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Old
11-12-2007, 02:30 AM
  #226
Sturminator
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Nalyd and I have a little announcement to make. We're rearranging the roster slightly in order to spread out the scoring/grit a bit better among the secondary scoring lines and defensive pairings. The new roster is as follows:

Howe - Gretzky - Bathgate
Kariya - Federko - Stuart
Phillips - Laprade - Finnigan
Holik - Adams - Dillon

Clancy - Horner
Vasiliev - Griffis
Norstrom - Cameron

...plus goalies, spares and such.

All we've done is switched Stuart and Dillon and Griffis and Cameron. Bruce Stuart gives the Kariya line what it was previously lacking: toughness and physical play. Stuart is big, strong, physical and very fast - an early power forward. Obviously era must be taken into account when evaluating his scoring feats (he clearly falls short of Dillon, at any rate), but Stuart was a dominant scorer for his time and should provide reasonable offense for his role on a line with two other fine offensive players.

Cecil Dillon on a "4th line" is kind of an eye-popper, especially considering that Holik and Adams are among the better 4th line scorers in the draft, though it will not be a true 4th line. The Gretzky line will play top line minutes and the other three lines will all essentially split icetime. The Kariya line won't be as much of an offensive threat with Stuart in for Dillon, but they will win the puck more effectively and won't be nearly as vulnerable to grind lines. Cecil Dillon on a 4th line is going to be hard for bottom-pairing defensemen and non-checkingline forwards to contain, and again this line isn't lacking in grit, as Adams was a tenacious, physical player and both Holik and Dillon are able checkers.

At any rate, it will be difficult to shut down both the Kariya and Dillon lines at the same time (especially with Harry Cameron on the 3rd pairing), and none will be easily pushed around. They're still not the biggest or toughest units in the league, but with the scoring and grit spread out better, they aren't particularly vulnerable to physical play and focusing on one means leaving the door open for the other for all but the deepest defensive/checking teams.

Griffis goes in for Cameron mainly because he's bigger and stronger. Vasiliev is an elite shutdown defenseman and we wanted to put him with a partner who was defensively stronger to approximate something like a shutdown pairing. I don't expect Si Griffis to be an elite defensive zone player, but he should be a good one, and his combination of size, speed and skill lined up next to Vasiliev means that it should be a strong defensive pairing both down low and in transition, in addition to being quite capable offensively.

Harry Cameron on a 3rd pairing is a bit like Cecil Dillon on a 4th line - a seeming waste of talent. The Cameron - Norstrom pairing will get more icetime than a typical 3rd pairing, however - probably something like 15 minutes of even strength icetime a game. Cameron should come out to just shy of twenty minutes TOI after 1st unit powerplay time is added in and Norstrom should end up around 17+ after his 2nd unit PK time is accounted for.

With the exception of the Gretzky line, no one unit on the team will be leaned on heavily for icetime. The Seals are a team that is built to skate hard. Evening out talent and icetime among the secondary scoring lines and defensive pairings means that all of the players will have their legs deeper into the game and deeper into the playoffs.

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11-12-2007, 06:47 AM
  #227
MXD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Nalyd and I have a little announcement to make. We're rearranging the roster slightly in order to spread out the scoring/grit a bit better among the secondary scoring lines and defensive pairings. The new roster is as follows:

Howe - Gretzky - Bathgate
Kariya - Federko - Stuart
Phillips - Laprade - Finnigan
Holik - Adams - Dillon

Clancy - Horner
Vasiliev - Griffis
Norstrom - Cameron

...plus goalies, spares and such.

All we've done is switched Stuart and Dillon and Griffis and Cameron. Bruce Stuart gives the Kariya line what it was previously lacking: toughness and physical play. Stuart is big, strong, physical and very fast - an early power forward. Obviously era must be taken into account when evaluating his scoring feats (he clearly falls short of Dillon, at any rate), but Stuart was a dominant scorer for his time and should provide reasonable offense for his role on a line with two other fine offensive players.

