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Old
03-27-2010, 10:08 PM
  #1
Classic Devil
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The Checking Unit

I'm going to take a shot at explaining why Rolston is on, and is going to stay, on the second line.

Ilya Kovalchuk - Travis Zajac - Brian Rolston

Ilya Kovalchuk is on our checking line. That line's first and primary responsibility? Prevent goals against. Yes. A line with Ilya Kovalchuk on it is currently our primary checking unit. You've got two elite defensive players: the best defensive center we've had since Bobby Holik in his prime in Travis Zajac (yes, better than Madden) and the best defensive wing we've had since Jay Pandolfo in his prime in Brian Rolston (yes, he's been that good on the defensive side of the puck). Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac aren't the primary duo on that line. The other two guys are.

Lemaire has done this before. Sniper Stephane Richer played with one-way defensive center Bobby Carpenter and elite defensive forward Claude Lemieux in 1995 and they parlayed that mix of offensive and defensive talent into our #1 and #2 scorers in the playoffs (and the Conn Smythe). This is exactly what he's doing on the second line, and it's going to stay that way. He'll mix it up on occasion, but most of the time it's going to be Travis and Brian on the ice with Ilya.

I'll say it again.

The New Jersey Devils are playing Ilya Kovalchuk on their checking line.

Yes.

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Old
03-27-2010, 10:15 PM
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I would disagree. I have to give credit to Lemaire here: he got rid of the checking line once we got healthy and Pandawful was escorted out of the lineup.

To me, we don't have a checking line.

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03-27-2010, 10:16 PM
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MasterofGrond
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Our "checking" line is, despite being awesome defensively, at least an average first line.

And Parise-Elias-Langs is just as good.

This pleases me.

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03-27-2010, 10:52 PM
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Does it matter really in the end? The second they stop producing/playing well (or even if another line is off) JL gonna spin his price is right spinny thing and move 'em around till something sticks.

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Old
03-27-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
I'm going to take a shot at explaining why Rolston is on, and is going to stay, on the second line.

Ilya Kovalchuk - Travis Zajac - Brian Rolston

Ilya Kovalchuk is on our checking line. That line's first and primary responsibility? Prevent goals against. Yes. A line with Ilya Kovalchuk on it is currently our primary checking unit. You've got two elite defensive players: the best defensive center we've had since Bobby Holik in his prime in Travis Zajac (yes, better than Madden) and the best defensive wing we've had since Jay Pandolfo in his prime in Brian Rolston (yes, he's been that good on the defensive side of the puck). Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac aren't the primary duo on that line. The other two guys are.

Lemaire has done this before. Sniper Stephane Richer played with one-way defensive center Bobby Carpenter and elite defensive forward Claude Lemieux in 1995 and they parlayed that mix of offensive and defensive talent into our #1 and #2 scorers in the playoffs (and the Conn Smythe). This is exactly what he's doing on the second line, and it's going to stay that way. He'll mix it up on occasion, but most of the time it's going to be Travis and Brian on the ice with Ilya.

I'll say it again.

The New Jersey Devils are playing Ilya Kovalchuk on their checking line.

Yes.
And what do you call a line with Clarkson, Neidermayer/McAmmond, and Zubrus?

I have to disagree with you. Our checking line is Clarkson's line, not Kovy's.

I'll say it once.

Ilya Kovalchuk is not on the checking line.

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Old
03-27-2010, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Unknown Caller View Post
And what do you call a line with Clarkson, Neidermayer/McAmmond, and Zubrus?

I have to disagree with you. Our checking line is Clarkson's line, not Kovy's.

I'll say it once.

Ilya Kovalchuk is not on the checking line.
What Classic means by checking line is a line you put out there against the other teams best. The third and 4th lines aren't filling that role for us so far.

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Old
03-27-2010, 11:12 PM
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Eric Sachs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknown Caller View Post
And what do you call a line with Clarkson, Neidermayer/McAmmond, and Zubrus?

I have to disagree with you. Our checking line is Clarkson's line, not Kovy's.

I'll say it once.

Ilya Kovalchuk is not on the checking line.
until we start line matching the clarkson line with other teams best lines it is not our checking line. It's just our 3rd line.

