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nfreeman

The Third Line

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9 hours ago, nfreeman said:

There's been a fair amount of discussion on the Zemgus-Larsson-KO line in the Habs GDT and elsewhere, so I thought I'd start a thread.

My 2 cents:

- This line, and not Vesey-Mitts-ERod, is clearly the "3rd line".  Larsson's line gets substantially more ice time and adds substantially more value than Mitts' line.

- Larsson's line also plays the traditional "checking line" role that a 3rd line has been thought of as.

- As @Randall Flagg and others have noted, this line is doing a fantastic job of muscling the puck out of the D zone (despite a heavy D zone start %age) and into the O zone, and maintaining a strong and punishing forecheck in the O zone.

- What I haven't seen though is how often this line is matched up against the opponent's 1st or 2nd scoring line, as opposed to "easier" opposition.

- My pinch of salt on this is that although they are highly effective at establishing an O-zone forecheck, they are not at all effective at converting the forecheck into actual production.  I think they had one good scoring chance last night vs the Habs.  I generally don't expect them to score a goal more than once every 3 or 4 games -- and I think they have one goal between them this year so far in 4 games. 

If that continues to be the case, are they really that valuable?  i.e. certainly there is value in limiting goals against if they are able to consistently get it into the D zone and establish the forecheck -- but is that enough value given how much ice time they get, especially if they aren't shutting down the opponents' top lines but rather their bottom lines (which as mentioned above I don't know is the case or not)?

Discuss.

Yes.

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It's sad that Sabotka is on our second line and it's still better than our third.

 

There are no neophytes on that line, they need to step it up.

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6 hours ago, nfreeman said:

If I felt confident that Mitts' line would continue to score, or would ever score again, I'd be less concerned.  But Sheary, the lone goal-scorer, is out week-to-week, and Mitts and Vesey have been completely ineffective since Game 1.

Well, I’m pretty sure all of them have had four-game streaks of ineffectiveness before and still put up respectable totals. Sheary scored once in about 40 games last year and still scored 14 overall.

If you add up their career lows, they still combined for 42 goals.

Something, something four game sample size...

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Vesey hasn’t been any sort of bad, but he’s been completely invisible. I think part of that is a new team with a new system and an inexperience center, but I think that’s also more or less who Jimmy Vesey is. He’ll score you 15-20 goals, but when he’s not scoring, he’s invisible.

He isn’t a liability defensively, but he’s not a standout; he’s isn’t a black hole on offense, but he’s not a standout either. 

I think if everyone had that expectation of him they would like him a lot more. He’s the kind of guy that makes you say “I forgot that guy was on the team” when he scores because there’s nothing remarkable about him. 

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5 hours ago, SwampD said:

The center is young, then. They still need time to gel. I have hope that they will. 
 

 

We'd be talking about 3 goals from them in 4 games if Vesey hadn't mishandled that Mitts pass on the mini-2-on-1. 

That said, I'd like to see a little more from all of them while we wait for the production to come.

And I wonder if Krueger will surprise us if Mitts continues to be quiet. He talked the talk, about the two way road to Rochester, after all. He's the first coach that wouldn't shock me with something like a Mitts/Asplund swap, just to see how it goes.

Edited by Randall Flagg

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4 hours ago, dudacek said:

Well, I’m pretty sure all of them have had four-game streaks of ineffectiveness before and still put up respectable totals. Sheary scored once in about 40 games last year and still scored 14 overall.

If you add up their career lows, they still combined for 42 goals.

Something, something four game sample size...

The further we get from this time period, the more baffling it becomes. We had like three players do this, all at the same time, while we played them a lot

And just lost and lost and lost 

God I hope this year is different

 

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The Okposo line is a hard working defensively responsible line. Its the safe choice after the big lines come off, play it more if you are ahead, that sort of thing.  They are what really good teams have in traditional 4th lines (eg. Kuraley line in Boston). Trouble is, they're really not very good at finishing or putting the puck in the net, so although they can play in the O zone, they are not a real offensive threat.

