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Bylsma's preferred line combos

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Old
09-12-2011, 02:31 PM
  #76
JTG
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I think camp will sort every question out because I think Letestu, Jeffrey, and Tangradi won't be denied.

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09-12-2011, 02:41 PM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Once Dupuis re-signed, I began prepping myself for it.
Pretty much, I don't get my hopes up anymore. There's words and there's actions and we've seen that Bylsma has preferred to put Dupuis ahead of Kennedy. The only thing I can think of that might deter that this time around is Kennedy's new contract and the amount of money he's making now. Also, I just don't see Bylsma using his right handed shots as LW's and vice versa.

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09-12-2011, 02:46 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
I think camp will sort every question out because I think Letestu, Jeffrey, and Tangradi won't be denied.
I agree with you about Letestu and Jeffrey. They can't go back down to WBS without being put on waivers and I can't imagine they want to lose two young guys on cap friendly deals for nothing.

Tangradi on the other hand I think is fighting an uphill battle. There are just too many reasons to put him back in WBS. I want him to make it though.

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09-12-2011, 03:01 PM
  #79
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To Sealbound

I'm not backing away from my pro-staalkin position. It's almost a certainty that Sid will not be in the lineup for quite some time. Staal will get his chance with Kunitz and Kennedy (assuming Geno is with neal and sullivan) and imo after a full offseason and training camp, he'll force DB's hand.

When Sid's back, you drop Geno back to 2nd line RW and move Kennedy/Sullivan on the LW. Letestu/Jeffrey will get their chance at 3C while Sid's out so we'll see how that goes.

It's kind of odd that DB wouldn't address what the lines would look like without Sid. Basically as of now, this is what he'd want to see later in the season. Far too many X factors in training camp imo to make that claim.

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Old
09-12-2011, 03:06 PM
  #80
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I do like what DB said about the PP....


"We're going to try to institute different things, when he's there and if he's not there," Bylsma said.

One is to use Sullivan, a left winger signed as a free agent from Nashville in July, on the point of the No. 1 power play, replacing a defenseman.

"We'll see a fair amount of that, having four forwards on the ice," Bylsma said. "It also provides another right [-handed] shot for a unit that works off the left side with [Crosby] or [Malkin], which we've worked in the past.

"We're going to involve [Crosby] and [Malkin] and [Sullivan] more with the people bringing the puck up the ice. ... You're putting it in the hands of the guys who are the best at carrying the puck up the ice, and that does make it harder for other teams.

"If Kris Letang carries the puck up the ice, they can take away Sidney Crosby by skating next to him. It makes it harder for them to take away that option."

Once they're in the attacking zone, Bylsma plans to have units capable of working from either side of the ice, rather than just the right. Crosby and Malkin will be on both groups, but the rest of each unit will be tailored to the area from which the group is operating.

"If you have [Crosby, Malkin, Paul] Martin and Kunitz or Neal on the ice, and Sullivan, if you pass the puck to Sullivan, he has four [left-handed] one-time shots [to set up]," he said. "There will be a different look off the other side of the ice, and we'd be doing that on a regular basis.

"We could switch in the game, we could switch after periods. Say, 'We've done the overload on this side, we're now going to go over there' to give a different look, to get our players moving more, to get different personnel involved -- not the same five guys."


Sullivan staying healthy and running the leftside being able to set up one of Neal, Crosby and Malkin on the one timer is going to be money.

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Old
09-12-2011, 03:06 PM
  #81
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An honest assessment of the Pens wingers:

Kunitz + Neal are the only two guys who you could call second line wingers on decent playoff caliber teams. With the right center, they can pass for first liners.

Kennedy + Dupuis + Sullivan (at this point of his career) are third line guys on playoff caliber teams who, with the right center, can play a top six role as the third wheel on a line.

IMHO, Kunitz + Neal can play with Crosby or Malkin and give you a top six type performance. Beyond the score sheet, they can do the proverbial little things on the forecheck and in terms of creating space that help Crosby or Malkin. Malkin, I think, would get more out of Neal when you consider the playing styles in the same way he once got more out of Malone. Conversely, Sid gets more out of Kunitz.

Sullivan, I suspect, can be a nice third wheel on a line with Crosby or Malkin, assuming he's healthy. It makes sense to put him with Malkin, I suppose, since he's a C/W and can take draws, perhaps working with Malkin in this way like Talbot once did.

