste.

The problem i have is that the competition is extraordinarily weak with Acton, Smyth (why oh why) and Miller (who?) so it doesn't seem like Lander has to work too hard to earn the spot which is unfortunate.

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07-26-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by joestevens29 View Post
I don't have much expectations from our 4th line. I suspect if by x-mas we are having problems then MacT will address it with some proven talent, but for now he's trying out some potential hidden gems.
Why don't we sign some proven talent now, see how our "potential hidden gems" stack up to them in training camp and then waive whoever sucks?

That way we don't have to wait until Christmas to fix a problem which can be fixed right now.

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07-26-2013, 03:02 PM
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joestevens29
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Originally Posted by OilerTyler View Post
Why don't we sign some proven talent now, see how our "potential hidden gems" stack up to them in training camp and then waive whoever sucks?

That way we don't have to wait until Christmas to fix a problem which can be fixed right now.
Capspace.

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07-26-2013, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by joestevens29 View Post
Capspace.
We have enough to sign a fourth line centre

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07-26-2013, 03:07 PM
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joestevens29
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Originally Posted by CupofOil View Post
Outside of faceoffs, i don't see what made Smithson better than Lander last season.
He was literally invisible every game expect the last one with the meaningless goal.
Lander didn't put up the points but he was noticeable at least, solid on the cycle, getting his nose dirty at times and was solid on the PK. He was starting to play pretty well before the injury and i actually don't mind giving him a shot at #4C this season.
I'd rather see Lander develop in that role because he has an actual future here than an incredibly mediocre player like Smithson, Konopka or Steckel who have no upside whatsoever, seems like a waste.

The problem i have is that the competition is extraordinarily weak with Acton, Smyth (why oh why) and Miller (who?) so it doesn't seem like Lander has to work too hard to earn the spot which is unfortunate.
It would be nice to have one proven vet pushing Lander. I would've liked to see a Steckel in that mix of guys. But it doesn't seem to be an option now.

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07-26-2013, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by OilerTyler View Post
We have enough to sign a fourth line centre
I'd be okay with that, don't really want a winger though.

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07-26-2013, 03:41 PM
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Lander will be the 4th line center

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07-26-2013, 03:46 PM
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Chicago, Nashville, St.louis and LA look stellar.

I bet Brule gets third line minutes with Phoenix.

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07-26-2013, 03:47 PM
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Lander was sent down to the AHL in March and finished the regular season and play-offs with 18 points in 16 games.

What more did he have to do to prove he could cut it offensively as a 4th line C?

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07-26-2013, 03:59 PM
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Lander was sent down to the AHL in March and finished the regular season and play-offs with 18 points in 16 games.

What more did he have to do to prove he could cut it offensively as a 4th line C?
Do it in the NHL perhaps?

With RNH starting the season out with injury I'd be more comfortable with a veteran center that we could push up the lineup if we had to. If they want Lander in the NHL give him some time on the wing. I dont care much about the 4th line wingers but the 3rd line is a bit scary/not the right mix.

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07-26-2013, 04:26 PM
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Do it in the NHL perhaps?

With RNH starting the season out with injury I'd be more comfortable with a veteran center that we could push up the lineup if we had to. If they want Lander in the NHL give him some time on the wing. I dont care much about the 4th line wingers but the 3rd line is a bit scary/not the right mix.
Then let him play in the NHL?

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