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We have a checking center, but no checking line

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09-26-2003, 01:14 PM
  #1
Kodiak
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We have a checking center, but no checking line

Does this not concern anyone else? Last year, we paid Holik all that money because he was the best shut-down center in the world, and we play him out of position. This year, we decide to go with strength down the middle by having Lindros, Nedved, Holik, and Messier all stay at center. So we have 2 offensive centers, a checking center, and a pp/pk specialist, but we have no checking wingers. Lundmark, Petro, LaCouture, Simon, and Barnaby are all expected to get their ice time on the bottom 2 lines. Most of these five are either pests (Petro and Barnaby) or offensive players (Lundmark and Simon). The only defensive forward we have (LaCouture) is labeled a 4th liner by everyone here.

In short, I want to know why everyone seems to think Holik can check an entire top line by himself and why everyone is so set with our bottom 6 wingers. I see this as a major problem and another example of how this team is not being constructed properly, and if the opportunity came along to trade Barnaby and cash for someone like Ethan Moreau (who despite being physical, good defensively, and able to chip in 10-15 goals is called useless by Ranger fans), I would do it.

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09-26-2003, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodiak
or offensive players (...Simon).
Whoa

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09-26-2003, 01:20 PM
  #3
Kodiak
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Simon is not a defensive player, nor is he a pest, nor is he an enforcer anymore. His game is built around scoring goals. Whether or not he's good at it is another story entirely.

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09-26-2003, 01:46 PM
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RANGERDIEHARD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodiak
Does this not concern anyone else? Last year, we paid Holik all that money because he was the best shut-down center in the world, and we play him out of position. This year, we decide to go with strength down the middle by having Lindros, Nedved, Holik, and Messier all stay at center. So we have 2 offensive centers, a checking center, and a pp/pk specialist, but we have no checking wingers. Lundmark, Petro, LaCouture, Simon, and Barnaby are all expected to get their ice time on the bottom 2 lines. Most of these five are either pests (Petro and Barnaby) or offensive players (Lundmark and Simon). The only defensive forward we have (LaCouture) is labeled a 4th liner by everyone here.

In short, I want to know why everyone seems to think Holik can check an entire top line by himself and why everyone is so set with our bottom 6 wingers. I see this as a major problem and another example of how this team is not being constructed properly, and if the opportunity came along to trade Barnaby and cash for someone like Ethan Moreau (who despite being physical, good defensively, and able to chip in 10-15 goals is called useless by Ranger fans), I would do it.

Yeah this is definately a problem. The truth is no one on this team is suited to play a checking "role" with Holik. Just think of some of the top lines out there; Amonte - Roenick - LeClaire, Murray - Thorton - Knuble -there is no way that guys like Barnaby , Simon or even Lundmark can match the size and/or speed of these guys. The lack of defenive forwards is a major issue.

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09-26-2003, 02:00 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RANGERDIEHARD
Yeah this is definately a problem. The truth is no one on this team is suited to play a checking "role" with Holik. Just think of some of the top lines out there; Amonte - Roenick - LeClaire, Murray - Thorton - Knuble -there is no way that guys like Barnaby , Simon or even Lundmark can match the size and/or speed of these guys. The lack of defenive forwards is a major issue.
Small aside, but I don't think we'll need to worry about LeClair ... isn't his back still messed up? I don't think he'll ever be able to play the way he used to anymore.

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09-26-2003, 02:05 PM
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Larry Melnyk
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I disagree mainly, I think Barnaby is a perfect linemate for Holik....He bangs, He checks, he plays some D and he's a pain in the arse...Not much more to want for a 3rd liner ...The problem is the other winger..And that's where I agree with ya...All of the candidates are missing some ingredient (Lundmark, Petro, Lacouture) and one is total waste of flesh (Simon).....Of these possibilities I really like the Lundamark option...yeah, it won't be a great checking line, but it could be a good all around line...And, if the team does somehow put it together, maybe you get that checker near the deadline if needbe...ANother possibility is Carter with Holik, that would not be half bad...

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09-26-2003, 02:49 PM
  #7
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Larry...

...if Holik is going to be our checking center, he needs someone else who can play defense. I know what Barnaby brings to the table, and I think he's a great pest. But on his best day, Barnaby is mediocre defensively. Carter is a bit better, but I would not call him a true 2-way forward. He is still lacking a bit on the defensive end. Lundmark is still young and hasn't learned how to play good defense at the NHL level. If it was Barnaby or Lundmark along with a true defensive winger, then that would be a pretty good checking line. But if we go with Simon/Barnaby and Lundmark, we're throwing Holik out there with non-defensive wingers and expecting him to check top lines. That's not a good plan for success.