Kennedy is a question mark. Two years ago, the Pens spent a preseason with him on Malkin's wing, only to pull the Dupuis switch for opening game, which was an unmitigated disaster. That said, I don't think we've seen enough of Kennedy with Crosby or Malkin to know if he can elevate to that playoff caliber team top six role.

As for Dupuis, it's really simple. He plays north-south up tempo hockey. As a third wheel with Sid, where Kunitz (or a guy like Kunitz) is the other winger, he's passable. On a line with Geno, he's a cluster, period. Their styles are too disparate for him to complement Geno in the way he can pass as a complement for Sid. And, beyond that, those disparate styles serve to retard what Geno can do on the ice.

That said, there are some disconcerting things in suggested lines:

1. The idea that Dupuis would be on Malkin's line reminds me so much of two years ago (and the last two years frankly), where the pecking order when it comes to lines is Sid's line (o'k, I get that), the third line, and, at times it seemed, the fourth line (for those who remember the short lived Asham experiment with Malkin). It really is a testament to how little this coaching staff (a) values Malkin per se and (b) appreciates the matchup problems that putting him into a position to succeed create for other teams.

2. For the life of me, it just seems like such a no-brainer to settle on Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis (make the RW open to camp competition and make Dupuis the fallback), Neal-Malkin-Sullivan, Cooke-Staal-Kennedy and then make a major deadline move to get Sid a 4-5M type winger for his right side. Oh well . . .

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Old
09-12-2011, 03:06 PM
  #82
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I think we're worried for nothing. Geno never struck me as someone who wants his own team and the limelight that comes with it. If anything, I'm pretty sure he likes that Sid gets the attention he gets so he can just concentrate on playing.

We'll know more when Sid re-ups first, because his salary will be the individual ceiling. If Sid signs for the type of "discount" I think he'll sign for, Geno will probably follow suit.

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09-12-2011, 03:12 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpp9 View Post
To Sealbound

I'm not backing away from my pro-staalkin position. It's almost a certainty that Sid will not be in the lineup for quite some time. Staal will get his chance with Kunitz and Kennedy (assuming Geno is with neal and sullivan) and imo after a full offseason and training camp, he'll force DB's hand.

When Sid's back, you drop Geno back to 2nd line RW and move Kennedy/Sullivan on the LW. Letestu/Jeffrey will get their chance at 3C while Sid's out so we'll see how that goes.

It's kind of odd that DB wouldn't address what the lines would look like without Sid. Basically as of now, this is what he'd want to see later in the season. Far too many X factors in training camp imo to make that claim.
Staalkin was an idea based on the fact that we had literally ZERO wingers. There was Kunitz (who's ideally a second line guy) and that's it.

Neal and TK's emergence changed the game.

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Old
09-12-2011, 03:13 PM
  #84
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As for people's complaints with Kunitz-Crosby-Neal. Are we having reading comprehension issues from earlier in the summer. He has said many times that he likes Neal's game on Crosby's wing and thinks he could convert to RW.

None of this is set in stone and I'm sure Malkin will play well with Geno until Sid's back.

There's just as much of a possibility that Staal moves up into the top six as Neal sticking with Geno on the 2nd line. We just heard what DB thinks is ideal at this present time.

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Old
09-12-2011, 03:15 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by mpp9 View Post
To Sealbound

I'm not backing away from my pro-staalkin position. It's almost a certainty that Sid will not be in the lineup for quite some time. Staal will get his chance with Kunitz and Kennedy (assuming Geno is with neal and sullivan) and imo after a full offseason and training camp, he'll force DB's hand.

When Sid's back, you drop Geno back to 2nd line RW and move Kennedy/Sullivan on the LW. Letestu/Jeffrey will get their chance at 3C while Sid's out so we'll see how that goes.

It's kind of odd that DB wouldn't address what the lines would look like without Sid. Basically as of now, this is what he'd want to see later in the season. Far too many X factors in training camp imo to make that claim.
I'll repeat something I wrote yesterday: If Geno is going, then shifting him to RW and making Staal his center will do more to slow him down than the opposition. If Geno isn't going, then moving him to RW and making Staal his center will be about the last thing to get him going.

