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Old
01-18-2009, 12:33 AM
  #1
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2nd defensive pairing issues

What should be done to solve our second defensive pairing problem?

I'm not a wizard with numbers like some others on this board but I'm pretty sure Stuart and Kronwall have the numbers to back up their crappy play lately. There have been a couple glimmers of hope but they're always going back to floundering out of position consistently. The kicker is that we've seen these guys dominate so we know they can, in fact, play a ton better.

What's the problem? What's the solution?

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01-18-2009, 12:53 AM
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They either need to be split up or they have to make better decisions on the ice. Both guys can't be hunting for hits in the neutral zone.

I really wish Babs would put one of them with either Lidstrom or Rafalski. Nick and Raffy can be the "last man back" while the two young bucks can roam more near the neutral zone to get their big hit. The problem is that Babs has two defensemen that play similar styles together...Lidstrom and Rafalski are both conservative finesse guys and Stuart and Kronwall are both physical and aggressive. I think you need to have one with the other...one finesse defenseman with one physical defenseman.

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01-18-2009, 12:56 AM
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Lidstrom-Stuart, Raffy-Kronwall seemed to work once... I'd try it again.

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01-18-2009, 01:10 AM
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Or Lids and Kronner, Rafalski-Stuart

Keep the PP the same.

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01-18-2009, 01:14 AM
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Or Lids and Kronner, Rafalski-Stuart

Keep the PP the same.
I'd prefer that way.

Actually, I'd prefer getting rid of them both and do Lebda-Chelios then Meech-Lilja... free up some space.

edit: forgot my semi-serious

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01-18-2009, 01:17 AM
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I'd prefer that way.

Actually, I'd prefer getting rid of them both and do Lebda-Chelios then Meech-Lilja... free up some space.

edit: forgot my semi-serious
Yeah I know who needs this Lidstrom guy anyway isn't he like getting old and stuff. 7.4 million 38 yr old defensman. Are you kidding me??

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01-18-2009, 01:22 AM
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rafalski is just as bad as kronwall and stuart, so putting rafalski with one of them will not change much, imo.
rafalski would help kronwall/stuart move the puck out more quickly.

i don't the problem is at all related to their hitting. they just aren't good in their own end.

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01-18-2009, 01:41 AM
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I think Lids-Kronner, Raffy-Stuart are better pairings. Lids knows how to cover his partner defensively and would overall help to straighten out Kronners shakey play. Stuart has been fairly decent defensively but Kronner has been losing the puck a lot or his guy and it leads to guys being outmanned. Raffy isn't spectacular defensively but he doesn't get caught a lot in his own end. He has some issues in the nuetral zone but you fix that by simply having Stuart hang back. He is more of a blue line in hitter anyhow. Have an established vet on both line should help to settle both young guys down. I think they are both so shaken right now that they just keep playing into their own and eachothers weakness's.

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01-18-2009, 09:25 AM
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Play them with Datsyuk OR expect the other forwards to play better defense. Maybe start with a certain checking line forward who never contributes a thing offensively, so if he can't contribute defensively, wtf?

Z, Hossa and Flip are not very good two-way at the moment.

Shots allowed is way too high, which means somebody isn't possessing the puck....

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01-18-2009, 09:45 AM
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I agree Fugu. Let's blame Draper.

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01-18-2009, 10:07 AM
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I'm serious though. Other than Datsyuk's line, the Wings are simply allowing too many shots and by no means are playing anything resembling shut down hockey.

This should probably go in the GDT about the Sharks, but all the teams did last night was trade chances. The Sharks ended up winning because their goalie was slightly better (quality of shots faced), and the Wings took fewer shots (the probability side of it).

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01-18-2009, 10:13 AM
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I'm not in disagreement with you. Zetterberg's line hasn't really cycled all season. They seem to get in the zone, take the first shot they can get, and then lose the battle for the rebounds. Filppula's line is getting better at possession but they aren't world beaters. Draper's line pretty much sets up the lawn chairs in their own zone for each shift. The real key I think is that Zetterberg and Hossa need to figure it out and start passing more and working with the puck instead of making all these individual plays. Once they get a cycle figured out it will help immensely.

