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27 minutes ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

You just triggered something in my head.  Ow, that hurts.

What if Botterill's plan last year was for Eichel to be between Sheary and Vesey with Johansson, Rodrigues, Skinner, Reinhart, Olofsson, and Mittlestadt filling in the top 9 while a guy from a trade for an RD and, ugh, Sobotka filling in?  Jack runs his line while the other 6 figure something out.  That seems ill-conceived, but it looks a lot like what the Pens do with Crosby and Malkin.

My head hurts some more.

This does beg the question, can Jack support marginal NHL talent on his line?  What we've seen to date would say no.  So far, only Reinhart, Skinner and Olofsson have had success.  

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1 hour ago, inkman said:

This does beg the question, can Jack support marginal NHL talent on his line?  What we've seen to date would say no.  So far, only Reinhart, Skinner and Olofsson have had success.  

has it really been tried much? Wonder what the numbers are. Fancy stats, boys?

i remember Vesey getting some shifts, usually late in a period or game for defensive purposes.

I also get the sense that Jack gets a ton of say about who his wingers are.

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15 hours ago, inkman said:

This does beg the question, can Jack support marginal NHL talent on his line?  What we've seen to date would say no.  So far, only Reinhart, Skinner and Olofsson have had success.  

Just nit picking, but even Olofsson wasn’t that successful.  On the PP, yes, but not at ES.

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20 hours ago, inkman said:

This does beg the question, can Jack support marginal NHL talent on his line?  What we've seen to date would say no.  So far, only Reinhart, Skinner and Olofsson have had success.  

Better question, why in the hell would you put marginal talent on a player like Eichel's line and force him to drag them around? It never makes sense. It would be like telling Josh Allen that Kelvin Benjamin is good enough because he should have enough talent to make him catch the ball. 

21 hours ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

You just triggered something in my head.  Ow, that hurts.

What if Botterill's plan last year was for Eichel to be between Sheary and Vesey with Johansson, Rodrigues, Skinner, Reinhart, Olofsson, and Mittlestadt filling in the top 9 while a guy from a trade for an RD and, ugh, Sobotka filling in?  Jack runs his line while the other 6 figure something out.  That seems ill-conceived, but it looks a lot like what the Pens do with Crosby and Malkin.

My head hurts some more.

Then Botterill is a bigger idiot than I thought. 

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26 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Better question, why in the hell would you put marginal talent on a player like Eichel's line and force him to drag them around?

Line combos are tricky, wonderful things, but you never want your superstar to be the only threat on the line with third/fourth liners. 

For success: always two there are. Your top line can definitely have the 3rd wheel playing a specific role (back in the day it could be an enforcer), in modern times it can simply be someone to go into the corners and muck around more than the other two, or the go-to-the-net guy. Right now, the tandem is Eichel and Reino + __. Olofsson was solid for his first year, but not as good as Skinner. The key for us is to find that other tandem for line 2. Oh, and line 3 if Larsson signs elsewhere (I pair Larry/Okposo as the tandem). And line 4 as well.

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Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle though with line combos where the chemistry just works between a star and “some guy.”
Kunitz with Crosby is the one that comes to mind. Moulson Tavares is another.

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21 hours ago, inkman said:

This does beg the question, can Jack support marginal NHL talent on his line?  What we've seen to date would say no.  So far, only Reinhart, Skinner and Olofsson have had success.  

The only mostly dead Pominville shows he can.  The corpse of Pominville proves he's not a miracle worker, yet.

The better question is why would we want the one guy that can be a 100 point player on this roster dragging slugs around eeking out 80 point seasons? 

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Bob McKenzie announced his retirement on twitter:

 

He is one the ***** best.  Probably the best on-air analyst at the national level, perhaps of all time.  He also holds the gold standard for trustworthiness in hockey news in the digital era- it wasn't official until he said it.

He as some work to do yet per contract, but he'll be missed.

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35 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

Bob McKenzie announced his retirement on twitter:

 

He is one the ***** best.  Probably the best on-air analyst at the national level, perhaps of all time.  He also holds the gold standard for trustworthiness in hockey news in the digital era- it wasn't official until he said it.

He as some work to do yet per contract, but he'll be missed.

Thanks for the info.  Next to Jim Kelley, he was my favorite columnist & he did a great job as THN's Editor in Chief back in the day.  Sadly, father time catches up with us all.  Hope he enjoys the partial retirement.  He's earned it.

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He was a real nice guy too the one time I met him.  A friend covered ECAC hockey, which was where Bob's kid played.  He was regularly in touch with my friend, basically telling him to ignore the trolls that were harassing his work (there's a life lesson for everyone) and other talk about the conference.  I was at a random game at Brown one year, my friend up in the press box.  One of the intermissions he comes walking over to me with McKenzie in tow.

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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Better question, why in the hell would you put marginal talent on a player like Eichel's line and force him to drag them around? It never makes sense. It would be like telling Josh Allen that Kelvin Benjamin is good enough because he should have enough talent to make him catch the ball. 

