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11-06-2013, 05:33 PM
  #276
tjcurrie
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Really liking his game overall, but what I noticed last night was that he's not hard on checks. At least 2-3 times I watched him kind of interrogate the Bruins puck carrier along the boards for a second then ease right off and give him space. Each time left me thinking that the Bruin player was probably dumbfounded, wondering where the heck the resistance disappeared to. Players aren't use to that.

Not sure how many of you here grew up playing street hockey every day (when not at the rink playing real hockey) like I did. If you did though, you know that one guy that even when the ball was buried in the snow on the yard four houses down and you just went to retrieve it to continue the game, he still was on your a$$? And all you could think was, "Jesus buddy let me get that da** ball!" That guy was a guy you hated to play against. Just relentless. Well Nichushkin was the exact opposite of that guy last night.

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11-06-2013, 07:15 PM
  #277
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Yanking him off the top line after one bad game sends the wrong message. He has to know one mistake, one bad game isn't the end of the world. If after a few more games the first game on the top line turns out to be an aberration then feel free to change things up. Now isn't the time, especially given that he has the ability to click with those guys in a way that nobody else aside from maybe Chiasson can.

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11-06-2013, 07:23 PM
  #278
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Yeah there's zero reason to remove him from that line. They need at least a few successive games. We know what that top line will be with say Cole or Peverley - good. It has a chance to be even better with Nichushkin. Give it that chance. Besides, we just "beat" the Bruins in Boston. Why change it up?


Last edited by tjcurrie: 11-06-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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11-06-2013, 08:31 PM
  #279
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I agree that keeping him there for the time being is the best option. He's learning on the fly and doing a good job of learning from his mistakes, so as long as he's still playing well and not causing the same problems from game-to-game, I think it's worth the risk having him up there. That said, he's 18 and inevitably when he slows down or hits a dry spell, I don't think we should panic when he's moved back down. It could do wonders for his confidence to get a few points on the top line though, hopefully in the form of goals.

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11-07-2013, 02:22 AM
  #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
Really liking his game overall, but what I noticed last night was that he's not hard on checks. At least 2-3 times I watched him kind of interrogate the Bruins puck carrier along the boards for a second then ease right off and give him space. Each time left me thinking that the Bruin player was probably dumbfounded, wondering where the heck the resistance disappeared to. Players aren't use to that.

Not sure how many of you here grew up playing street hockey every day (when not at the rink playing real hockey) like I did. If you did though, you know that one guy that even when the ball was buried in the snow on the yard four houses down and you just went to retrieve it to continue the game, he still was on your a$$? And all you could think was, "Jesus buddy let me get that da** ball!" That guy was a guy you hated to play against. Just relentless. Well Nichushkin was the exact opposite of that guy last night.
Checks don't equal good defense. Excellent anticipation and positioning does. Loui Eriksson is a prime example. Nichushkin is clearly that type of player off the puck. That's not just the last game, that's his style. His power forward game is more when he's on the puck, driving to the net, being a presence on the boards and difficult to move. He also is more than willing to stick his nose in front of the net on offensive plays.

Also a few of the times he went to do battle with a Bruin for the puck, he actually did a double take and moved away because he understood he was better off covering an opponent in acres of open ice, with teammates better positioned to get in the physical battle. If he ends up as good as Eriksson defensively, Im fine with that. He might elevate his physicality as he adapts to the league as well as gets stronger, as despite his size, he's still only 18 with plenty of room for improvement conditioning wise.

There are others that can do physical stuff on D anyway. His backchecking, when he flies down the ice to catch up to guys on the rush tells you he's not lazy.

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11-07-2013, 03:15 AM
  #281
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I've seen Nichushkin be physical away from the puck and I've seen him avoid physicality. I'll let TJ respond for himself but I took his post to mean that he was soft on the forecheck more than talking specifically defense, which I would agree with wholeheartedly. If he's going to have success in this league he is absolutely going to have to ratchet up his forechecking skills and effort. His soft play along the boards is his biggest weakness right now offensively. Since we're on the Eriksson comparison, Loui's play along the boards was his biggest asset from the very beginning.

I think he'll figure it out sooner or later but for now calling a spade a spade is fine by me.

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11-07-2013, 08:55 AM
  #282
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Originally Posted by Dundalis View Post
Checks don't equal good defense. Excellent anticipation and positioning does. Loui Eriksson is a prime example. Nichushkin is clearly that type of player off the puck. That's not just the last game, that's his style. His power forward game is more when he's on the puck, driving to the net, being a presence on the boards and difficult to move. He also is more than willing to stick his nose in front of the net on offensive plays.

Also a few of the times he went to do battle with a Bruin for the puck, he actually did a double take and moved away because he understood he was better off covering an opponent in acres of open ice, with teammates better positioned to get in the physical battle. If he ends up as good as Eriksson defensively, Im fine with that. He might elevate his physicality as he adapts to the league as well as gets stronger, as despite his size, he's still only 18 with plenty of room for improvement conditioning wise.