The Mitts line has not been very good, but we are not a very deep team (yet). We should be happy that it is the 3rd line (4th if you prefer) and not the 2nd line, which it would be if this was last year's team. Adding Johanson and Olofsson gave us two top lines instead of one and moved them down, so I think that is progress. Hopefully Cozens/Thompson?Asplund/?  others get added sooner than later and we get even better. In the meantime, I am happy with the progress.

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It's three cagey veterans who know their roles extremely well, have played together a while, and are pretty good athletes, too. It's no surprise they are doing so well. 

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Not sure why the angst over whether to call them the 3rd line, 4th line, 2nd most important line, the checking line, the Larry line, or the whatever line exists.

The Sabres officially list them, and have done so pretty much since O'Reilly and Eichel arrived, as the 4th line.  Ralph Krueger doesn't number the lines, which is fine, he refers to them apparently by center which a lot of coaches do.  But, as the quote above from Okposo mentions, the players know which line is which by role and expectation.

Teams don't carry both a checking line and an "energy" (read goon) line any more.  If they did, then the Larsson line would be the 3rd line not just in ice time but in nomenclature as well.

The 3rd line is significantly the 4th line in ice time and also in importance.  They, in large part, hit the ice to give the other lines time off the ice.  Will that line get better as the season progresses, very likely as Mittelstadt gets more experience and Vesey gets used to his linemates (& if those 2 don't progress, there are guys who can replace either or both).  But being better will see that line score ~50-55 goals from the 40 goal pace they're on.  Which is about 5 goals lower than the 2nd line is expected to score if Sobotka stays on it.  (Figure Skinner is good for 30-32, Johansson for 20-25, and Sobotka for 3.)

The 4th line (sorry n, when the Sabres start calling them the 3rd line, then we can talk about renumbering them 😉 ) not scoring isn't nearly the issue that having a guy on the 2nd line that will be outscored by at least 2 of them is.  Especially when they keep the other team from scoring, regardless of which line they face, and actually flip the ice and force the other team to chase the puck.  Defending is way more exhausting than attacking is because you have to react and can't just flow.  This line was awesome at chance suppression last year with Bergland on it and still very good at it once Okposo took his place.  And that version of the 4th line w/ Kyle scored more (not much, but more) than it did with Bergy there thought it also gave up more.

This year, Kyle seems to have an extra hitch in his giddy up, which is letting this line suppress chances like the Bergy version did last year.  Having Okposo's shot there will allow this line to get about 25 goals.  Which will be about 20 more than they'll give up.  Would it be nice to get more like 40 from them, absolutely.  But if it comes at the expense of giving up 30 (or more) those extra 15 aren't worth it IMHO.

And should 1 of those wings go out w/ injury, would prefer to try Lazar there rather than Rodrigues.  He seemed to gel better there in limited action.

[Edit: and the Larry line is a big part of why the Sabres are getting some love from Dom Luszyrnen (sp?) at the Athletic for how their season has started.  Keep it up tonight, and they'll have cleared a 5 game marker which is a pretty strong indicator that the Sabres at least aren't bad if not necessarily good.]

Edited by Taro T
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1 hour ago, Taro T said:

The 4th line (sorry n, when the Sabres start calling them the 3rd line, then we can talk about renumbering them 😉 )

You just made the death list buddy.

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10 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

The Okposo line is a hard working defensively responsible line. Its the safe choice after the big lines come off, play it more if you are ahead, that sort of thing.  They are what really good teams have in traditional 4th lines (eg. Kuraley line in Boston). Trouble is, they're really not very good at finishing or putting the puck in the net, so although they can play in the O zone, they are not a real offensive threat.

The Mitts line has not been very good, but we are not a very deep team (yet). We should be happy that it is the 3rd line (4th if you prefer) and not the 2nd line, which it would be if this was last year's team. Adding Johanson and Olofsson gave us two top lines instead of one and moved them down, so I think that is progress. Hopefully Cozens/Thompson?Asplund/?  others get added sooner than later and we get even better. In the meantime, I am happy with the progress.