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09-26-2003, 03:21 PM
  #8
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we don't have a checking line?!?!?!?
makes you reeeeeeeeally wonder why...

chris simon 1.5 million (NYR)
magnus arvedson 1.5 million (VAN)

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09-26-2003, 03:58 PM
  #9
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simon's game is NOT based around scoring goals...he had 1 (ONE) season where he scored 29 playing with oates that is IT end of offense

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09-26-2003, 04:51 PM
  #10
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You guys should have gone after Arvedson.

Arvedson - Holik - Lundmark

You have the defensive specailst in Arvedson. The great two way and gritty play of Holik and the offensive stud in Lundmark. Lundmark also would have benifted from playing with two premier defensive players in Holik and Arvedson and then after a year of playing with two defensive players there would be room for Jamie to move up into the top two lines.

I cant think of any defensive/checking players avalible for the Rangers to aquire.

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09-26-2003, 05:44 PM
  #11
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I dont have a problem with using Lundmark with Holik just because they play different styles. These two have proven time and time again that they have chemistry together, and sometimes we should just accept that and not worry about anything else. Let me remind you that Holik spent much of his last few years in Jersey playing with Gomez, who is by no means a defensive forward, and was still able to take care of the checking duties. I really think Lundmark can take on a similar role. He can give the line a speedy offensive threat, and I dont think he'll be a liability defensively. People too often assume that just because a player is young, he doesnt know how to play defense. I think defensive skills are more a matter of god-given instincts and effort than something that is taught. And from what I've seen out of Lundy so far, he seems to be responsible defensively.

The only positive in using Simon on Holik's line is that he's actually pretty good at using his size in the trenches and digging out pucks. But I shudder to even think about the number of penalties he'll take if he's asked to play against top lines. I've seen him play sporadically over the last few years, and I honestly think he's one of the worst defensive players in the league. Not somebody I'd be comfortable sending out against the Thorntons, Sundins, and Roenicks of the world.

Barnaby may not be the perfect defensive specialist to play with Holik, but you know what, he's far more deserving of a job than Simon. All he's done is play his heart out every single night for us. He's feisty, he's tough, he's good down low, he'll drop the gloves, he's even improved alot with the puck. I know some of you may find this ridiculous, but Barnaby was one of our better setup men last season. And he has stated that he's most comfortable playing with Holik. I dont see any better options.

Lundmark-Holik-Barnaby

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09-27-2003, 06:55 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyr4life5186
I dont have a problem with using Lundmark with Holik just because they play different styles. These two have proven time and time again that they have chemistry together, and sometimes we should just accept that and not worry about anything else. Let me remind you that Holik spent much of his last few years in Jersey playing with Gomez, who is by no means a defensive forward, and was still able to take care of the checking duties. I really think Lundmark can take on a similar role. He can give the line a speedy offensive threat, and I dont think he'll be a liability defensively. People too often assume that just because a player is young, he doesnt know how to play defense. I think defensive skills are more a matter of god-given instincts and effort than something that is taught. And from what I've seen out of Lundy so far, he seems to be responsible defensively.
Holik played with Gomez for a part of his rookie year. After that, NJ was trying to build a 2nd line around Gomez and a 3rd line around Holik. Gomez did not play extensively with Holik. The staple on Holik's line was always McKay on the right. The left was usually filled by Pandolfo or sometimes Brylin. But McKay was always there, so even if the LW on the line was an offensive player, like Gomez, Holik had at least one other defensive forward on the ice with him.

There's a big difference in size, speed, and skill when you come up to the NHL for the first time. A player that was good defensively in the minors, or Junior, or Europe needs to adjust to that, and it's not easy to do. A player that is not known as being particularly good defensively (like Lundmark) has a long way to go, and the process takes years. Lundmark isn't bad, considering his age, but he's a long, long way from good. But the point remains: how are we supposed to have a top checking line when 2/3rds of it is merely decent defensively?

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09-27-2003, 07:37 AM
  #13
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Matthew Barnaby does a fine job playing checking winger -- he's not a "defensive specialist" but he's responsible enough and he makes up for the lack of defensive play you'd want in a specialist by being a pest and getting under the skin of the top opposing players.

As for the other winger on the "checking line"... Dominic effin Moore.

I don't care what anyone says -- he's the best option, if you want a pure checking line.

I'd go with these...

Hlavac-Nedved-Kovalev
Rucinsky-Lindros-Carter
Barnaby/Lundmark-Holik-Moore/Lundmark
Simon-Messier-LaCouture

I see no problem with playing Moore on RW -- Colorado never has any problem turning centers into wingers (see Drury, Deadmarsh, and more recently, Tanguay), so why should we?

It's much harder to turn a winger into a center than the opposite. The center ice position requires much more responsibility in their own end.

On a side note, Rucinsky has played very well in pre-season. I like him. He might be our fastest skater right now.