Cecil Dillon on a "4th line" is kind of an eye-popper, especially considering that Holik and Adams are among the better 4th line scorers in the draft, though it will not be a true 4th line. The Gretzky line will play top line minutes and the other three lines will all essentially split icetime. The Kariya line won't be as much of an offensive threat with Stuart in for Dillon, but they will win the puck more effectively and won't be nearly as vulnerable to grind lines. Cecil Dillon on a 4th line is going to be hard for bottom-pairing defensemen and non-checkingline forwards to contain, and again this line isn't lacking in grit, as Adams was a tenacious, physical player and both Holik and Dillon are able checkers.

At any rate, it will be difficult to shut down both the Kariya and Dillon lines at the same time (especially with Harry Cameron on the 3rd pairing), and none will be easily pushed around. They're still not the biggest or toughest units in the league, but with the scoring and grit spread out better, they aren't particularly vulnerable to physical play and focusing on one means leaving the door open for the other for all but the deepest defensive/checking teams.

Griffis goes in for Cameron mainly because he's bigger and stronger. Vasiliev is an elite shutdown defenseman and we wanted to put him with a partner who was defensively stronger to approximate something like a shutdown pairing. I don't expect Si Griffis to be an elite defensive zone player, but he should be a good one, and his combination of size, speed and skill lined up next to Vasiliev means that it should be a strong defensive pairing both down low and in transition, in addition to being quite capable offensively.

Harry Cameron on a 3rd pairing is a bit like Cecil Dillon on a 4th line - a seeming waste of talent. The Cameron - Norstrom pairing will get more icetime than a typical 3rd pairing, however - probably something like 15 minutes of even strength icetime a game. Cameron should come out to just shy of twenty minutes TOI after 1st unit powerplay time is added in and Norstrom should end up around 17+ after his 2nd unit PK time is accounted for.

With the exception of the Gretzky line, no one unit on the team will be leaned on heavily for icetime. The Seals are a team that is built to skate hard. Evening out talent and icetime among the secondary scoring lines and defensive pairings means that all of the players will have their legs deeper into the game and deeper into the playoffs.
Hummmm.... IMO, it just weakens an already not-very-impressive 2nd, even though it does makes your 4th seem less like a random mix of players.

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Old
11-12-2007, 10:02 AM
  #228
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Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
I had my Maltby-Draper-Doan 4th line all planned out until some jerk went ahead and scooped up Maltby on me .
I take that as a compliment. And I think Ab McDonald (who was second on our list for fourth line LW, behind Maltby) would fill Maltby's spot. Not as physical or aggressive as Maltby (that's why we went with Kirk), but his skating and defensive play are just as good, and his offensive ability is vastly superior to Maltby.

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11-12-2007, 01:04 PM
  #229
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Originally Posted by cottonking View Post
Are you kidding? Serge Savard and ME is a shutdown pairing, but either way ...

My only critique is Drinkwater being paired with Daneyko ... the old timers who, quote, "played defense and forward equally well" always give me pause when they're in the lineup as defensemen, because they've gotta be missing something when it comes to technique and playing within a system. Daneyko is the ultimate system guy, but I think you want to pair him with somebody who can skate a little better (a Scott Niedermayer-type), and I'm not sure Drinkwater is that. You've got a half-forward and a guy who can't skate out there together, one of whom can't keep up physically and the other of whom can't keep up mentally. I envision a quick-skating duo or trio (they won't be on the ice against the Bentleys, but that type of player) simply picking them apart.
Cool. Thanks ck.

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Old
11-12-2007, 02:17 PM
  #230
seventieslord
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In similar fashion, I also announce a lineup change. To better accomodate two forwards' natural positions (and not have them playing positions they just filled in at for short periods) I have made Marcel Dionne the #1 centre. This means Nels Stewart went to the #2 slot, Nicholls went to the 3rd, and Thornton to the 4th. Jamie Langenbrunner has been moved to right wing on the 4th line, bumping Mellanby up to the 3rd, Thomas up to the 2nd, and Babe Dye onto the 1st.

On defense, To ensure I don't give a guy like Bob Baun top pairing minutes, Buck Boucher has been moved to the first pairing alongside Nicklas Lidstrom. Baun moves down to the 2nd with Gonchar.

