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Eureka!! Hemsky should play center!!

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03-25-2007, 03:16 PM
  #1
Knighttown
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Eureka!! Hemsky should play center!!

Fact: Ales Hemsky is one of the most talented players in the NHL.

Fact: Ales Hemsky works hard, in game and by all accounts, in the offseason, to reach his potential.

Fact: Ales Hemsky has as many points as Chris Clark.

A case can be made that no player outside of Alex Kovalev is doing less with more than Ales Hemsky, and unlike Kovalev, Hemsky seems to have his head on straight. So if he's trying his best and still underachieving, what's next.

My solution, and I think it's a good one:

ALES HEMSKY IS A CENTER!

A huge majority of the best snipers of the NHL are wingers, in fact 17/20 of the top goal scorers play the wing including Ovechkin, Heatley, Kovalchuck and Vanek...pure scorers. Conversely, even though there are twice as many wingers as centers in the NHL, the assist leaders of the league are two-thirds centers. Your typical "setup men" are guys who score two assists for every goal and include Thornton, Crosby, Marc Savard, Henrik Sedin, Datsyuk, Nylander and Gomez. There are a few wingers with lots of assists but it is very rare for an elite winger to have that 2 assist:1 goal ratio, in fact the only one to do it regularly is Alex Tanguay.

Ales Hemsky's assist to goal ratio is 4:1, one of the highest among players with 50 points (behind Henrik 6:1 and Scott Gomez 4.1:1).

The theory behind this is that centers get to carry the puck more and can work with both sides of the ice. Because Hemsky is always flying up the R wing, it is easy to game plan for him. It is not easy for a dman to get him the puck because the boards act like another defender with the neutral zone trap. Moving him to the middle gives him the full rink to sho off his creativity.

Another advantage Hemsky would gain is the ability to work with right-handed shots...unlike now, when its lefties or bust.

Thoughts??

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03-25-2007, 03:20 PM
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Hemsky is not a 2-way player.

[/thread]

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03-25-2007, 03:21 PM
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Does it really matter with Hemsky?

In the defensive end, he's better suited to the wings, and offensively, he dictates the play so he goes where he wants, and his linemates "get open".

I don't think there's any added benefit to Hemsky playing centre, other than simply being able to call him a centre.

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03-25-2007, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemskyforpm View Post
Hemsky is not a 2-way player.

[/thread]
Neither is Savard. Besides he isn't horrible in his own end.

I think the problem with this idea is centers slow the game down. Hemsky always speeds things up and goes to fast for his own good. If Hemsky learned how to move East West a little more instead of his North South he will take off IMO.

It is an interesting thought though and somthing we could try on this last road trip to see if there is some potential there.

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Old
03-25-2007, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone View Post
Does it really matter with Hemsky?

In the defensive end, he's better suited to the wings, and offensively, he dictates the play so he goes where he wants, and his linemates "get open".

I don't think there's any added benefit to Hemsky playing centre, other than simply being able to call him a centre.
Makes perfect sense there DB. As you've said, he goes where he wants to anyhow. If he did that and had to back-check against the oppositions centers, we'd be in trouble.

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03-25-2007, 04:25 PM
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Knighttown
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Originally Posted by Bryanbryoil View Post
Makes perfect sense there DB. As you've said, he goes where he wants to anyhow. If he did that and had to back-check against the oppositions centers, we'd be in trouble.

I disagree completely that Hemsky "roams", in fact, I would argue that I can't name another player who roams less than Hemsky. Almost exclusively, he flies down the right wing, challenges the defenseman with speed and curls around the back of the net waiting for someting to open up. It's a good play that looks dangerous, but its easy to prepare for because you know its coming. Do you remember the first game of the year against Calgary. The Flames defense had fits because of that play but they've (and every other team) has learned to back in and collapse to the middle.
He'll also try to beat the defender one-on-one sometimes with less sucess this year than last, but can you ever remember him coming in on the off-wing? More ice means more room to operate. Playing the wing means playing the wall. Playing the wall means more hits and for someone his size, its not the right strategy.

I do agree with the poster who said that Hemsky needs to learn to slow the play down and move east to west. Also, he needs to give the puck up to get it back more often, give and go's or criss-crosses.

And name me which of the playmaking centers I mentioned are Selke candidates? Thonton, Datsyuk, Sedin, Savard? Shelter Hemsky with easy minutes and he'll be fine. We've got Horcoff and Stoll to play the tough minutes...we need someone to score 100 freaking points, with a +/- of even. I'm not saying he should have been a center and has been miscast. At 22, he would have been eaten alive. He's older now. This is his team and its time to take on a new challenge.

