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BigTed3
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17 minutes ago, habs1952 said:

I'd be more inclined to clinch 4th place before resting everyone. This team is too capable of going on a losing streak and this is not the time to do so. Why give teams hope which just makes them play harder?

Montreal is 3 W and 7 L in last 10 . Eight points ahead of Vancouver and Vancouver has 4 games in hand . Not exactly the time to be resting players 

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16 minutes ago, habs1952 said:

I'd be more inclined to clinch 4th place before resting everyone. This team is too capable of going on a losing streak and this is not the time to do so. Why give teams hope which just makes them play harder?

Downsides to this:

1. You're playing with poorly-rested Weber and Petry that whole time, so you wear them out more. And are we really better off with those guys in and playing poorly than having fresher legs?

2. if you clinch 4th with 5 games to go, then you're playing out the stretch with nothing to play for and you risk losing intensity.

3. As I've posted before, I want Calgary and Vancouver to keep winning too. I don't want to back into the playoffs because no one was catching us and we head in playing terrible hockey. If you're going to go in as a 4 seed, you want to benefit from being as healthy as possible and playing well in the 3-4 games before you go in. One benefit of this isolated division thing is that there are less unknowns and you have a pretty good sense of what you need to do to get into the post-season. The Habs can probably look at their last stretch and know that they need to play .500 and they're in. There's not much mystery there.

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33 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Montreal is 3 W and 7 L in last 10 . Eight points ahead of Vancouver and Vancouver has 4 games in hand . Not exactly the time to be resting players 

Yeah.  Because the ones they're using are doing so good.

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14 hours ago, caperns61 said:

Certainly your numbers look good, but there are factors that are overlooked.  Kulak clearly gets superior offensive zone starts compared to all other deeman. Even more then a first year rookie. ODDS are certainly stacked in his favour, no other deeman gets starts over  60% of their shifts in the offensive zone. So he is likely starting his shifts against the defensive line on the other team, while we would likely be sending out our better offensive line. So odds are stacked against players like Chariot, Weber, Edmundson who get Who spend over 50% on the time starting in the dee zone against some of the best players in the league

Offensive zone start, as you can see clearly tilted in Kulak favor

Kulak 62.7 % OZ starts

Romanov 59.8 % OZ

Mete 57 % OZ

Petry 52 %OZ

Weber 49.8 OZ

Chariot 49.8 OZ

Edmundson 47.8 OZ

Points Per 60 minutes 5on 5

Petry .97 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 10 % LESS then Kulak

Mete .93 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 6% less of than Kulak, but not good enough for our high powered offense

Kulak . 69 PP 60 with again superior offensive zone starts than any other deeman on our team.

Weber .68 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 13% LESS than Kulak

Edmundson .65, he starts in the offensive zone 15% LESS than Kulak

Chariot .50, he starts in the offensive zone 14% LESS than Kulak

Romanov .37 PP 60 starting in the offensive zone 3% LESS than Kulak

And I am sure PP game against are in his favour for obvious reasons

To put this even more into perspective. When we look at all defenseman who have played more than 10 games this season. Only 5 defenseman in the entire NHL have more 5on5 OZ% starts then Kulak. So the odds are certainly stacked in Kulaks favour. 

I am sure someone like Weber starting over 60 % of the time in the OZ and not have to worry about Mathews, MCdavid etc on the nightly basis would look a lot better game in and game out 

Exactly and it's hard to compare short periods of one player with another player instead of a long period getting the same assignments game in and out. I don't dislike Kulak but Corsi numbers are easily skewed but several factors and Corsi or other advanced metrics dont' take a lot of the game into effect either. Even just deflecting a pass have a stick in a lane to block and attempted pass. ECT. ECT.