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Old
03-27-2010, 11:18 PM
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So, Rolston for Smythe!

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Old
03-27-2010, 11:22 PM
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So, Rolston for Smythe!
Well he has the shot like Pepe had, the problem is goalies don't wear tiny pads anymore. So shots from way out don't go in clean anymore.

If you go back an watch the goal from the 1995 run, I would say a good portion of them don't go in the net in today's NHL.

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03-27-2010, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknown Caller View Post
And what do you call a line with Clarkson, Neidermayer/McAmmond, and Zubrus?

I have to disagree with you. Our checking line is Clarkson's line, not Kovy's.

I'll say it once.

Ilya Kovalchuk is not on the checking line.
Ilya is definitely not on the checking line. He's on the Oh-S**t-here-they-come! line.

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Old
03-27-2010, 11:58 PM
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Rolston also doesn't have the "snarl"(in the words of Doc) that Lemieux did, jkrdevil. Plus, the only people he annoys are the HF posters here unlike Pepe(The real one, CFD...lol) who irritated the opponents.

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Old
03-28-2010, 01:10 AM
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I think that there is so much wrong in the OP that I am going to give it a pass and chock it up to what is likely an 8.2% ABV microbrew beer induced post.

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03-28-2010, 01:53 AM
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Okay, I'm not going to speculate about this, but I will say the following.

A checking player isn't always a hitter. A check is simply the defensive play, sometimes people don't remeber that.

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03-28-2010, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Cowbell232 View Post
Okay, I'm not going to speculate about this, but I will say the following.

A checking player isn't always a hitter. A check is simply the defensive play, sometimes people don't remeber that.
yes, too many people think a crash line is a checking line too... think of a checking line as keeping the opposition "in check"

that said, I still don't think I agree with CD completely...

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Old
03-28-2010, 02:04 AM
  #15
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call it whatever you want but I just think its awesome that we now have two solid first lines

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03-28-2010, 02:19 AM
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It's a checking line in the sense that we sometimes match them against the other team's top line, but we don't really have a true checking line anymore. Zajac may be our best defensive centre, but he's also our best playmaker too. Elias wasn't gelling well with Kovy for whatever reason, so the only other option is Zajac. Lemaire wants to get Rolston going, so he is being played with two of our best offensive players. He also happens to be good defensively. And that line is producing, while being defensively responsible.

That's Devils hockey in a nutshell, and that's what Lemaire is looking for. I don't think it's a "checking line", because even Lemaire, despite all his insanity and faults, realises that the concept of the old school checking line is nearly dead. We have a top 6 group that is extremely responsible, while being productive. I hope it stays that way.

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Old
03-28-2010, 09:01 AM
  #17
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Nah, not really. This team doesn't have a checking line. Travis Zajac is the most complete player on this team probably and he's this team's best center. Him playing against some of the best players becomes natural.

But I wouldn't call a line consisting of our no 1 center and one of the most dynamic wingers a checking line. It simply isn't.

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Old
03-28-2010, 10:29 AM
  #18
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Originally Posted by Saugus View Post
It's a checking line in the sense that we sometimes match them against the other team's top line, but we don't really have a true checking line anymore. Zajac may be our best defensive centre, but he's also our best playmaker too. Elias wasn't gelling well with Kovy for whatever reason, so the only other option is Zajac. Lemaire wants to get Rolston going, so he is being played with two of our best offensive players. He also happens to be good defensively. And that line is producing, while being defensively responsible.

That's Devils hockey in a nutshell, and that's what Lemaire is looking for. I don't think it's a "checking line", because even Lemaire, despite all his insanity and faults, realises that the concept of the old school checking line is nearly dead. We have a top 6 group that is extremely responsible, while being productive. I hope it stays that way.
BINGO.

The old school checking lines are 'crash lines' and 'bangers'. That isn't the case anymore. This line is the future check line. They are so good on both sides of the puck it's disturbing. This leaves Parise-Elias-Langs to be a little more offensive, which is a scary scary thing.

I don't 100% agree with CD that this is our checking line, but I sure see what he means.