I don't mind Staalkin a few shifts a period. To be frank, with all of this talk of lines, I always was a little partial to the Therrien model when it came to Malkin: Play him at center, give him as much help as you can given the roster (and, if the guys he's with aren't cutting it, try other guys before Malkin gets into a rut), mix him in at wing to make sure he's getting quality and consistent shifts, and, after doing everything you can to put him into a position to succeed, expect success (and let Malkin know you expect success). I'm sometimes not sure what's worse, that Bylsma sometimes refuses to throw Malkin into the deep end of the pool or that he only seems willing to do so if he ties a boulder to his ankles.

As for the PP, I've got no problem with what Bylsma has in mind as long as one of the constants of this new look PP is that Malkin is moving into positions to take one-timers. No more of him on the left point . . . it wastes the team's best one-time shot.

I don't know. I'm really torn on this one. Part of me wants to say "Malkin has to produce, period". The other part of me says even Sid didn't produce when he was set up to fail in the 2008-2009 season (i.e., when he centered Satan and Dupuis for about 55 games).

Here's my other concern: Say Sid can't open the season. Say Neal-Malkin-Sullivan is L1. Say they give you what Malone-Malkin-Sykora once did. Then, say Sid comes back around Christmas. Will Bylsma rush to break up that line. As I wrote earlier, the no-brainer would be to put him with Kunitz and Dupuis short term and then make a deadline splash, as there's enough cap space for an impact winger for Sid and an upgrade for the 5/6 pairing (not unlike the 2007-2008 season when Hossa and Gill came over).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
I think we're worried for nothing. Geno never struck me as someone who wants his own team and the limelight that comes with it. If anything, I'm pretty sure he likes that Sid gets the attention he gets so he can just concentrate on playing.

We'll know more when Sid re-ups first, because his salary will be the individual ceiling. If Sid signs for the type of "discount" I think he'll sign for, Geno will probably follow suit.
I don't know. On the one hand, you're right in that he seems content to play Robin to Sid's Batman and will take a discount (lest anyone forget, at the time, that 8.7M deal came the year he carried the team with Sid out and, if the Pens had waited, he could have had a half dozen or so max offer sheets after his Conn Smythe season). On the other hand, you've got a situation where who plays with Malkin is a question settled not only after who plays with Sid but also who plays with Staal and where the coach thinks it's a good idea to move a franchise center to Staal's wing (I still compare that to Edzo moving rookie Sid to Christensen's wing). You've got to think that three more seasons of that, where it's center crap or play on Staal's wing and where it's no longer #1/#1A in terms of how the coaches view Sid and you, could wear on Malkin and the idea of a big dollar contract, top wingers for linemates offer from any number of teams, including playoff teams, will be appealing.


Last edited by KIRK: 09-12-2011 at 03:20 PM.
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Old
09-12-2011, 03:18 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
Staalkin was an idea based on the fact that we had literally ZERO wingers. There was Kunitz (who's ideally a second line guy) and that's it.

Neal and TK's emergence changed the game.
I never used our lack of wingers to justify staalkin. If we had enough to surround all three of our centers with at least one top six capable linemate then fine.

I just think Staalkin solidifies our top six and allows for the young guys to earn their keep in the bottom six.

Imo, Kennedy/Sullivan-Staal-Malkin is every bit as effective as Sullivan-Malkin-Kennedy.

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09-12-2011, 03:24 PM
  #87
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Ah wow. Apparently Disco Dan isn't bullish on the idea of Malkin-Staal playing a line together... can't say I blame him either.

Malkin plays a skill game and Staal plays a 3rd liner game - makes no sense to limit Malkin's production by putting Staal on the 2nd line.

I think Kennedy is the best "tweener" at this point to fill in the 2nd line, but I would love to see Jeffrey eventually fill that spot. He has a knack for generating offense and I think it's only a matter of time before we that transition over to the NHL level.

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09-12-2011, 03:30 PM
  #88
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Staalkin was DB's idea to begin with...

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09-12-2011, 03:31 PM
  #89
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I feel like this is all much ado about nothing.


A) Malkin is getting the best linemates he's had since Malone/Sykora, which is granted a sad indicator of what we've been running out there since then.

B) That top line is going to be absolutely dominant.

C) Despite that top line seemingly being overloaded we still have balance. Those three lines are GREAT lines. And the fourth line will be awesome too.