Lineup now looks like this:

Wendel Clark (A) - Marcel Dionne - Babe Dye
Cy Denneny - Nels Stewart - Steve Thomas
Dick Duff (A) - Bernie Nicholls - Scott Mellanby
Ryan Smyth - Joe Thornton - Jamie Langenbrunner

Nicklas Lidstrom (A) - Buck Boucher (C)
Sergei Gonchar - Bobby Baun
Jimmy Watson - Robert Svehla

Bill Durnan
John Ross Roach

extras:
Mike Ricci, F
Peter McNab, F
Dave Ellett, D

gm: seventieslord
coach: Lindy Ruff

Impacts of the moves:
1) All forwards are now in familiar positions.
2) Having the first line's only passer in the middle instead of on the right wing is certainly a benefit. Dye moves up to the first, a far more appropriate position for someone with his goal scoring credentials. This line now has no speed weakness, with Dionne being speedy and Clark being average.
3) The 2nd line loses Dye and Nicholls and gains Thomas and Stewart. What it just lost in offensive ability it gained in grit and heart. Talent-wise, Thomas is a reach for the 2nd line but those are the kinds of things you'll see on a 4-line team. He also provides the speed on this line that the other two lack.
4) The 3rd line now has Nicholls and Mellanby instead of Thornton and Thomas - net change in skill and grit is zero. Concerned with Nicholls on the 3rd line. This development means my 3rd line will never be called a "shut down" line, but it has a lot more scoring potential than most 3rd lines.
5) The 4th line now has Thornton instead of Mellanby. More skill, speed and size on the line, a little less toughness. Don't worry about me underusing the ultra-talented and robust Thornton. The 4th line will play just as much as the 3rd.
6) Less balance on defense, now that my two best defensemen are playing together at even strength. How many other teams have two defensemen who were elite offensively and defensively? It would have been nice to have one on the ice at all times, however, Bobby Baun may become a liability if played too often, so this is the lesser of two evils.
7) Baun provides the same defensive conscience to Gonchar that Boucher would have, without the offensive help... which Gonchy doesn't really need anyway.

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Old
11-12-2007, 04:45 PM
  #231
Nalyd Psycho
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Hummmm.... IMO, it just weakens an already not-very-impressive 2nd, even though it does makes your 4th seem less like a random mix of players.
The old formation of the 4th line was a crash and bang line. The pest in Adams and power forward in Stuart keep constant pressure while the speedy two-way play of Holik gives the line a high pressure forecheck while still being able to backcheck.

The new system is more like three #3 lines where all lines will get about equal minutes. The Federko line is the scoring line, the Laprade line the defensive line and the Adams line the two-way line.

I think you seriously underestimate Bruce Stuart. He's not a world beater, but he's a big physical player who's got hands, with playmakers like Federko and Kariya, a 30 goal regular season is a perfectly reasonable possibility.

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Old
11-13-2007, 04:11 AM
  #232
Sturminator
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Hummmm.... IMO, it just weakens an already not-very-impressive 2nd, even though it does makes your 4th seem less like a random mix of players.
I understand what you mean about the random mix; I felt the same way when I looked at Speaker's 2nd line, though I think I gave the unit a pretty fair evaluation in spite of my initial reaction. Given Rick's comment about the "mixed bag of nuts", clearly you weren't the only one who had that reaction to the old 4th line. Mixing Europeans with old-timers (as both Speaker and we have done), unless they are really prominent players (Cyclone Taylor and Kharlamov, or somesuch) does kind of give the feeling of having too much diversity. Not sure that's completely fair, but I understand. Ah well...

At any rate, although I don't want to be guilty of over-pimping my guys again, I feel compelled to say a bit more about the new lines. Bruce Stuart has already been praised as a good late-round pick by a few GMs, and questioned by another. He's big, physical, fast, a strong leader, plays some defense (he was a rover so he at least knows how to go down low into his own zone) and was a high-end scorer in a bygone era. Here's the quote again from his HHOF bio:

Quote:
He was an all-round player, capable of playing any of the forward positions although he excelled as a rover due to his excellent skating abilities.

Stuart could well be considered one of the first power forwards of the game. Standing over six feet tall, he was a large man for his era, and it should not go unnoticed that his statistical totals included 162 penalty minutes over the same three-year period.