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12 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

An outside the box thought after all this, but given our team is almost locked into our 4th-place position (we have about 80% odds of finishing there), why not use our abundance of D men to our advantage and try to rest Weber (who may or may not be injured or just old) and to a lesser extent Petry (who also looks worn down)? If we're going into the playoffs as a 4 seed almost regardless of how we play the rest of the way, let's go in with a fresh Weber, Petry, and Price. So why not use Gustafsson's offence to fill in for the guy you pull out and go

Kulak-Petry/Weber

Romanov-Merrill

Gustafsson-Chiarot/Edmundson

 

Play Petry two games and sit Weber for those two, then play Weber one game and sit Petry for that one and so on. Do the same thing rotating Chiarot and Edmundson on the 3rd pairing. It keeps some of the better skaters and fresher legs in the line-up and rotates the older and slower guys in and out to make sure they're maximally effective come the post-season.

That could possibly happen "once" we have locked up a playoff position. We haven't done that yet. I would also say let's give Primeau a start or two once we've locked up a position and definitely get CC into a few games.  

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The D played really well last night the pairings worked good Webber had a good night hope he can keep it up! Romanov was really good with Merrill and Petry looked a bit more settled with the other pairings playing better. the forwards worked hard last night and it showed if they would just keep the effort up we would be in a better spot. missing a 30 goal man in Gally hurts it is why I would just do what it takes to get Cole in and get his feet wet, the kid is a winner and he will make us better. this is a bizzare throw away kind of year to me it will always have an asterix next to it even if you win the cup.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If we happen to be fully healthy by the start of the playoffs (where there are no limits on call-ups and we can thus use anyone we want), this would be my line-up:

 

Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Evans-Byron

 

My rationale...

- The 2nd and 3rd line here have had success with each other in the past, and given how much line juggling has gone on, I'd be happy to have some lines that have chemistry and familiarity with each other.

- I like the idea of Caufield on his off-wing with the right-handed center Suzuki feeding him.

- I prefer to have Caufield (who is small) and Drouin (who plays small) each on a line where the other winger is a bigger player who goes into the corners and protects the puck well (Anderson and Armia)

- Lehkonen has played well with both Danault and Evans but if we're going to keep Tatar-Danault-Gallagher together, may as well have a 4th line that forechecks aggressively and skates well. Evans has been great at putting pressure on the other team and he's drawn a heck of a lot of penalties this year. Seems like a good fit with Lehkonen. The other wing is a bit of a toss-up. On the one hand. Perry bring size, experience, and a boost to the PP. On the other, Byron brings speed, experience, and ability on the PK. I'd start with using the speed element, as I think it meshes better with the pace of play Lehkonen-Evans will skate at and because I think it's more of a match-up problem for other teams to have to deal with a speed line than a mish-mash. Perry, despite his prowess on the PP, is easy to contain at ES.

 

On D:

 

Edmundson-Petry

Romanov-Chiarot

Kulak-Weber

 

Pretty easy call given what we've seen the past couple of games. I don't love our D corps by any means, but it's clear that Merrill and Gustafsson don't deserve to be in the line-up. The numbers suggested that in Merrill we were getting a below-average defenceman playing in a bad system in Detroit. And that's precisely what we've gotten. He provides no offence and he's been weak defensively too. For example, advanced stats from last game showed he made 9 D-zone exit attempts. 2 made it out successfully with our retaining puck possession. 2 were dump outs. And 5 were failed exits that resulted in the puck being turned over and staying in our zone. Merrill also only broke up one zone entry attempt from Ottawa. Conversely, Romanov made 11 zone exit attempts and completed 7 successfully with possession. Edmundson completed 7 of 10 successfully. Petry 6 of 7. Kulak 5 of 6. Chiarot 4 of 7. Petry and Kulak also tied for the team lead with three attacks broken up. So all the other D men on the team did better at defence than Merrill, and Merrill is the guy who provides maybe the least offence as well. If we look at zone entries at the offensive end, this is supported by the fact Merrill only had one zone entry attempt, and it resulted in a dump in as opposed to puck possession retention. He's providing so little right now, it's absurd that he's managed to stay in the line-up. Gustafsson's numbers have been way better than Merrill's and even then, he's been sloppy at times and not someone I would push in over the starting 6. Weber getting lower minutes with balanced pairings makes more sense than what he was getting next to Chiarot before.