Cozens can't be added until Lethbridge season ends

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11 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Cozens can't be added until Lethbridge season ends

He has signed his ELC.  He can be recalled at any time on an emergency basis.  We just have to pay the CHL $1000 per game he plays.

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If you DON’T sign them, they continue to play and develop in the league that you drafted them from, whether the CHL, USA (which I guess is college), or European countries.

If you DO sign them, they will play on your AHL team if sent down from the NHL squad, unless..

  1. They are under 20 AND
  2. Drafted out of the CHL

In that case, they’ll return to their CHL team if you demote them from the NHL roster.

Any unsigned player can be signed to a contract mid-year and will immediately be assigned to your NHL or AHL (if eligible, see above re: CHL) team.

AHL players can be recalled and returned at any time (though some require waivers when being returned). CHL players must remain in the CHL for the remainder of the season once sent down. 

Keeping a CHL-eligible player in the NHL for 10 or more games counts as year 1 of his 3-year entry level contract. Keeping him for 9 or fewer will not, and he will still have 3 years left the following season.

NHL contract rules state that a CHL player may play in the NHL if they make the team, but if they get sent down before age 20, they will get sent all the way back to junior, and not your AHL squad.

Also, any player can participate in 9 regular season NHL games before it counting as a year off the contract. So with that, your CHL players will 'slide' a year. This also applies for players who play their first season as a Professional in the AHL.

So you can get 4 years out of a players ELC if you let them slide and play a year in the AHL before moving up. This rule does not apply for players who were signed and were sent back to CHL, as they have already had a slide.

 

^  found this elsewhere and it seems pretty straightforward.

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Here’s more info on CHL Emergency Call Ups 

 

Number 4 would be the most likely scenario that Botterill could use, doubt he does it though 

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Mitts skated 8;48 tonight.  I think it’s safe to call his line the bottom line or 4th line or the D line or the worst line, pick your own adjective.

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1 hour ago, Zamboni said:

If you DON’T sign them, they continue to play and develop in the league that you drafted them from, whether the CHL, USA (which I guess is college), or European countries.

If you DO sign them, they will play on your AHL team if sent down from the NHL squad, unless..

  1. They are under 20 AND
  2. Drafted out of the CHL

In that case, they’ll return to their CHL team if you demote them from the NHL roster.

Any unsigned player can be signed to a contract mid-year and will immediately be assigned to your NHL or AHL (if eligible, see above re: CHL) team.

AHL players can be recalled and returned at any time (though some require waivers when being returned). CHL players must remain in the CHL for the remainder of the season once sent down. 

Keeping a CHL-eligible player in the NHL for 10 or more games counts as year 1 of his 3-year entry level contract. Keeping him for 9 or fewer will not, and he will still have 3 years left the following season.

NHL contract rules state that a CHL player may play in the NHL if they make the team, but if they get sent down before age 20, they will get sent all the way back to junior, and not your AHL squad.

Also, any player can participate in 9 regular season NHL games before it counting as a year off the contract. So with that, your CHL players will 'slide' a year. This also applies for players who play their first season as a Professional in the AHL.

So you can get 4 years out of a players ELC if you let them slide and play a year in the AHL before moving up. This rule does not apply for players who were signed and were sent back to CHL, as they have already had a slide.

 

^  found this elsewhere and it seems pretty straightforward.

Your moniker says Third liner, but that is some second line shite right there.   Thanks.

p.s. If Sabrespace calls you a third liner, are you really a fourth liner, and should you be posting after the second period?   Especially if we have a lead.  

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34 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Mitts skated 8;48 tonight.  I think it’s safe to call his line the bottom line or 4th line or the D line or the worst line, pick your own adjective.

And everybody here realizes that his line is going to get the 4th most ice time and, when at home at least, the easiest minutes.