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09-27-2003, 09:14 AM
  #14
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chris simon 1.5 million (NYR)
magnus arvedson 1.5 million (VAN)


decisions like that are why we suck.

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Old
09-27-2003, 11:30 AM
  #15
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more like because we were new york, he expected more money from us. we had signed simon by the time he signed with vancouver. sather dug his own hole with that signing.

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09-27-2003, 11:46 AM
  #16
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Yeah, I think it’s a pretty big concern, particularly in light of the fact that not only are we lacking the personnel to put together a decent checking line, we don’t have any defensemen that are particularly strong defensively, either. Yes, we have a solid goaltending tandem, but we can’t count on those guys to steal games for us every single night. Who on this team do you put out in against the opposition’s top lines? When it’s late in the game and we’re up by a goal and somebody takes a stupid penalty, what combination of players from the current roster are you comfortable putting out there to preserve the lead?

This team, unfortunately, is built to fight yesteryear’s battles, i.e. shootouts. And while they may be able to win a few games that way, you need to be able to grind out 2-1 wins in today’s NHL as well, and I seriously question how successfully this team is going to be able to do that.

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09-27-2003, 05:51 PM
  #17
RANGERDIEHARD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leetchie
Matthew Barnaby does a fine job playing checking winger -- he's not a "defensive specialist" but he's responsible enough and he makes up for the lack of defensive play you'd want in a specialist by being a pest and getting under the skin of the top opposing players.

As for the other winger on the "checking line"... Dominic effin Moore.

I don't care what anyone says -- he's the best option, if you want a pure checking line.

I'd go with these...

Hlavac-Nedved-Kovalev
Rucinsky-Lindros-Carter
Barnaby/Lundmark-Holik-Moore/Lundmark
Simon-Messier-LaCouture

I see no problem with playing Moore on RW -- Colorado never has any problem turning centers into wingers (see Drury, Deadmarsh, and more recently, Tanguay), so why should we?



It's much harder to turn a winger into a center than the opposite. The center ice position requires much more responsibility in their own end.

On a side note, Rucinsky has played very well in pre-season. I like him. He might be our fastest skater right now.

Dominoc Moore is an interesting option.

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Old
09-27-2003, 06:54 PM
  #18
Kodiak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leetchie
Matthew Barnaby does a fine job playing checking winger -- he's not a "defensive specialist" but he's responsible enough and he makes up for the lack of defensive play you'd want in a specialist by being a pest and getting under the skin of the top opposing players.

As for the other winger on the "checking line"... Dominic effin Moore.

I don't care what anyone says -- he's the best option, if you want a pure checking line.

I'd go with these...

Hlavac-Nedved-Kovalev
Rucinsky-Lindros-Carter
Barnaby/Lundmark-Holik-Moore/Lundmark
Simon-Messier-LaCouture

I see no problem with playing Moore on RW -- Colorado never has any problem turning centers into wingers (see Drury, Deadmarsh, and more recently, Tanguay), so why should we?

It's much harder to turn a winger into a center than the opposite. The center ice position requires much more responsibility in their own end.

On a side note, Rucinsky has played very well in pre-season. I like him. He might be our fastest skater right now.
Everyone wants Moore to be another York so badly that they're willing to overlook his actual play. York would have been a good fit on Holik's wing because despite his size, he was very smart defensively. Moore, while I think he could turn into a fine 2-way player, is no Mike York. He doesn't have the same style. He doesn't have the same smarts. And he is not the answer to our checking woes. Arvedson would have helped a lot. If we could get Moreau out of Edmonton for a spare part, he would help a lot. But Moore, he'd be another kid not being played in the proper role. He's an offensive player, not a checker. Like Lundmark, he wouldn't be so bad on that line if the other wing was manned by a defensive forward. But the point remains the same: we cannot throw Holik out there with nothing but pests and offense-first players as wingers and expect him to check top lines.

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09-27-2003, 06:56 PM
  #19
Kodiak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laches
Yeah, I think it’s a pretty big concern, particularly in light of the fact that not only are we lacking the personnel to put together a decent checking line, we don’t have any defensemen that are particularly strong defensively, either. Yes, we have a solid goaltending tandem, but we can’t count on those guys to steal games for us every single night. Who on this team do you put out in against the opposition’s top lines? When it’s late in the game and we’re up by a goal and somebody takes a stupid penalty, what combination of players from the current roster are you comfortable putting out there to preserve the lead?

This team, unfortunately, is built to fight yesteryear’s battles, i.e. shootouts. And while they may be able to win a few games that way, you need to be able to grind out 2-1 wins in today’s NHL as well, and I seriously question how successfully this team is going to be able to do that.
A pairing of Malakhov and Mironov would make life miserable for opposing top lines for 1 out of every 3 games. As for those other 2 games...

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