Then Botterill is a bigger idiot than I thought. 

I think in some scenarios it could make sense.  If you have a true superstar player good enough to hold his own skating with a couple 3rd liners, you can then stack the 2nd and 3rd lines so then consistently win their matchups.  It’s not so crazy.  Pittsburgh has done it at times.

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4 hours ago, Curt said:

I think in some scenarios it could make sense.  If you have a true superstar player good enough to hold his own skating with a couple 3rd liners, you can then stack the 2nd and 3rd lines so then consistently win their matchups.  It’s not so crazy.  Pittsburgh has done it at times.

Yeah my 1st thought obviously was Crosby with Sheary. Sheary's probably the perfect example of that

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4 minutes ago, Mustache of God said:

Is there a sabrespace bracket challenge this year? Interested in submitting one but not interested enough to create a league.

Done! I'll start the thread.

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5 hours ago, Curt said:

I think in some scenarios it could make sense.  If you have a true superstar player good enough to hold his own skating with a couple 3rd liners, you can then stack the 2nd and 3rd lines so then consistently win their matchups.  It’s not so crazy.  Pittsburgh has done it at times.

Pittsburgh has multiple centers that aren't *****. 

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15 hours ago, Curt said:

True, but if your center depth looks like Buffalo’s has for the past 2 years, you are screwed no matter how you deploy the wingers.

Which is exactly why you don't put trash on Eichel's wing and say "here, you carry this". 

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31 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Which is exactly why you don't put trash on Eichel's wing and say "here, you carry this". 

Either Eichel is trying to hold serve with 3rd line wingers, and lines 2/3 desperately try to make due with decent wingers but no C, or Eichel’s line dominates and lines 2/3 get caved in.  It’s trying to decide the lesser of 2 evils.

Edited by Curt
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On 8/9/2020 at 11:41 AM, inkman said:

This does beg the question, can Jack support marginal NHL talent on his line?  What we've seen to date would say no.  So far, only Reinhart, Skinner and Olofsson have had success.  

Considering Olofsson was a marginal even strength NHL talent last season as a rookie, I’d say yes.

On 8/10/2020 at 3:37 AM, Curt said:

Just nit picking, but even Olofsson wasn’t that successful.  On the PP, yes, but not at ES.

This.

Olofsson is viewed as a bonafide top 6 guy because he played there and Eichel had an MVP season he was able to bask in, but Olofsson was essentially a rookie PP specialist last season, who was a liability at ES early on, improving his ES play as the year went on. Jack was paired with him, a rookie, and a good top line winger in Reinhart.

I would say that’s pretty much par for the course, but all the other players around him in league scoring actually had better line mates. It’s a big part of why Jack deserved the MVP talk he got. He didn’t have a Marchand or Pastrnak paired with him, NM two players like that.

Edited by Thorny
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On 8/10/2020 at 8:41 AM, LGR4GM said:

Better question, why in the hell would you put marginal talent on a player like Eichel's line and force him to drag them around? It never makes sense. It would be like telling Josh Allen that Kelvin Benjamin is good enough because he should have enough talent to make him catch the ball. 

Then Botterill is a bigger idiot than I thought. 

It was Botterill’s plan. 

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How are we defining marginal?

Victor finished tied for 48 in ES points among NHL left wingers despite missing a few weeks with injury, with Nick Foligno and Jamie Benn.

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Not taking into account how VO struggled defensively especially early on, and his mediocre advanced stats/play driving numbers, and focusing purely on points at even strength, VO finished slightly on the lower end of 2nd line LWs, and that was with the benefit of playing with a true superstar, and also as noted improving at ES as the year rolled on.

That Jack looked spectacular playing along with an early season VO, who was producing at more of a third line rate at ES for the first half of the year, tells me at least I’m more than comfortable with Jack’s ability to play with marginal top 6 guys. 

Jack seemed to get worn down as the year went on, the most important thing is getting him a second line he can feel reasonably comfortable getting off the ice for.

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53 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Not taking into account how VO struggled defensively especially early on, and his mediocre advanced stats/play driving numbers, and focusing purely on points at even strength, VO finished slightly on the lower end of 2nd line LWs, and that was with the benefit of playing with a true superstar, and also as noted improving at ES as the year rolled on.

That Jack looked spectacular playing along with an early season VO, who was producing at more of a third line rate at ES for the first half of the year, tells me at least I’m more than comfortable with Jack’s ability to play with marginal top 6 guys. 

Ah, marginal top 6. That’s fair. He did get better at even strength. He is conscientious out there, just not very strong.

As far as Jack goes, he can play with anyone. If he gets a Mogilny, look out.

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I grudgingly accepted letting Olofsson take his lumps developing with Jack, at the expense of maximizing team results, once the season was obviously over in the late winter/early spring games

If Olofsson has a similar level of 5v5 ability next year, he needs to be sheltered and not with Jack. (He looked at home in his brief stretch with 90/95) All knobs must be tuned such that we have the best chance of winning any given night. Keeping Jack here is on the line 

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