 

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5 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

If we happen to be fully healthy by the start of the playoffs (where there are no limits on call-ups and we can thus use anyone we want), this would be my line-up:

 

Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Evans-Byron

 

My rationale...

- The 2nd and 3rd line here have had success with each other in the past, and given how much line juggling has gone on, I'd be happy to have some lines that have chemistry and familiarity with each other.

- I like the idea of Caufield on his off-wing with the right-handed center Suzuki feeding him.

- I prefer to have Caufield (who is small) and Drouin (who plays small) each on a line where the other winger is a bigger player who goes into the corners and protects the puck well (Anderson and Armia)

- Lehkonen has played well with both Danault and Evans but if we're going to keep Tatar-Danault-Gallagher together, may as well have a 4th line that forechecks aggressively and skates well. Evans has been great at putting pressure on the other team and he's drawn a heck of a lot of penalties this year. Seems like a good fit with Lehkonen. The other wing is a bit of a toss-up. On the one hand. Perry bring size, experience, and a boost to the PP. On the other, Byron brings speed, experience, and ability on the PK. I'd start with using the speed element, as I think it meshes better with the pace of play Lehkonen-Evans will skate at and because I think it's more of a match-up problem for other teams to have to deal with a speed line than a mish-mash. Perry, despite his prowess on the PP, is easy to contain at ES.

 

On D:

 

Edmundson-Petry

Romanov-Chiarot

Kulak-Weber

 

Pretty easy call given what we've seen the past couple of games. I don't love our D corps by any means, but it's clear that Merrill and Gustafsson don't deserve to be in the line-up. The numbers suggested that in Merrill we were getting a below-average defenceman playing in a bad system in Detroit. And that's precisely what we've gotten. He provides no offence and he's been weak defensively too. For example, advanced stats from last game showed he made 9 D-zone exit attempts. 2 made it out successfully with our retaining puck possession. 2 were dump outs. And 5 were failed exits that resulted in the puck being turned over and staying in our zone. Merrill also only broke up one zone entry attempt from Ottawa. Conversely, Romanov made 11 zone exit attempts and completed 7 successfully with possession. Edmundson completed 7 of 10 successfully. Petry 6 of 7. Kulak 5 of 6. Chiarot 4 of 7. Petry and Kulak also tied for the team lead with three attacks broken up. So all the other D men on the team did better at defence than Merrill, and Merrill is the guy who provides maybe the least offence as well. If we look at zone entries at the offensive end, this is supported by the fact Merrill only had one zone entry attempt, and it resulted in a dump in as opposed to puck possession retention. He's providing so little right now, it's absurd that he's managed to stay in the line-up. Gustafsson's numbers have been way better than Merrill's and even then, he's been sloppy at times and not someone I would push in over the starting 6. Weber getting lower minutes with balanced pairings makes more sense than what he was getting next to Chiarot before.

 

I assume you forgot Toffoli LOL. That is really the only explanation for leaving the Habs leading goal scorer off the lineup 😆

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1 hour ago, campabee82 said:

I assume you forgot Toffoli LOL. That is really the only explanation for leaving the Habs leading goal scorer off the lineup 😆

Yep. I guess we have too many good players. Back to the drawing board...

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Take 2 (with Toffoli, which actually makes it easier to decide on Byron vs. Perry because they're both out now):

 

Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Toffoli-Evans-Lehkonen

 

... as great as Toffoli has been, I still like the idea of pairing the power wingers with the non power-wingers. The only thing this does is give even greater balance to the line-up. No real 4th line here.