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03-25-2007, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knighttown View Post
I disagree completely that Hemsky "roams", in fact, I would argue that I can't name another player who roams less than Hemsky. Almost exclusively, he flies down the right wing, challenges the defenseman with speed and curls around the back of the net waiting for someting to open up. It's a good play that looks dangerous, but its easy to prepare for because you know its coming. Do you remember the first game of the year against Calgary. The Flames defense had fits because of that play but they've (and every other team) has learned to back in and collapse to the middle.
He'll also try to beat the defender one-on-one sometimes with less sucess this year than last, but can you ever remember him coming in on the off-wing? More ice means more room to operate. Playing the wing means playing the wall. Playing the wall means more hits and for someone his size, its not the right strategy.

I do agree with the poster who said that Hemsky needs to learn to slow the play down and move east to west. Also, he needs to give the puck up to get it back more often, give and go's or criss-crosses.

And name me which of the playmaking centers I mentioned are Selke candidates? Thonton, Datsyuk, Sedin, Savard? Shelter Hemsky with easy minutes and he'll be fine. We've got Horcoff and Stoll to play the tough minutes...we need someone to score 100 freaking points, with a +/- of even. I'm not saying he should have been a center and has been miscast. At 22, he would have been eaten alive. He's older now. This is his team and its time to take on a new challenge.
I like these points a lot, and there is a lot of truth to them.

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03-25-2007, 06:18 PM
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I don't seem the harm in trying it, isn't the rest of the season all about experimenting and seeing what guys can do for next year?

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03-25-2007, 06:41 PM
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I actually agree with the OP on this out. As revolutionary as it might sound, playmakers are traditionally better at the wing. Plus, I think Hemsky has proven to be at least commited to being a better player. I really don't feel he has that upper-echelon goal scoring ability, so I say use him where you can use him best.

But, let's see if we can't comprimise: Try it for a couple of games and see how it might feel? I think in preseason this is worth trying at least, and by the regular season you can make a decision on how much you liked it or not and go from there.

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Old
03-25-2007, 06:47 PM
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No ... but we definitely need a center who we can pair with Hemsky and ideally grow the two together.

What do you think it would take to grab Patrice Bergeron from Boston? They've had a dissapointing season and already have a top 10 point getting center in Savard ... they may be open to offers for Bergeron.

I would offer Lupul + Pouliot + Winny. Of course I'd add Horcoff, but I doubt they're interested in his contract, though if they are, he'd be gone in a blink too.

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03-25-2007, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knighttown View Post
Fact: Ales Hemsky is one of the most talented players in the NHL.

Fact: Ales Hemsky works hard, in game and by all accounts, in the offseason, to reach his potential.

Fact: Ales Hemsky has as many points as Chris Clark.

A case can be made that no player outside of Alex Kovalev is doing less with more than Ales Hemsky, and unlike Kovalev, Hemsky seems to have his head on straight. So if he's trying his best and still underachieving, what's next.

My solution, and I think it's a good one:

ALES HEMSKY IS A CENTER!

A huge majority of the best snipers of the NHL are wingers, in fact 17/20 of the top goal scorers play the wing including Ovechkin, Heatley, Kovalchuck and Vanek...pure scorers. Conversely, even though there are twice as many wingers as centers in the NHL, the assist leaders of the league are two-thirds centers. Your typical "setup men" are guys who score two assists for every goal and include Thornton, Crosby, Marc Savard, Henrik Sedin, Datsyuk, Nylander and Gomez. There are a few wingers with lots of assists but it is very rare for an elite winger to have that 2 assist:1 goal ratio, in fact the only one to do it regularly is Alex Tanguay.

Ales Hemsky's assist to goal ratio is 4:1, one of the highest among players with 50 points (behind Henrik 6:1 and Scott Gomez 4.1:1).

The theory behind this is that centers get to carry the puck more and can work with both sides of the ice. Because Hemsky is always flying up the R wing, it is easy to game plan for him. It is not easy for a dman to get him the puck because the boards act like another defender with the neutral zone trap. Moving him to the middle gives him the full rink to sho off his creativity.

Another advantage Hemsky would gain is the ability to work with right-handed shots...unlike now, when its lefties or bust.

Thoughts??
i've been saying this for as long as 83 has been an Oiler..problem is that under this coach, if you dont play defence first, you have no hope in the middle

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Old
03-25-2007, 07:05 PM
  #12
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Hemsky does fine even under Mac T's system. We just need to get a real no.1 center to play with him and Hemmer needs to start to shoot more.

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