That said, Kronwall and Stuart deserve quite a bit of blame as well. They simply haven't been good all season.

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01-18-2009, 10:13 AM
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Seriously, is that Staffan Kronwall out there or what.

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01-18-2009, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by FissionFire View Post
I'm not in disagreement with you. Zetterberg's line hasn't really cycled all season. They seem to get in the zone, take the first shot they can get, and then lose the battle for the rebounds. Filppula's line is getting better at possession but they aren't world beaters. Draper's line pretty much sets up the lawn chairs in their own zone for each shift. The real key I think is that Zetterberg and Hossa need to figure it out and start passing more and working with the puck instead of making all these individual plays. Once they get a cycle figured out it will help immensely.

That said, Kronwall and Stuart deserve quite a bit of blame as well. They simply haven't been good all season.
Doesn't this sound like the Lilja-Lebda debate earlier? They both have their moments of suckitude, but overall were not to blame for the Wings earlier numbers with goal differential. Ozzie's stats speak for themselves, since we have a control in Conklin in that both play with the same set of guys in front. They're easier to compare to each other.

The team numbers tell the story. Lots of offensive firepower, not very impressive team defense numbers. The top line and D pairing stand out because you've got a Norris Trophy guy out with a superscoring Selke winner. After that, everyone else has been mediocre overall, with moments of very good and very bad periods.

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01-18-2009, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Doesn't this sound like the Lilja-Lebda debate earlier? They both have their moments of suckitude, but overall were not to blame for the Wings earlier numbers with goal differential. Ozzie's stats speak for themselves, since we have a control in Conklin in that both play with the same set of guys in front. They're easier to compare to each other.

The team numbers tell the story. Lots of offensive firepower, not very impressive team defense numbers. The top line and D pairing stand out because you've got a Norris Trophy guy out with a superscoring Selke winner. After that, everyone else has been mediocre overall, with moments of very good and very bad periods.
maybe it's time to shift the lines around a bit then. Put ZDH back together, move Flip and Draper up a line each and fill the wings in where appropriate.

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01-18-2009, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Doesn't this sound like the Lilja-Lebda debate earlier? They both have their moments of suckitude, but overall were not to blame for the Wings earlier numbers with goal differential. Ozzie's stats speak for themselves, since we have a control in Conklin in that both play with the same set of guys in front. They're easier to compare to each other.

The team numbers tell the story. Lots of offensive firepower, not very impressive team defense numbers. The top line and D pairing stand out because you've got a Norris Trophy guy out with a superscoring Selke winner. After that, everyone else has been mediocre overall, with moments of very good and very bad periods.
Not even close. Lilja's been pretty solid all season and Lebda has been up and down. Even when they struggled it wasn't the reason the team would struggle (contrary to what many claimed). I've been voicing my concerns over the Kronwall-Stuart pairing since 15 games into the season when they were allowing an alarming number of ES and PP goal against. I got ridiculed as "overreacting" then because of the Cup hangover supposedly, but it's halfway through the season and their collective play really hasn't improved much at all. Unlike the Lilja-Lebda pairing, the Kronwall-Stuart pairing plays the bulk of the ES minutes on the team which means they are in position to do the most harm if they are struggling, and it has shown many nights. The San Jose game was a perfect example. I counted at least 7 times one of those two had the puck on their stick and simply failed to clear it, or made a bad pass leading to a turnover. Those mistakes lead to more shots against and more time in the defensive zone.