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12 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Take 2 (with Toffoli, which actually makes it easier to decide on Byron vs. Perry because they're both out now):

 

Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Toffoli-Evans-Lehkonen

 

... as great as Toffoli has been, I still like the idea of pairing the power wingers with the non power-wingers. The only thing this does is give even greater balance to the line-up. No real 4th line here.

I think putting Caufield on the wrong wing would be a huge mistake. He would certainly have a blind spot on the half wall in the DZONE, not as bad for bigger wingers but with his size it could be quite dangerous if a big deeman decides to come in off the blueline. And why mess with a rookie on the opposite wing one thing with a veteran player. Now if he has played junior and college hockey on the opposite wing that one thing, but to start playing him there after 5 or 6 nhl games makes very little sense 

Droiun Suzuki and Anderson 

Toffoli KK and Caufield

Tatart Danualt and Gallagher

Lekonen, Evans and Armia..

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10 minutes ago, caperns61 said:

I think putting Caufield on the wrong wing would be a huge mistake. He would certainly have a blind spot on the half wall in the DZONE, not as bad for bigger wingers but with his size it could be quite dangerous if a big deeman decides to come in off the blueline. And why mess with a rookie on the opposite wing one thing with a veteran player. Now if he has played junior and college hockey on the opposite wing that one thing, but to start playing him there after 5 or 6 nhl games makes very little sense 

Droiun Suzuki and Anderson 

Toffoli KK and Caufield

Tatart Danualt and Gallagher

Lekonen, Evans and Armia..

He has played the off wing in Wisconsin, in fact he played the PP on the left most of the time there. 

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13 minutes ago, caperns61 said:

I think putting Caufield on the wrong wing would be a huge mistake. He would certainly have a blind spot on the half wall in the DZONE, not as bad for bigger wingers but with his size it could be quite dangerous if a big deeman decides to come in off the blueline. And why mess with a rookie on the opposite wing one thing with a veteran player. Now if he has played junior and college hockey on the opposite wing that one thing, but to start playing him there after 5 or 6 nhl games makes very little sense 

Droiun Suzuki and Anderson 

Toffoli KK and Caufield

Tatart Danualt and Gallagher

Lekonen, Evans and Armia..

I don't see a problem with his being on the off-wing in the D zone. It has the disadvantage of not being on your forehand to wrap the puck around the boards but it has the advantage of being on the forehand to accept a pass along the boards from the D man and send the puck to an outlet exiting the zone. We've seen guys like Toffoli, Lehkonen, and Byron play the off-wing without issue and none of them are huge. In Europe, there are more wingers who play their off-wing than the way we line up guys in North America because they see it as an advantage to have the one-timer open-faced on offence.

In Caufield's case, he spent a lot of his college career roving around the ice in the O zone. So even though he's listed as a "right wing" he didn't stick to that part of the ice. In fact, he had more goals in college from the left side of the ice than the right side, indicating the benefit of having him there for one timers with his quick release and accuracy. Here's one heat map of his goals from his draft year, courtesy Mikael Nahabedian:

 

Image

 

As you can see, far more from the left side than the right side. This hardly suggests he has no experience patrolling the left side of the ice and that in fact it may be his preferred area to head to when he gets the chance.

I'm comfortable with Cole on either side, and I like the lines you put together too. We frankly have options given the number of talented players we have up front when healthy. If you place CC with Kotkaniemi, then absolutely, I would leave him on the right side where JK's naturally feeding him (being a lefty at center). But if you play him with Suzuki (who is a righty), I like the idea of sliding CC to the left. The advantages of playing Caufield on the left are three-fold:

 

1. The more favorable angle for one-timers for the guy who is probably our best pure shooter now and who scores more from the left than the right

2. The wealth of players we have on the right side moving forward (Gallagher and Anderson signed long-term, Ylonen also very close to making the NHL and being a top 9 option; Toffoli, Lehkonen able to play either side as needed). We're weaker down the left, whereby if we don't re-sign Tatar, then we have Drouin as the only pure LW, plus the options of Toffoli and Lehkonen. There aren't any strong LW prospects in the system ready to make the NHL jump. If you look at Anderson and Gallagher as being locked into long-term deals, the best way to get them all into the top 6 is to slide Caufield over to the left.

