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Season-opening top 9 set?

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09-26-2013, 07:33 PM
  #1
cardsfan
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Season-opening top 9 set?

From the Post:
Hitchcock said he could envision the Blues' opening the regular season with the same top-nine that skated today. Here they are....

***

TODAY'S LINEUP

Forwards

Alexander Steen-David Backes-T.J. Oshie

Brenden Morrow-Derek Roy-Chris Stewart

Jaden Schwartz-Patrik Berglund-Vladimir Tarasenko

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09-26-2013, 07:35 PM
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Hope that third line realizes it has to be the best offensive line we have.

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09-26-2013, 07:39 PM
  #3
MattyMo35
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I like the third line quite a bit. Schwartz has made everyone around him better during the preseason, so hopefully he'll spark Tarasenko and Bergie. They've both shown the ability to be true impact players, consistency seems to be the issue. On paper, I don't like the looks of that second line. I haven't seen Morrow play this year, but I don't think he has the speed to keep up with that line. Roy's entire game is predicated on speed and vision. As P9's has pointed out before, Stewy does his best work off the rush as well. I think Steen is a better option on that line, but Hitch is a coach and I'm a fan for a reason.

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09-26-2013, 08:36 PM
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Daley Tarasenkshow
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I think Morrow really fits with Roy and Stewart. I really feel like this could be 'the' line.

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09-26-2013, 09:27 PM
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More depth forwards than anyone knows what to do with and they want Morrow in a top 9 spot.

Armstrong/Hitchcock are making garbage decisions. It'll be be an interesting year.

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09-26-2013, 09:34 PM
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Daley Tarasenkshow
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Originally Posted by Jzk View Post
More depth forwards than anyone knows what to do with and they want Morrow in a top 9 spot.

Armstrong/Hitchcock are making garbage decisions. It'll be be an interesting year.
I'm wondering, what other "garbage decisions' has the tandem made?

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09-26-2013, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jzk View Post
More depth forwards than anyone knows what to do with and they want Morrow in a top 9 spot.

Armstrong/Hitchcock are making garbage decisions. It'll be be an interesting year.
Morrow on the second line and PRV off the third line, for a possible game or two, to see if it works out of a 82 game season.

I think garbage decision, might be a little strong.

I hope they're playing well at the end of the season. Not as worried about the opening day roster.

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09-26-2013, 10:24 PM
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I like it.

Hope Paajarvi can eventually get in there but we'll have plenty of options.

If Morrow isn't up to speed in the game tomorrow Hitch will probably take him off. But if he is, give him a shot.

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09-26-2013, 10:24 PM
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Sigh, Sobotka out in the cold again. I saw this coming in the off season and that was before Morrow. At this point, just put him on waivers and play one of the bigger younger guys for the 5 mins a night on the 4th line.

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09-26-2013, 10:33 PM
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These lines are set up for the Morrow/Roy/Stewart line to be given all the offensive zone starts and rarely see defensive zone play, kind of like how the Canucks use the Sedins. Hitchcock could maximize their effectiveness playing them like that; I think it could work well, but I'm skeptical of Morrow's effectiveness at this point in his career.

Still, there are effective players at his age; if injury has been holding him back hopefully he's recovered a bit. Though the short offseason and compressed season probably didn't help.

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09-26-2013, 10:59 PM
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Sigh, Sobotka out in the cold again. I saw this coming in the off season and that was before Morrow. At this point, just put him on waivers and play one of the bigger younger guys for the 5 mins a night on the 4th line.
Are you serious? Dude is going to get 15+ minutes a night anyway. I love Sobotka and he's one of the most versatile players in the league, but that doesn't magically give him the offensive skill to play in a healthy top-9.

He takes forever to get off his shot, which is not particularly dangerous. He does not excel in transition. He has showed some surprising offensive swagger in the AHL and Czech league, but his offensive game in the NHL to this point has been almost entirely cycling and picking up broken, garbage plays. It's good to have that, but he's not even remarkable in that regard. He simply doesn't create.

Last year, at even strength, Sobotka played most with Tarasenko & Perron and McDonald & Stewart and in the previous year, he played most with Backes and Oshie. And over those seasons, he has scored at an 8 goal and 26 point pace. That's plenty of opportunity and production that guys like Berglund, Stewart, and Perron would be crucified for with the same linemates.
For a team without top-end scoring prowess, like the Blues, we could do without guys who can't break 30 points in the healthy version of the top-9. They'll be there with injuries and that's fine, but it's bizarre to be sour about a guy not getting opportunities and responsibilities when he has and will continue to get them.

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09-26-2013, 11:19 PM
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so... would paajarvi-sobotka-reaves be our fourth line? or is paajarvi just out of the line up with this set up?