D) Malkin and Crosby will still be together on the powerplay and that's where both of them need to dominate. If they do, Malkin will hit 90-100 points no problem. If they don't, Malkin will hover around PPG and Crosby will still be over 100. My point is, the powerplay is going to be the main factor in whether or not Malkin gets on track again.

E) We most likely won't see these lines for months, if at all. Neal might click with Malkin before then making all of this a moot point, and it's possible that once Crosby gets back there will be injuries and the Pens wont even get to try these lines.

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09-12-2011, 03:31 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Staalkin was DB's idea to begin with...
Come on. Let's not let facts get in the way of a good argument.

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09-12-2011, 03:32 PM
  #91
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Ah wow. Apparently Disco Dan isn't bullish on the idea of Malkin-Staal playing a line together... can't say I blame him either.

Malkin plays a skill game and Staal plays a 3rd liner game - makes no sense to limit Malkin's production by putting Staal on the 2nd line.

I think Kennedy is the best "tweener" at this point to fill in the 2nd line, but I would love to see Jeffrey eventually fill that spot. He has a knack for generating offense and I think it's only a matter of time before we that transition over to the NHL level.
Now why do you think that is? Maybe b/c malkin is expected to take chances and beat defenders one on one, one on two. Maybe b/c Staal played with third liners.

Once and for all, do you honestly think fedotenko and talbot at any point with us were better than Staal. The only reason he's kept down on the third line is for depth purposes.

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09-12-2011, 04:02 PM
  #92
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Speaking as if I know more than the coach; I've always liked the chemistry that Kunitz and Staal had together. And I'm not thrilled about the idea of Letestu, who scored 14 goals in 64 games last year, being on the 4th line. Personally, if everyone is healthy, I'd like to see:

Neal-Crosby-Malkin
Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy
Jeffrey/Dupuis-Letestu-Sullivan
Cooke-Adams-Asham/Dupuis

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09-12-2011, 04:07 PM
  #93
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Malkin and Staal seemed to do all right in their rookie year together.

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Old
09-12-2011, 04:10 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
I guess the question becomes then, if Crosby can't start the season, does he insert Malkin into Crosby's spot with Kunitz and Neal and then slide Staal up into Malkin's spot?

Kunitz - Malkin - Neal
Sullivan - Staal - Kennedy
Cooke - Jeffrey (if healthy) - Dupuis
Asham - Letestu - Adams
I personally love those lines if Sid is indeed not ready to go! WoooOOooo DROP THE PUCK ALREADY!

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09-12-2011, 04:27 PM
  #95
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I'm so ready for camp...

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Old
09-12-2011, 04:57 PM
  #96
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Originally Posted by wej20 View Post
Malkin and Staal seemed to do all right in their rookie year together.
I don't get why people doubt their chemistry. They always play well together. It's not opinion. It's fact. Sid will be out most likely for awhile so maybe Staal can earn the 2C spot for good.

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09-12-2011, 05:12 PM
  #97
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Bylsma's "ideal" line combos seem kind of... well... less than ideal.

Not that it means anything whatsoever. They'll be given the blender treatment probably 30 seconds into the first period of the first game.

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09-12-2011, 05:15 PM
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Staalkin was DB's idea to begin with...
This fact does not eliminate the possibility that he's decided it isn't the best idea. People don't change, but sometimes people change their minds.

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09-12-2011, 05:25 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by Dread Pirate Roberts View Post
This fact does not eliminate the possibility that he's decided it isn't the best idea. People don't change, but sometimes people change their minds.
It hasn't even been tried. Hard to believe that he wanted to see it, then all of a sudden without even seeing it, he doesn't want to visit it anymore.

I personally think things will sort themselves out, and we ultimately will see Staal with Malkin in some capacity because that's what the lineup will dictate. Guys are going to win jobs and deserve a certain level of responsibility.

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09-12-2011, 05:43 PM
  #100
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But what you don't know is if he wanted it out of necessity or desire.

I don't WANT to go to work every day...but given my choices, I have to. DB may not have wanted to put them together...but given what he had at the time (a hole at RW) he felt that Staalkin may have been an option.

Its not hard to understand DB not wanting Staalkin...the 3C model makes us very dangerous and a living hell to play against.

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