The forwards do deserve a fair share of the blame for this teams defensive woes, but our 2nd D pairing deserves just as much or more. They simply aren't getting it done when they are on the ice. The BehindTheNet numbers do show that the Lidstrom/Rafalski pair plays with a better quality of teammate, but that's skewed partly by them playing with each other and party because of their PP time with the Datsyuk unit. If you look at the quality of competition you'll see that Lidstrom and Rafalski are still playing against the stronger opponents. For instance, aside from Rafalski's blunder in allowing Marleau behind him that tandem played almost all of the minutes directly opposite the Thornton line and shut them down. Kronwall and Stuart played alot against the Pavelski line and got torched. I especially like Stuart standing alone in front of the net instead of covering Pavelski like he should on that goal. Kronwall and Stuart simply lose their man too often this season, haven't been consistently winning the puck battles along the boards, and have had far too much trouble making the simple clears out of their own zone.

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01-18-2009, 02:26 PM
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maybe it's time to shift the lines around a bit then. Put ZDH back together, move Flip and Draper up a line each and fill the wings in where appropriate.
Move Draper UP a line?!? What's that going to accomplish aside from making our defense suck even worse?

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01-18-2009, 02:56 PM
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Trade Lebda for Quincey? Zing.

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01-18-2009, 03:38 PM
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Not even close. Lilja's been pretty solid all season and Lebda has been up and down. Even when they struggled it wasn't the reason the team would struggle (contrary to what many claimed).
You mean the team that had the atrocious goal differential? Lebda gets benched for having the worst +/- on the team, with the coach saying, it's not really him but a lot of goals are going in when he's on the ice? Well gee? How does Draper get a -12? Kronwall is a -2 while Stuart is a +4. Hmmm.

Bench Draper! By that logic, that should take care of it!


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I've been voicing my concerns over the Kronwall-Stuart pairing since 15 games into the season when they were allowing an alarming number of ES and PP goal against.
Stuart on the PP?

Quote:
I got ridiculed as "overreacting" then because of the Cup hangover supposedly, but it's halfway through the season and their collective play really hasn't improved much at all.
Wait, this is too good, I can't pass it up. -->You<-- got ridiculed for overreacting? I thought you ran the Overreacting Campaign.


Quote:
Unlike the Lilja-Lebda pairing, the Kronwall-Stuart pairing plays the bulk of the ES minutes on the team which means they are in position to do the most harm if they are struggling, and it has shown many nights. The San Jose game was a perfect example. I counted at least 7 times one of those two had the puck on their stick and simply failed to clear it, or made a bad pass leading to a turnover. Those mistakes lead to more shots against and more time in the defensive zone.
The top four play almost identical minutes at ES (IT/game); Stuart and Kronwall as a pair get more IT/gm on the PK than Nick/Rafalski, but the Nick/Lilja tandem play almost a minute more per game than the second pair. (do you have the PK GA break out by pair?)

One could argue several things, based on your conclusion. Stuart and Kronwall are so dangerous, once they're placed in such a dangerous role as facing the 2nd line from the other team at ES and on the PK, that they should simply not be placed in this role. Are you suggesting that we put Lilja/Lebda there, give them nearly 18 minutes of ES IT/gm, and maybe have Lebda pick up Kronwall or Stuart's PK role (seeing that Lilja is paired with Nick).

Or maybe we put Stuart with Nick, and see how Nik and Lilly do as a unit, you know, since Lilja is simply astounding on the PK. It shouldn't matter with whom he's paired, he's THAT good. Or maybe it has to do with balancing out the total IT, and that Nick can play the monster minutes.

Quote:
The forwards do deserve a fair share of the blame for this teams defensive woes, but our 2nd D pairing deserves just as much or more. They simply aren't getting it done when they are on the ice. The BehindTheNet numbers do show that the Lidstrom/Rafalski pair plays with a better quality of teammate, but that's skewed partly by them playing with each other and party because of their PP time with the Datsyuk unit. If you look at the quality of competition you'll see that Lidstrom and Rafalski are still playing against the stronger opponents. For instance, aside from Rafalski's blunder in allowing Marleau behind him that tandem played almost all of the minutes directly opposite the Thornton line and shut them down. Kronwall and Stuart played alot against the Pavelski line and got torched. I especially like Stuart standing alone in front of the net instead of covering Pavelski like he should on that goal. Kronwall and Stuart simply lose their man too often this season, haven't been consistently winning the puck battles along the boards, and have had far too much trouble making the simple clears out of their own zone.
That's one game that the stats aren't really backing you up on, and considering that your other option is to (a) swap out pair #2 with #3, or (b) have Datsyuk play with the second pair and see how Nick/Rafi do with the 2nd line, we can't really discount the Datsyuk factor as much as you're doing here.