In 1908, Stuart hooked up with the Montreal Wanderers and participated in the March Stanley Cup challenge series. He contributed eight goals in the three challenge games including four in one game against Winnipeg and the insurance marker in the Wanderers 6-4 victory over Toronto. He was also with the Wanderers when they defended their Cup title against the Edmonton Eskimos in December 1908.

Stuart returned home to Ottawa in 1908-09 and captained the Senators to Stanley Cup wins in both 1909 and 1910, leading the 1910 post-season scoring parade with ten goals in four games.
To be honest, I think Nalyd and I got a real steal in Stuart, and I see little to seperate him from a number of 2nd line wingers in the same role who were taken quite a bit earlier - guys like Hadfield, Sutter, Klukay (obviously a better defensive player, but nonexistent offensively), Stevens, Gillies, Roberts and Taylor.

Yes, I said it. Obviously, it's not a who's-who list of the greatest 2nd line wingers in the draft (I have criticized a few of them, though they weren't 22nd round picks), but these guys are all serviceable in their role, which is banging, checking, winning the puck and providing some secondary scoring (except for Klukay) to the offensive leaders of the line. Why should Bruce Stuart be unable to fill the same role? Because of his old...balls? The only real question on Stuart is his scoring ability, but he was one of the best scorers of his era, so obviously he must bring some offensive ability unless the league thinks they were all just pee-wees playing back then. Draft position is irrelevant: is Bruce Stuart a good player or is he not?

At any rate, Stuart on the Kariya-Federko line is clearly not the best 2nd line in the league, though his presence shores up a potential weakness and more to the point: it is no longer a 2nd line. The Dillon line will get just as much icetime now as the Kariya line. I didn't really pimp him when we drafted him, but it should be noted that in addition to being quite gritty and physical, Jack Adams is a bloody good offensive player for a "4th liner". Again, his scoring feats:

20-21 (PCHA): 17-13-30 - that was good for 4th in league scoring, 2nd in assists and 5th in goals during Adams' first peak season. The PCHA was honestly a little watered down at this time in comparison to Cyclone Taylor's heyday, but Adams was still scoring in the same range as guys like Frank Foyston, Frank Frederickson and Alf Smith.

21-22 (PCHA): 26-4-30 - this year Adams beats the rest of the league badly in goals (Foyston at 2nd place scored 16) and wins points by a decent margin, as well as finishing 8th in assists. Even in the PCHA, leading the league with 26 goals when Frank Foyston (who was still very much at his peak) sits at second place with 16 is pretty impressive.

22-23 (NHL): 19-9-28 - 3rd in points, 4th in goals and 5th in assists. 5th in PIMs. Adams was brought to Toronto to center (and probably protect) Babe Dye, and did so quite successfully.

23-24 (NHL): 13-3-16 - 8th in points, 7th in goals and 8th in assists. Second in PIMs. A bit of a down year considering his first season in the league, but he definitely mixed it up.

24-25 (NHL): 21-8-29 - 6th in points, 5th in goals and 5th in assists. 9th in PIMs.

25-26 (NHL): 21-5-26 - 5th in points and 7th in goals. Doesn't show up on the assists or PIMs top-10.

I don't think I'm overhyping my squad by saying that's a pretty damn good resume for a 4th liner, especially considering what we know about Jack Adams' character. Actually, I think he'd make a good 3rd line center and will do well feeding pucks to Cecil Dillon against bottom-pairing defensemen, especially with Harry Cameron in support from the blueline.

The point is not to argue that either Kariya - Federko - Stuart or Holik - Adams - Dillon is a great second line, but that they are both great third lines (or "secondary scoring lines") and neither is soft, as the previous second line was. Secondary scoring becomes a game of whack-a-mole. Which line do you try to shut down, how do you do it, and which line do you hope your 3rd pairing guys can contain? I'm not saying that makes the Seals unbeatable; I'm saying that makes the secondary scoring harder to contain. There are still a few teams in the league with 3rd pairings good enough to perhaps minimize the damage, though I still think a potential Holik - Adams - Dillon line with Harry Cameron on the ice is going to cause pretty much every third pairing some problems. BM's team is probably best suited to defending against this strategy of attack.

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