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03-28-2010, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowbell232 View Post
BINGO.

The old school checking lines are 'crash lines' and 'bangers'. That isn't the case anymore. This line is the future check line. They are so good on both sides of the puck it's disturbing. This leaves Parise-Elias-Langs to be a little more offensive, which is a scary scary thing.

I don't 100% agree with CD that this is our checking line, but I sure see what he means.
I'll clarify: when Lemaire wanted a unit out on the ice to shut the other team down, he put out Kovalchuk's line. To me, whatever line is designed for that purpose is our checking line.

Honestly, this was a thread intended to defend Rolston's presence a little bit, because he's been fantastic defensively and for Lemaire that's the primary purpose of any line.

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03-28-2010, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
I'll clarify: when Lemaire wanted a unit out on the ice to shut the other team down, he put out Kovalchuk's line. To me, whatever line is designed for that purpose is our checking line.

Honestly, this was a thread intended to defend Rolston's presence a little bit, because he's been fantastic defensively and for Lemaire that's the primary purpose of any line.
Oh definitely, Rolston is the 'checker' on that line. Not to mention he's still got the wheels when he wants to turn it on. I also agree that they fill the role excellently.

I see your point, for sure, but I just don't agree with it yet. To be fair, I also didn't watch the entire Montreal game, so I can't say that was the case.

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03-28-2010, 10:54 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic Devil View Post
I'll clarify: when Lemaire wanted a unit out on the ice to shut the other team down, he put out Kovalchuk's line. To me, whatever line is designed for that purpose is our checking line.

Honestly, this was a thread intended to defend Rolston's presence a little bit, because he's been fantastic defensively and for Lemaire that's the primary purpose of any line.
Then it's a question of semantics. I don't call them a checking line, because they aren't like the old Maddolfo shutdown unit. This is a new breed of shutdown line, one that helps the defence by having control of the puck themselves. In this sense it reminds me of Detroit's shutdown unit of Zetterberg and Datsyuk. They are fantastic two way players, not just pure checkers or pure scorers.

But you're correct that Kovalchuk's line has been put on the ice for the clutch moments when we need a stop. Last night with under a minute to go and Halak pulled, Lemaire had Kovy and his line out there. That speaks volumes to the trust that Lemaire has in not only that line, but also Kovy himself. I was very impressed with Kovy's backchecking and positional defence last night, it really looks like he is buying into the system. And he is thriving offensively too.

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03-28-2010, 11:00 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saugus View Post
Then it's a question of semantics. I don't call them a checking line, because they aren't like the old Maddolfo shutdown unit. This is a new breed of shutdown line, one that helps the defence by having control of the puck themselves. In this sense it reminds me of Detroit's shutdown unit of Zetterberg and Datsyuk. They are fantastic two way players, not just pure checkers or pure scorers.

But you're correct that Kovalchuk's line has been put on the ice for the clutch moments when we need a stop. Last night with under a minute to go and Halak pulled, Lemaire had Kovy and his line out there. That speaks volumes to the trust that Lemaire has in not only that line, but also Kovy himself. I was very impressed with Kovy's backchecking and positional defence last night, it really looks like he is buying into the system. And he is thriving offensively too.
Most questions are about semantics.

Kovalchuk is still making some bad decisions with the puck in our end. Part of the reason Montreal's initial pressure at the start of the game was so pronounced was that he made a bad clearing decision. I noticed he iced the puck on another one later in the game too.

He's still learning the defensive zone of the ice, but he's come really far.

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Old
03-28-2010, 12:15 PM
  #23
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Any line with Zajac on it should be our checking line. The wingers don't really matter since Elias, Rolston, Langenbrunner, Parise, and Zubrus are all decent defensively.

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03-28-2010, 12:17 PM
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And how has Rolston been "fantastic" defensively? I always get a bit suspicious when people laud wingers as great defensive players. Beyond backchecking and guarding the point, facets that require effort more than innate defensive prowess, wingers don't really have much defensive responsibility.

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Old
03-28-2010, 12:37 PM
  #25
kyle evs48
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i wish we had two Zajacs

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