I don't know how you discount the effect of a 6-time Norris winner playing alongside a phenomenal two-way talent such as Datsyuk. He's on this way to potentially 110 pts on the season, while continuing to lead the team in takeaways, hits, and an incredible ability to dictate the play when he's on the ice. Secondly, if I'm the coach of the other team, no way I put all my eggs in one basket and send out all my best guys against the Lids/Dats unit. The quality of competition the other grouping is seeing has to be substantially higher on away games.

Do you really want to put those competitors up against your Lilja/Lebda unit, or some combo that has one of Kronner or Stuart missing? Normally, the the 2nd pair would be getting a boost from a guy like Z, but he's really nowhere near his pace of last year, while easily nowhere near Datsyuk's current pace. It all adds up over the course of a season.


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Trade Lebda for Quincey? Zing.
You'd get more bang for the buck if you moved Lilja for Q. Then you could make room for Helm and sit Draper.

Not saying Lilja deserves to get moved based on his play, just a purely monetary decision.

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01-18-2009, 04:14 PM
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You'd get more bang for the buck if you moved Lilja for Q. Then you could make room for Helm and sit Draper.

Not saying Lilja deserves to get moved based on his play, just a purely monetary decision.
I doubt LA would take that trade. Though id probably do it at this point.

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01-18-2009, 05:43 PM
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You mean the team that had the atrocious goal differential? Lebda gets benched for having the worst +/- on the team, with the coach saying, it's not really him but a lot of goals are going in when he's on the ice? Well gee? How does Draper get a -12? Kronwall is a -2 while Stuart is a +4. Hmmm.

Bench Draper! By that logic, that should take care of it!




Stuart on the PP?



Wait, this is too good, I can't pass it up. -->You<-- got ridiculed for overreacting? I thought you ran the Overreacting Campaign.




The top four play almost identical minutes at ES (IT/game); Stuart and Kronwall as a pair get more IT/gm on the PK than Nick/Rafalski, but the Nick/Lilja tandem play almost a minute more per game than the second pair. (do you have the PK GA break out by pair?)

One could argue several things, based on your conclusion. Stuart and Kronwall are so dangerous, once they're placed in such a dangerous role as facing the 2nd line from the other team at ES and on the PK, that they should simply not be placed in this role. Are you suggesting that we put Lilja/Lebda there, give them nearly 18 minutes of ES IT/gm, and maybe have Lebda pick up Kronwall or Stuart's PK role (seeing that Lilja is paired with Nick).

Or maybe we put Stuart with Nick, and see how Nik and Lilly do as a unit, you know, since Lilja is simply astounding on the PK. It shouldn't matter with whom he's paired, he's THAT good. Or maybe it has to do with balancing out the total IT, and that Nick can play the monster minutes.



That's one game that the stats aren't really backing you up on, and considering that your other option is to (a) swap out pair #2 with #3, or (b) have Datsyuk play with the second pair and see how Nick/Rafi do with the 2nd line, we can't really discount the Datsyuk factor as much as you're doing here.

I don't know how you discount the effect of a 6-time Norris winner playing alongside a phenomenal two-way talent such as Datsyuk. He's on this way to potentially 110 pts on the season, while continuing to lead the team in takeaways, hits, and an incredible ability to dictate the play when he's on the ice. Secondly, if I'm the coach of the other team, no way I put all my eggs in one basket and send out all my best guys against the Lids/Dats unit. The quality of competition the other grouping is seeing has to be substantially higher on away games.

