very often when you balance something, you do not get the full effect of some of the parts. In a bull market, a balanced portfolio usually doesn't do as well as a sector portfolio. And in a bear market, the balanced portfolio is often the safest bet. Your time line is really out there to score the most goals, otherwise you likely wouldn't play them as much, especially when you're not scoring goals. You try not to stifle one's offensive ability by putting him with a defensive player, becuase it's not just about not scoring goals, you need to score goals, hence why so many top offensive players on good teams end up being large pluses, because they score a lot of goals. I don't care how good defensively you are, if you're scoring three points in 17 games, you do not belong on a top line. Period. Not even for balance. Again, placing Jere Lehtinen with Jagr is balance - Lehtinen is one of the best defensive forwards, but would score 20-30 goals with Jagr. You need a balanced player to play with Jagr, not a one-dimensional defensive player. Oh, and tell Madden that he shouldn't be providing offense when he's shutting down other teams. Someone should've told Brindy, Holik and others too. If you're going to have a guy play 16 minutes at ES per night to shutdown other teams' best players, your best shutdown guys will have some skill too to score goals. Betts plays a lot less because he lacks that skill - I think we agree on that.
On Orr...don't really care how much he's improved, I still think Hossa's better defensively, and that's because Hossa's a better skater and better stickhandler, not to mention a smarter player. Orr's blocked five shots this season - must've gotten away because the guy isn't great in the defensive zone due to his inability to take a good first step. And further, while improved, sometimes the old Orr comes out and he's clumsy.
On our top shutdown guy...I can't say it's Betts. Last season, it was Jagr's line who spent most of the time against top lines, save a few instances. Jagr's line shutdown the opposing teams' best players. But for much of the season Renney rotated so everyone got a taste, but I'd say that more than 50%, and perhaps as high as 75% of other teams' top lines shifts were met with Jagr, save for Jersey. I have seen Betts go against top lines and I've seen him go against fourth lines. He's done good jobs against top lines, and there's games like against PITT when he gets stuck out there with Malkin and he pushes his defenseman into the net during a scramble. He can be good, but he's not always that good.
Trap with some variations is a dominant system. Thus defensive balance is in order.
We do not have the players you're referring to. It is pointless to argue that Lehtonen is better then Hossa. We not going to get anyone close any time soon. The question is not whether Hossa belongs there, but who is if not him?
In respect to Prucha, Callahan, Hossa, Orr, Hollweg etc. they all bring different things. Is Callahan more valuable than Prucha?--he's a more well rounded and seems to be a stronger player but the jury is out that he's ever going to score 30 goals in a season. Hossa has size and strength, good skating and puck skills (which makes him a real threat in the shootout) but he's not been able to put it together as an offensive player with any consistency--seems to lack a killer instinct in game situations--his value is more for his defensive play. I agree that Orr should not be looked upon as an everyday player. He plays well with his linemates in controlled situations--his real job descriptions stops at 'enforcer'. Hollweg is pretty much the same player he was when we first got him. A hard forechecking energy player with offensive and defensive limitations. Prucha is the only one of this group who has proven offensive ability. Callahan shows promise to be a very good two way player.