But, as long as the Sabres call his line the 3rd line, it seems foolish to call it the 4th line.  Because, right now, if somebody refers to thd Sabres 3rd line it is understood they're referring to the Mittelstadt line and if they refer to the 4th line they're referring to the Larsson line (which could arguably bd called the 2nd line as they're the 2nd most important line contributing to victories).  To randomly choose to reference them differently will cause confusion.

Again, as soon as the Sabres alter their designations am all aboard with swapping them; but until then why solicit confusion?

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Mitts skated 8;48 tonight.  I think it’s safe to call his line the bottom line or 4th line or the D line or the worst line, pick your own adjective.

It should be very clear to Mitts, Vesey and ERod that they are going to need to bust their a**es if they want to take 3rd line minutes away from Larson’s line.  

Right now they seem miles away from getting there.  The difference between the 2 lines in zone exits and in setting up the forecheck is like night and day.  
 

23 minutes ago, Taro T said:

And everybody here realizes that his line is going to get the 4th most ice time and, when at home at least, the easiest minutes.

But, as long as the Sabres call his line the 3rd line, it seems foolish to call it the 4th line.  Because, right now, if somebody refers to thd Sabres 3rd line it is understood they're referring to the Mittelstadt line and if they refer to the 4th line they're referring to the Larsson line (which could arguably bd called the 2nd line as they're the 2nd most important line contributing to victories).  To randomly choose to reference them differently will cause confusion.

Again, as soon as the Sabres alter their designations am all aboard with swapping them; but until then why solicit confusion?

Who on the Sabres does this?  RK has explicitly and repeatedly disavowed this.  

Frankly this sounds like an unsavory whispering campaign by someone who knows he’s painted himself into a message board corner.  

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1 minute ago, nfreeman said:

It should be very clear to Mitts, Vesey and ERod that they are going to need to bust their a**es if they want to take 3rd line minutes away from Larson’s line.  

Right now they seem miles away from getting there.  The difference between the 2 lines in zone exits and in setting up the forecheck is like night and day.  
 

Who on the Sabres does this?  RK has explicitly and repeatedly disavowed this.  

Frankly this sounds like an unsavory whispering campaign by someone who knows he’s painted himself into a corner.  

Have you ever watched a Sabres MSG broadcast?  EVERY SINGLE one shows the lines in the pregame show and then rolls though the lines about 2 minutes into eacb period.  EVERY SINGLE ONE THIS SEASON has Mittelstadt's line as line 3 and Larsson's line as the 4th line.

But call them whatever you want.  It's a free country.  But please don't whine when nobody knows what you're referring to describing the 3rd lines's awesome 2 goal night. 😉

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Just now, Taro T said:

Have you ever watched a Sabres MSG broadcast?  EVERY SINGLE one shows the lines in the pregame show and then rolls though the lines about 2 minutes into eacb period.  EVERY SINGLE ONE THIS SEASON has Mittelstadt's line as line 3 and Larsson's line as the 4th line.

But call them whatever you want.  It's a free country.  But please don't whine when nobody knows what you're referring to describing the 3rd lines's awesome 2 goal night. 😉

But that’s MSG doing that — not the team!

Game, set and match.  

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Mitts skated 8;48 tonight.  I think it’s safe to call his line the bottom line or 4th line or the D line or the worst line, pick your own adjective.

and yet, he was good in the OT and won it with a brilliant shoot out goal. Kreuger is simply doing what he said. Coaching the game, putting players in the best place to succeed, and adjusting ice time based on performance. Trust in Krueger.

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4 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

But that’s MSG doing that — not the team!

Game, set and match.  

Uh,  suuuuuuure.   That's entirely on the TV partner.  And on all the Internet sites, too.  They've AAALLLLLLLL in on this conspiracy to undermine Krueger.

Do you pay full price for Reynold's Wrap or do you find Great Value's foil to give essentially the same quality when making hats? 😛

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49 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

But that’s MSG doing that — not the team!

Game, set and match.  

Funny you say that.  Because, turns out, MSG listed the Larsson line as the 3rd line.  Guess they're still 4th line then, right?

😛 🍺

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