Do you really want to put those competitors up against your Lilja/Lebda unit, or some combo that has one of Kronner or Stuart missing? Normally, the the 2nd pair would be getting a boost from a guy like Z, but he's really nowhere near his pace of last year, while easily nowhere near Datsyuk's current pace. It all adds up over the course of a season.




You'd get more bang for the buck if you moved Lilja for Q. Then you could make room for Helm and sit Draper.

Not saying Lilja deserves to get moved based on his play, just a purely monetary decision.
I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you saying our 2nd pair is fine? That there are no issues?

Sure, let's move the 3rd pair up, why not? Maybe they'll surprise us, maybe they won't. Split Kronwall and Stuart up... do SOMETHING. The situation as it is now is unacceptable.

I suggest benching them both for a game or two.

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01-18-2009, 05:57 PM
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i think that the team has improved quite a bit.

fewer bad turnovers.

the forwards are more responsible defensively. earlier this season, they were looking to counterattack far too often, instead of playing hard in their own zone.
they were separating themselves too much from the D earlier this season, but that has improved.
1st line is better, due to datsyuk.
even though the 2nd line has different members, it is still not moving the puck very well. but it is better.

lidstrom has improved. rafalski hasn't been giving up a goal every game or 2. lebda has improved a lot.

conklin has improved.

for the 1st couple of months, DRW were only getting by on their excellent PP.
now, they are scoring normally at ES, and usually play good D.


right now, i think the main problems are the 2nd d-pair, osgood, road PK and the 4th line.

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01-18-2009, 06:20 PM
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You mean the team that had the atrocious goal differential? Lebda gets benched for having the worst +/- on the team, with the coach saying, it's not really him but a lot of goals are going in when he's on the ice? Well gee? How does Draper get a -12? Kronwall is a -2 while Stuart is a +4. Hmmm.

Bench Draper! By that logic, that should take care of it!
Define "atrocious goal differential". At their worst this season the Wings were a -2 at even strength as a team. At best that's subpar, but "atrocious"? I think you might be overstating things a tad.

As for the other stuff, I said Lebda's had an up-and-down season. We was OK, then awful and got benched, then he was great, now he's ok again. I'd say Babcock's actions (benching) speak louder than words ("It's not him"). Do you expect Mike to come out to the media and say he's benching Lebda because he stinks? That's what crappy coaches (or elite HOF coaches) do.

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Stuart on the PP?
PP goal against means a goal scored against you while defending on the PK.

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Wait, this is too good, I can't pass it up. -->You<-- got ridiculed for overreacting? I thought you ran the Overreacting Campaign.
Why do you think I even started that?

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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
The top four play almost identical minutes at ES (IT/game); Stuart and Kronwall as a pair get more IT/gm on the PK than Nick/Rafalski, but the Nick/Lilja tandem play almost a minute more per game than the second pair. (do you have the PK GA break out by pair?)

One could argue several things, based on your conclusion. Stuart and Kronwall are so dangerous, once they're placed in such a dangerous role as facing the 2nd line from the other team at ES and on the PK, that they should simply not be placed in this role. Are you suggesting that we put Lilja/Lebda there, give them nearly 18 minutes of ES IT/gm, and maybe have Lebda pick up Kronwall or Stuart's PK role (seeing that Lilja is paired with Nick).