3. It would be nice to keep CC on the ice with at least one bigger power forward. At present, we have 3 on the team: Anderson, Armia, and Perry. All right wingers. If you leave CC on the right, he's being partnered with a Drouin, Tatar, Toffoli, or Lehkonen on the left, and none of our centers are particularly physical forces. So again, it seems somewhat intuitive to have the added benefit of a big winger pairing him by having CC on the left and a bigger guy on the right.

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11 hours ago, campabee82 said:

He has played the off wing in Wisconsin, in fact he played the PP on the left most of the time there. 

Playing the PP is different from regular play. He has played his whole career as a RW . He's just getting used to the NHL let Anderson or an experienced  player play his off side and some one with size on their "blind side" . I also think it's sort of funny how many can jump on the switching CC but have a cow when JK is switched position?

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11 hours ago, caperns61 said:

I think putting Caufield on the wrong wing would be a huge mistake. He would certainly have a blind spot on the half wall in the DZONE, not as bad for bigger wingers but with his size it could be quite dangerous if a big deeman decides to come in off the blueline. And why mess with a rookie on the opposite wing one thing with a veteran player. Now if he has played junior and college hockey on the opposite wing that one thing, but to start playing him there after 5 or 6 nhl games makes very little sense 

Droiun Suzuki and Anderson 

Toffoli KK and Caufield

Tatart Danualt and Gallagher

Lekonen, Evans and Armia..

I think this is the best line up. CC  has played RW his whole career and he is just adapting to the NHL. Let him be as comfortable as possible. Playing off side on a PP is totally different defenseman play off side on PP also Centers sometimes play the point. CC would be with two play makers and JK would be with two shooters. They would get preferred zone starts anyway and the Suzuki line and Danault lines both have worked well together in the past. The Evans line could do some real strong play also. The team could play a fast game with this line up.  

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10 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

. I also think it's sort of funny how many can jump on the switching CC but have a cow when JK is switched position?

Ain't it the truth.

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10 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

 I also think it's sort of funny how many can jump on the switching CC but have a cow when JK is switched position?

Not that i dont agree with your other points but this is kind of apples and oranges.  Plenty of wingers switch sides (we have several on this team alone - toffoli, byron, lehks) and are effective at either.

but Centre to wing is a pretty big jump.  Some players adapt well (Damphousse was excellent and effective at either position, Draitsaitl & RNH both jump around a lot in Edmonton) but when you have a young, developing centre its not ideal to switch him to the wing while he's still learning the nhl centre ropes. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

Not that i dont agree with your other points but this is kind of apples and oranges.  Plenty of wingers switch sides (we have several on this team alone - toffoli, byron, lehks) and are effective at either.

but Centre to wing is a pretty big jump.  Some players adapt well (Damphousse was excellent and effective at either position, Draitsaitl & RNH both jump around a lot in Edmonton) but when you have a young, developing centre its not ideal to switch him to the wing while he's still learning the nhl centre ropes. 

And bergevin wonders we he can't find a good center.  They don't develop them properly.  KK has been pretty solid at the C position for a fair while,  including faceoffs. They should be going with Suzuki,  KK, Danault & Evans. Especially leading up to the playoffs. 

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29 minutes ago, electron58 said:

And bergevin wonders we he can't find a good center.  They don't develop them properly.  KK has been pretty solid at the C position for a fair while,  including faceoffs. They should be going with Suzuki,  KK, Danault & Evans. Especially leading up to the playoffs. 