There are others that can do physical stuff on D anyway. His backchecking, when he flies down the ice to catch up to guys on the rush tells you he's not lazy.
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Originally Posted by glovesave_35 View Post
I've seen Nichushkin be physical away from the puck and I've seen him avoid physicality. I'll let TJ respond for himself but I took his post to mean that he was soft on the forecheck more than talking specifically defense, which I would agree with wholeheartedly. If he's going to have success in this league he is absolutely going to have to ratchet up his forechecking skills and effort. His soft play along the boards is his biggest weakness right now offensively. Since we're on the Eriksson comparison, Loui's play along the boards was his biggest asset from the very beginning.

I think he'll figure it out sooner or later but for now calling a spade a spade is fine by me.
Exactly.

I said I like his game overall - defense included - but he's a little unsure when it comes to checking and that is a part of playing good defense.

I get that some times a player doesn't want to over commit and over chase putting himself out of position (especially on the penalty kill) and I can see him actually getting in good position when he does back off so that I like, but 5 on 5 when you're a winger and your opposite winger has the puck along the boards in your zone and you're on him you don't let him go. You stay on him and make life hard for him. That's just what you do. It's winning the battles.

I'm not trying to be hard on the guy, like I said I like his game but it's just something I noticed about him and it is valid. Good to see I'm not the only one that noticed.


Last edited by tjcurrie: 11-07-2013 at 09:04 AM.
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11-07-2013, 12:20 PM
  #283
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On the forecheck, he did seem to be out quite a bit against Chara, and he almost looked intimidated. That's not necessarily a great thing, but it's far from shocking an 18 year old struggles with going hard at that monster.

It was pretty awesome to see Benn routinely stare him down as Chara was getting angrier and angrier. I love that about Benn. Dude has never seemed to be intimidated by anyone. I think he can rub off on Nuke.

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11-07-2013, 12:29 PM
  #284
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I don't know a ton about Russian hockey but I do know it's not nearly as physical as the NHL game. I imagine he's just not used to going in hard all the time to try and win the puck or deliver a hit after it's gone. He does it sometimes, he's trying but like most guys you revert to form when you're unsure and he just doesn't yet know when he should hit, when he should get his stick in, when he should back off or when he should try to rough someone up once he gets there. Only time, coaching, and experience are going to fix that.

Just like the vast leaps his backcheck has improved I expect him to be far more comfortable along the boards towards the end of the season than he is right now. Think of it this way he's leaps and bounds better defensively that what Yakupov is giving Edmonton right now. I don't want to be rah rah all positive about him because there are a ton of things he could do better but there are still nerves. I bet he wouldn't admit it but a sold out TD Bank with those fans is rather intimidating. I expect he got a quiet word after the game and he'll come out ready at the Joe tonight.

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11-07-2013, 01:30 PM
  #285
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Nuke is a big boy, he'll be a tank in the corners in no time!

He took a big lick last game in open ice though.

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11-07-2013, 01:37 PM
  #286
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As much as you guys are nitpicking at him I just want to point out how insane it is that he's 18, in the NHL, and is getting better and better every game. There were a few things I was skeptical about when we drafted him but he is the best pick you could have hoped for at 10 in that draft. Kid is going to be a stud if he keeps improving at this rate and his offensive skills as well as the flashes of defensive awareness I've seen make me very excited for him. Likely the best thing picked in the first round since Jarome Iginla.

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11-07-2013, 01:44 PM
  #287
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As much as you guys are nitpicking at him I just want to point out how insane it is that he's 18, in the NHL, and is getting better and better every game. There were a few things I was skeptical about when we drafted him but he is the best pick you could have hoped for at 10 in that draft. Kid is going to be a stud if he keeps improving at this rate and his offensive skills as well as the flashes of defensive awareness I've seen make me very excited for him. Likely the best thing picked in the first round since Jarome Iginla.
Correct. All the criticizing and analysis of his game is 100% valid, but I think most of us have a pretty good grasp that he's doing amazingly for an 18 year old. The fact we can say "Ok he improved his defensive game at the NHL level, time to up the physicality" for a guy drafted 4 months ago is insane.

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11-07-2013, 02:29 PM
  #288
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Correct. All the criticizing and analysis of his game is 100% valid, but I think most of us have a pretty good grasp that he's doing amazingly for an 18 year old. The fact we can say "Ok he improved his defensive game at the NHL level, time to up the physicality" for a guy drafted 4 months ago is insane.
Not to mention he's doing this all in a foreign country where he didn't really speak the language or anything when he came over. Hell I got uncomfortable going to job interviews at 18, I can't even imagine how everything has been for him in the past few months.