Or maybe we put Stuart with Nick, and see how Nik and Lilly do as a unit, you know, since Lilja is simply astounding on the PK. It shouldn't matter with whom he's paired, he's THAT good. Or maybe it has to do with balancing out the total IT, and that Nick can play the monster minutes.
Draw your own conclusions. I'm simply stating that they are not filling their role adequately so far this season. Lilja looks great because he's in the proper role finally. Move him into the top 4 and we'll be clamoring for his head again because he's not a good top 4. He's a low-end top 4 guy who is good in a pinch but not in a regular role. The ES IT gap has closed, but if you look at the table I posted around Christmas it wasn't very close then. Babcock is starting to adjust because he simply can't rely on his 2nd pairing to shut the other team down when needed. If you expand out the per game numbers Lidstrom has played 1 period less at ES this season than the 2nd pairing has. Here's a little table to show you how the ES IT has changed since Christmas

PlayerChristmas ESATOI/GMCurrent ESATOI/GMChange
Niklas Kronwall18:1217:48-0:24
Brett Lebda13:2613:16-0:10
Nicklas Lidstrom17:0717:18+0:11
Andreas Lilja13:0112:55-0:06
Brad Stuart17:5417:27-0:27
Brian Rafalski17:4917:50+0:01

This seems like we're playing less even strength hockey overall, but a larger percentage is going to our 1st pairing, not at the expense of the 3rd pair but rather the 2nd pair.

Here's the PK numbers you wanted as well.....

PairingCombined PPGACombined PKTOI
Lidstrom/Lilja32301:12
Kronwall/Stuart37234:44

Considering the Lidstrom/Lilja combo is the primary pairing and gets the bulk of the 5-on-3 PK time, these are pretty damning numbers against the 2nd pairing. They've allowed 5 more goals in over 65 LESS shorthanded minutes, and very very very few of those will be 5-on-3 minutes.

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That's one game that the stats aren't really backing you up on, and considering that your other option is to (a) swap out pair #2 with #3, or (b) have Datsyuk play with the second pair and see how Nick/Rafi do with the 2nd line, we can't really discount the Datsyuk factor as much as you're doing here.

I don't know how you discount the effect of a 6-time Norris winner playing alongside a phenomenal two-way talent such as Datsyuk. He's on this way to potentially 110 pts on the season, while continuing to lead the team in takeaways, hits, and an incredible ability to dictate the play when he's on the ice. Secondly, if I'm the coach of the other team, no way I put all my eggs in one basket and send out all my best guys against the Lids/Dats unit. The quality of competition the other grouping is seeing has to be substantially higher on away games.

Do you really want to put those competitors up against your Lilja/Lebda unit, or some combo that has one of Kronner or Stuart missing? Normally, the the 2nd pair would be getting a boost from a guy like Z, but he's really nowhere near his pace of last year, while easily nowhere near Datsyuk's current pace. It all adds up over the course of a season.
I have no desire to see Lilja or Lebda given more time. They are fine in their role and would be a disaster if given a larger one. I don't really have the answer aside from saying that Kronwall and Stuart simply need to get their heads on straight and start playing like they are capable of instead of the way they are now. Maybe the pairings need to be shaken up. Maybe the Lidstrom/Datsyuk combo needs to be broken to try and let our top puck-hound help compensate for the problems in the 2nd pairing right now and maybe Lidstrom can spark Z as well. I'm not sure what the answer is. I'm not even sure if there is an answer and that we won't have to accept the fact that the 2nd pairing is exactly what it will be this season and the team will have to find a way to work around it. All I know is that the current setup isn't working like it should and that it'll probably cost us any chance of repeating if something doesn't change drastically.

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01-18-2009, 06:24 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
right now, i think the main problems are the 2nd d-pair, osgood, road PK and the 4th line.
I'm starting to think the 2nd D pair and the road PK woes are the same thing. The other coaches are getting their top PP out against our 2nd unit, and our 2nd unit simply isn't getting it done.

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01-18-2009, 07:02 PM
  #25
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I'm starting to think the 2nd D pair and the road PK woes are the same thing. The other coaches are getting their top PP out against our 2nd unit, and our 2nd unit simply isn't getting it done.
Yet the PK isn't only comprised of 2 defensemen. You need to pull out the numbers for the corresponding forwards too.


Just a question regarding your above charts. I'm assuming that all the PK data you have is just for those pairs, correct? Kronwall plays with Nick on 3-on-5, so I'm making sure the data you have is 4-on-5, and always those pairs?

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