According to Bergevin good available centres don't grow on trees ...I thought the team handled KK exactly right when they sent him to Laval year for a 15 game stint ...he came back more confident and is still playing that way ...Suzuki just keeps getting better as well and has from the beginning . The progress of Evans has been really steady to the point where he is at the very least a reliable 4th line centre ...Montreal hasn't had a 1st overall pick since 1980 ...it is difficult enough to acquire good centres let alone star centres in any draft with crappy picks 

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

Not that i dont agree with your other points but this is kind of apples and oranges.  Plenty of wingers switch sides (we have several on this team alone - toffoli, byron, lehks) and are effective at either.

but Centre to wing is a pretty big jump.  Some players adapt well (Damphousse was excellent and effective at either position, Draitsaitl & RNH both jump around a lot in Edmonton) but when you have a young, developing centre its not ideal to switch him to the wing while he's still learning the nhl centre ropes. 

Exactly, if we wanted a winger we should have taken Tkachuk. There's a major difference between having a young winger switch sides and using a natural center as a winger during their development years. Evans is good and I'm glad we have him, but there's absolutely no reason for him to play center instead of Kotkaniemi. Staal has been a disaster and clearly shouldn't play center instead of Kotkaniemi. We've seen it time and again with this organization, hence the concern.

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23 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Exactly, if we wanted a winger we should have taken Tkachuk. There's a major difference between having a young winger switch sides and using a natural center as a winger during their development years. Evans is good and I'm glad we have him, but there's absolutely no reason for him to play center instead of Kotkaniemi. Staal has been a disaster and clearly shouldn't play center instead of Kotkaniemi. We've seen it time and again with this organization, hence the concern.

I think the problem with Evans (or Suzuki) is that they are both RHS and, despite Gallagher being out, we're still pretty stacked at right wing.   

I believe that the team actually thinks JK on the LW is a promotion because he's playing on what they consider to be the "top line" but i would much rather shuffle the lines a bit & have Suzuki/JK/Danault as my top 3 centres. 

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34 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Exactly, if we wanted a winger we should have taken Tkachuk. There's a major difference between having a young winger switch sides and using a natural center as a winger during their development years. Evans is good and I'm glad we have him, but there's absolutely no reason for him to play center instead of Kotkaniemi. Staal has been a disaster and clearly shouldn't play center instead of Kotkaniemi. We've seen it time and again with this organization, hence the concern.

 

8 minutes ago, maas_art said:

I think the problem with Evans (or Suzuki) is that they are both RHS and, despite Gallagher being out, we're still pretty stacked at right wing.   

I believe that the team actually thinks JK on the LW is a promotion because he's playing on what they consider to be the "top line" but i would much rather shuffle the lines a bit & have Suzuki/JK/Danault as my top 3 centres. 

Here is my thinking on why KK is on the wing, I do not agree with this but here it is. We have Anderson, Armia, Caufield and Perry all as strictly RW with Lehkonen also able to play RW. We have Danault, Suzuki, KK, Staal, Evans as our top 5 C (not in any particular order). LW is where the majority of our injuries are right now, we have Toffoli (RW capable of playing LW but not a top line guy) Lehkonen (not a top line guy) Forlik (not a top 9 guy) Staal (not a top 9 guy) and KK capable of playing LW of those guys who else would you play in the 1 LW slot? KK is the only choice that we have right now who is not only capable of playing LW but also has the top line talent to play there.

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13 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

Playing the PP is different from regular play. He has played his whole career as a RW . He's just getting used to the NHL let Anderson or an experienced  player play his off side and some one with size on their "blind side" . I also think it's sort of funny how many can jump on the switching CC but have a cow when JK is switched position?

 

3 hours ago, maas_art said:

Not that i dont agree with your other points but this is kind of apples and oranges.  Plenty of wingers switch sides (we have several on this team alone - toffoli, byron, lehks) and are effective at either.

but Centre to wing is a pretty big jump.  Some players adapt well (Damphousse was excellent and effective at either position, Draitsaitl & RNH both jump around a lot in Edmonton) but when you have a young, developing centre its not ideal to switch him to the wing while he's still learning the nhl centre ropes. 