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09-26-2013, 11:44 PM
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so... would paajarvi-sobotka-reaves be our fourth line? or is paajarvi just out of the line up with this set up?
I'd think it would probably be Reaves/PRV-Lappy-Sobotka

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09-26-2013, 11:46 PM
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Maybe after Hitchcock gets tired of Tarasenko's creativity, Paajarvi can use the opportunity to crack the top 3 lines, play sound positionally, and contribute absolutely nothing offensively.


Last edited by EastonBlues22: 09-27-2013 at 12:05 AM. Reason: thread hijack
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09-26-2013, 11:47 PM
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I'd think it would probably be Reaves/PRV-Lappy-Sobotka
right on, i forgot about lappy. It's tough to decide what i'd like to see when it comes to the third and fourth line now because i've loved what reaves and sobotka (and others, i.e. CPR) have done down there, but with all these players, I suppose I'll have to embrace the new

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09-27-2013, 12:11 AM
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I hate when fans overrate Sobotka. The dude should be nowhere near the top 6.

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09-27-2013, 10:06 AM
  #17
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I hate when fans overrate Sobotka. The dude should be nowhere near the top 6.
Couldn't agree more, the guy is better suited towards the 3rd line.

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09-27-2013, 10:09 AM
  #18
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Soby is a great PKer and shutdown defender but he doesn't need to be in the top 9 to be effective.

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09-27-2013, 05:11 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by BlueDream View Post
I hate when fans overrate Sobotka. The dude should be nowhere near the top 6.
I don't see many people saying that. What I do think is that Sobotka should be a staple on the third line, instead of a spare bit part on the 4th line.

And personally, if the Blues don't see him as a 3rd liner, then I'd like to see them dump him. There's younger, bigger and less expensive guys to be a bit part on the 4th line as the utility guy.

I see Sobotka as a bonafide 3rd liner. If he's not going to be that on the Blues, I hope they get smart and move him whether that's a waiver dump or whatever.

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09-27-2013, 05:33 PM
  #20
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Originally Posted by JamieG View Post
I don't see many people saying that. What I do think is that Sobotka should be a staple on the third line, instead of a spare bit part on the 4th line.

And personally, if the Blues don't see him as a 3rd liner, then I'd like to see them dump him. There's younger, bigger and less expensive guys to be a bit part on the 4th line as the utility guy.

I see Sobotka as a bonafide 3rd liner. If he's not going to be that on the Blues, I hope they get smart and move him whether that's a waiver dump or whatever.
Why is that smart? The Blues are not top-heavy, they need the most depth they can get. Sobotka is not going to get just a few minutes, regardless. He'll be injury replacement, play the PK, take extra shifts with lines that aren't performing, and go out for critical faceoffs. He has been on that "fourth line" to start each of the past two seasons and has still averaged 15-16 minutes of ice time each year. That's way above 4th line responsibility and opportunity. What makes you think that's going to change?

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09-27-2013, 05:39 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieG View Post
I don't see many people saying that. What I do think is that Sobotka should be a staple on the third line, instead of a spare bit part on the 4th line.

And personally, if the Blues don't see him as a 3rd liner, then I'd like to see them dump him. There's younger, bigger and less expensive guys to be a bit part on the 4th line as the utility guy.

I see Sobotka as a bonafide 3rd liner. If he's not going to be that on the Blues, I hope they get smart and move him whether that's a waiver dump or whatever.
How is it smart to dump cheap versatile depth?

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09-27-2013, 06:12 PM
  #22
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Crazy talk. Sobotka is certainly more than capable of playing on the third line every night, but we don't need that from him. He offers more to the team on the 4th line and then picking up extra minutes on the PK, moving up the lineup for a few shifts most games etc etc. He'll get "top-9" minutes even if it isn't via a traditional route.

Some fans overrate his ability because of his importance to the team. Will be interesting to see what kind of deal he gets next summer. We certainly won't be thinking of moving him for the sake of it.

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09-27-2013, 06:38 PM
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People seem to forget injuries happen as well. Oshie and Steen have not been the most durable players in their careers. I'll be surprised if they both play the full 82 games this season. Also Roy as well.

I fully expect someone like Sobotka to get 20-40 games in the top 9 this season as an injury fill in.

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09-28-2013, 03:48 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieG View Post
I don't see many people saying that. What I do think is that Sobotka should be a staple on the third line, instead of a spare bit part on the 4th line.

And personally, if the Blues don't see him as a 3rd liner, then I'd like to see them dump him. There's younger, bigger and less expensive guys to be a bit part on the 4th line as the utility guy.

I see Sobotka as a bonafide 3rd liner. If he's not going to be that on the Blues, I hope they get smart and move him whether that's a waiver dump or whatever.
Well he's not a staple on the 3rd line and rightfully so.

And fans overrate him because he's an undersized player that works hard, that's really it. It has always been like that with fans from St. Louis regarding both the Blues and Cardinals.

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09-28-2013, 11:25 AM
  #25
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I fully expect someone like Sobotka to get 20-40 games in the top 9 this season as an injury fill in.
No Jaskin call-up?

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