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11-07-2013, 03:34 PM
  #289
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Not to mention he's doing this all in a foreign country where he didn't really speak the language or anything when he came over. Hell I got uncomfortable going to job interviews at 18, I can't even imagine how everything has been for him in the past few months.
ha, did you grow up interviewing and show a natural talent for interviewing? (jk)

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11-07-2013, 06:01 PM
  #290
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I cant recall exactly who it was each time but Im pretty sure it was Marchand at one point he backed off of. So Im not speaking of his forechecking but rather battling his man in our own end.

I say that with the understanding that he's an 18 year old Russian kid learning the NA game in the best league in the world. It doesnt make it invalid or mean that Im being hard on the guy. Just something Id talk to him about if Im his coach. All part of the learning process.

I look at him compared to Yakupov up here. There's a major difference. Neither are lighting it up but in Nichushkin's case, he's not exactly a weak spot out there and he is doing a lot of the little things right whereas Yakupov isn't. Stats lovers who arent watching wouldnt know that difference. Thats something we can be confident about when it comes to him. He gets it.


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11-07-2013, 10:15 PM
  #291
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Another nice step forward ... such a damn smart play to crash the net after dishing to Peverley in OT. Big reason that puck goes in.

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11-07-2013, 10:29 PM
  #292
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Not to mention how he protected the puck as he was going behind the net and the smart behind the back pass he made to Pevs.

I didn't get to watch much of tonights game due to work but my buddy told me Nich was taken off the 1st line tonight during the game. Why was that? How did he do today? And I am guessing he played with Cole and Fiddler on the 3rd line once Pevs moved back up to the 1st line?

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11-07-2013, 10:41 PM
  #293
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Not to mention how he protected the puck as he was going behind the net and the smart behind the back pass he made to Pevs.

I didn't get to watch much of tonights game due to work but my buddy told me Nich was taken off the 1st line tonight during the game. Why was that? How did he do today? And I am guessing he played with Cole and Fiddler on the 3rd line once Pevs moved back up to the 1st line?
He looked fine early in the game and was playing well. I think the move was made because of how bad Detroit's top line was destroying Dallas. The only time they looked contained was when Pevs with Benn and Seguin were on the ice with Robidas and Dillon. It was a necessary move, and Nuke actually responded by playing even better.

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11-07-2013, 10:49 PM
  #294
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I agree it had more to do with defending against Datsuyk's line.

Overall Nichushkin used his physicality very well in this game IMO. Since lines look like they are going to be relatively fluid I don't really read too much into Peverly and Nichushkin or whoever trading places.

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11-07-2013, 10:49 PM
  #295
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He looked fine early in the game and was playing well. I think the move was made because of how bad Detroit's top line was destroying Dallas. The only time they looked contained was when Pevs with Benn and Seguin were on the ice with Robidas and Dillon. It was a necessary move, and Nuke actually responded by playing even better.
Good to hear. Gonna be interesting to see where Ruff puts him on Saturday

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11-07-2013, 11:03 PM
  #296
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Good to hear. Gonna be interesting to see where Ruff puts him on Saturday
My guess is back with the top pair. I think Pevs and he will switch as needed. If they need more defense to shore up a hot line ... Pevs will come up with Benn and Seguin.

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11-07-2013, 11:48 PM
  #297
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I want to see how switching Chiasson and Nuke would look. Could be interesting.

Benn-Segs-Chiasson
Wizard-Eakin-Nichushkin

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11-08-2013, 12:24 AM
  #298
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You would put him back on the top line why? The hawks have just as good a top line as the wings if not better and we better put our best guys out there. Nuke is progressing just fine but let's give him some time. Let him grow into his game while playing with comparable competition which was more on display after Ruff changed up the lines tonight.

As someone else said earlier"keep sprinkling him in"

Someone else suggested (RR?) switching Nuke and Chiasson. Maybe thats not such a crazy idea, however, not sure right now that Nuke is the finisher for the Wizards setups. I could be wrong, but even Razor/Ralph said he needs to learn to elevate in tight like Horcs did tonight IIRC.

Edit: My bad, it was Zr

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11-08-2013, 09:59 AM
  #299
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I love that we have nichushkin.. but my view of him is that he's used to more space/respect than he's gotten in the nhl. he looks powerful, but he also looks a bit slow to me. I hope he continues to trend upwards, tough to decide where he fits best.. as the lower lines squanders his potential, but putting him on the top line also seems a little misguided at the moment.

my take is that he should progress on maybe a 2nd or 3rd line. then again, maybe im talking out my butt.

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11-08-2013, 10:02 AM
  #300
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I love that we have nichushkin.. but my view of him is that he's used to more space/respect than he's gotten in the nhl. he looks powerful, but he also looks a bit slow to me. I hope he continues to trend upwards, tough to decide where he fits best.. as the lower lines squanders his potential, but putting him on the top line also seems a little misguided at the moment.

my take is that he should progress on maybe a 2nd or 3rd line. then again, maybe im talking out my butt.
I think he looks slow at times because he isnt quite sure what to do and that once he totally gets it he will be able to use his speed more. He has had happy hands so far as well but shows flashes of great puckhandling.

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