 

57 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Exactly, if we wanted a winger we should have taken Tkachuk. There's a major difference between having a young winger switch sides and using a natural center as a winger during their development years. Evans is good and I'm glad we have him, but there's absolutely no reason for him to play center instead of Kotkaniemi. Staal has been a disaster and clearly shouldn't play center instead of Kotkaniemi. We've seen it time and again with this organization, hence the concern.

Going to chime in here as well...

1. Centers are more valuable than wingers. You shouldn't be switching centers to wing unless there's a good reason. If we had 4 elite young centers, then it would make sense to trade one for another asset or convert one to wing. We don't. We have 3 guys who should be staying at center and who can each get reasonably good minutes there: JK, Suzuki, and Danault. They've all played well there, they each bring something to the table. There's no reason to move a guy like Kotkaniemi, Galchenyuk, or Eller off the dot if it's being done to favor a player like Staal, Ott, Thompson, Desharnais, Gomez, etc. If we had McDavid and Crosby as our top 2 centers and then only had room to play one of Suzuki or Kotkaniemi at center, different story. That's not the case here.

2. As was stated, much less difference moving from one wing to another than center to wing (different responsibilities/assignments). And to boot, as I posted CC spends a lot of his time on the left side of the ice and scores more from that side. And he's played there in college too. It's a much less dramatic move.

3. Most importantly, the problem is how you view these players long-term. Kotkaniemi should be a center here long-term. He's only 20. He needs experience as a center. He needs to learn how to play there, he needs to take draws, he needs to figure out where on the ice he needs to be when, and so on. It's less valuable to his learning curve to be on the wing. Caufield is going to be a winger long-term and I would argue, it's not unreasonable to see him as a LW long-term for reasons I posted before. Anderson and Gallagher and maybe Ylonen could all be here on the RW for years. On the left, we're considerably thinner, so it almost makes sense to slide CC over there, especially if you're playing him with a right-handed passing center like Suzuki. So putting CC there doesn't hurt his development and he could be a more valuable asset to the team there. As was said, apples and oranges comparing this move to a move that takes Kotkaniemi out of his position developmentally. 

In any case, I'm not so worried about JK playing wing for a handful of games because we're short-handed. But as Chilla said, we've see them play this game with Eller and Galchenyuk and Domi and Drouin where you're a top 6 center one day then a bottom 6 center then a top 6 winger then a bottom 6 winger then in the pressbox and it's hard for a guy to find consistency with different linemates and different positions and different roles. Less of a concern in the short term, but within a week we need to be seeing JK back at center in the top 9.

 

 

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

In any case, I'm not so worried about JK playing wing for a handful of games because we're short-handed. But as Chilla said, we've see them play this game with Eller and Galchenyuk and Domi and Drouin where you're a top 6 center one day then a bottom 6 center then a top 6 winger then a bottom 6 winger then in the pressbox and it's hard for a guy to find consistency with different linemates and different positions and different roles. Less of a concern in the short term, but within a week we need to be seeing JK back at center in the top 9.

Same. At this point im not worried simply because i believe they see JK as a centre, long term. I think they believe that playing him with Danault + Anderson is preferable to playing him further down the lineup with less competent wingers.  Yes, i know Caulfield would be his winger, but caufield needs some sheltering (or 2 very strong linemates) right now, so they probably dont like the mix just yet.

Nothing Ducharme has done has led me to believe he will value vets over youth going forward.  He's overplayed staal and perry a bit for my liking but a lot of that has to do with injuries.  And while we might say "I knew right away Staal was done"  if you have  GM who's just gone out and acquired a 1200 game, 1000 point forward, you gotta give him a few games at least.   I think that for the most part I can at least understand why DD has done what he's done on almost every case to do with the forwards.

Now, the defense... thats a different story.    

 

 

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