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Detroit at Sabres, 11 February 2020, 7 PM MSG

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RFK just said on WGR today that he needs a second line that produces away from the opposing team's top defenders — and he has said he needs defensive responsibility on Jack's line. That would actually make Skinner's assignment on the second line the no-brainer Doohickie refers to.

Here's some food for thought... Kruegerill know that this is not a make or break year and they are truly being given a couple of years to turn things around. So instead of making the system fit the players in an effort to maximize points to the detriment of team-building, Rakru is making the players fit the system. Skinner is one piece of a second line, and although the coach and GM know they don't have the other pieces yet, Skinner's going to play there because it's how they want to play going forward. They might have even told Jeff they understand the predicament he is in and — hey, do your best, son.

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Just now, PASabreFan said:

RFK just said on WGR today that he needs a second line that produces away from the opposing team's top defenders — and he has said he needs defensive responsibility on Jack's line. That would actually make Skinner's assignment on the second line the no-brainer Doohickie refers to.

Here's some food for thought... Kruegerill know that this is not a make or break year and they are truly being given a couple of years to turn things around. So instead of making the system fit the players in an effort to maximize points to the detriment of team-building, Rakru is making the players fit the system. Skinner is one piece of a second line, and although the coach and GM know they don't have the other pieces yet, Skinner's going to play there because it's how they want to play going forward. They might have even told Jeff they understand the predicament he is in and — hey, do your best, son.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the core, along with the Pegulas, are being shown all of the contract freedom we get on July first (by Jason/Ralph) as a sort of explanation for things to date, and a "just make it to here, don't worry, I've got a plan for all of these resources" type of thing. That could be the version they give to Skinner. It's my last Botts hope I'm holding onto. Skinner gets his 2C, we get our third line, etc.

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1 hour ago, PASabreFan said:

RFK just said on WGR today that he needs a second line that produces away from the opposing team's top defenders — and he has said he needs defensive responsibility on Jack's line. That would actually make Skinner's assignment on the second line the no-brainer Doohickie refers to.

To me, this was clearly the plan. Eichel/Skinner/Reinhart was a scoring combo that Phil tried to keep away the opposition. Eichel/VO/Reinhart is two-way line Ralph puts out straight up against anyone and dares the other team to beat them. the real failure is partly Jeff's for not being up to the task, but mostly Jason's in not giving Ralph the guys to play with Skinner.

1 hour ago, Randall Flagg said:

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the core, along with the Pegulas, are being shown all of the contract freedom we get on July first (by Jason/Ralph) as a sort of explanation for things to date, and a "just make it to here, don't worry, I've got a plan for all of these resources" type of thing. That could be the version they give to Skinner. It's my last Botts hope I'm holding onto. Skinner gets his 2C, we get our third line, etc.

I'm sure that's what Jason has been telling Terry.

And Id be lying if I wasn't still clinging to this faint hope that some smart cap space moves in the summer combines with a leap from Casey/Tage/Dylan/Joki/Ras to push us over the hump.

I so much want to see that smug I-told-you-so interview from Jason next spring and admit i was wrong. We all do.

Edited by dudacek
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4 hours ago, freester said:

I didn’t realize that VO was so good defensively. 

Early on he wasn't but he's really gotten better as the season goes on.

But still..... Skins should be skating with Jack right now.

4 hours ago, Torpedo Forecheck said:

You know what makes a ton of sense IMO is to put Johannson (playmaker) with Lazar (checker) and Skinner (finisher).

But Jojo is a terrible playmaker at center.  He skates the puck into the corner where the play dies.

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4 hours ago, Randall Flagg said:

There is simply zero chance that Lazar can sustain being a 2C for any meaningful amount of time. The 2Cs in our conference are incredibly talented and we need one to match if we want to beat them consistently

Could he be a "change of scenery" candidate?  Dude was a 1st round pick.

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1 hour ago, PASabreFan said:

RFK just said

et tu, PA?

I knew I'd wear ya down.  😛

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2 hours ago, dudacek said:

To me, this was clearly the plan. Eichel/Skinner/Reinhart was a scoring combo that Phil tried to keep away the opposition. Eichel/VO/Reinhart is two-way line Ralph puts out straight up against anyone and dares the other team to beat them. the real failure is partly Jeff's for not being up to the task, but mostly Jason's in not giving Ralph the guys to play with Skinner.

I'm sure that's what Jason has been telling Terry.

And Id be lying if I wasn't still clinging to this faint hope that some smart cap space moves in the summer combines with a leap from Casey/Tage/Dylan/Joki/Ras to push us over the hump.

I so much want to see that smug I-told-you-so interview from Jason next spring and admit i was wrong. We all do.

He'd better not be smug. Even if things turn out brilliantly, there are literal years of unintended and unnecessary dreck 

2 hours ago, Doohickie said:

Could he be a "change of scenery" candidate?  Dude was a 1st round pick.

He's a nice glue guy this year but hasn't shown me an ounce of sustainable puck skill needed for a role like 2C

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For the record, there was a long period of time where Jack-Sam-VO was just plain not getting it done, and even after their hot streak together I'm pretty sure that numbers suggested they'll tend to get outscored in the long run 

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4 hours ago, Randall Flagg said:

He'd better not be smug. Even if things turn out brilliantly, there are literal years of unintended and unnecessary dreck 

He's a nice glue guy this year but hasn't shown me an ounce of sustainable puck skill needed for a role like 2C

He’s a likely 4th line center replacement for Larson if we don’t resign him. Possibly 3rd line Center but that is a reach.  

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6 hours ago, Randall Flagg said:

For the record, there was a long period of time where Jack-Sam-VO was just plain not getting it done, and even after their hot streak together I'm pretty sure that numbers suggested they'll tend to get outscored in the long run 

I'll send in my resume to be owner if you send in yours to be coach.

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8 hours ago, Doohickie said:

Early on he wasn't but he's really gotten better as the season goes on.

But still..... Skins should be skating with Jack right now.

But Jojo is a terrible playmaker at center.  He skates the puck into the corner where the play dies.

I'm talking about him on RW like Boston, and if he's not a playmaker, what is he? Useless?

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7 minutes ago, Torpedo Forecheck said:

I'm talking about him on RW like Boston, and if he's not a playmaker, what is he? Useless?

For whatever reason, he seems to be a better playmaker at wing than at center.  Maybe it's just been his linemates.

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More specifically, our top line only broke even for the first 18 games,, before Jack's hot streak started. 11 goals for at even strength, 11 against. For a team that is built to lean on a line, this isn't acceptable production. Like I was keeping track at the time, we'd have needed all of our other lines to fairly significantly (compared to what is typically expected of depth lines) outscore their opponents to have a shot at contention like that. 11 goals for in 220 minutes gave them a goal every 20 minutes of ES time. ie, on average, they were scoring less than a goal per game. Then Jack got hot, but he must have gotten power play hot too, as until Olofsson got hurt, they played 311 minutes of ES ice time together and scored 17 goals in that time (a goal every 18 minutes of ES time, a bit better) and were now a +4. so for 41 games, the line was +4 and scored 28 goals at ES. In the 15 games since the injury (and including any time Jack didn't play with Olofsson between 11/15 and his injury, which I don't think is much) the top line has 23 goals in 330 minutes, or one goal every 14 minutes, and is +13. 

28 goals, +4 in 41 games AFTER a hot streak, Jack & Victor
vs
23 goals, +13 in 15 games without an Eichel 132 point pace streak, Jack without Victor (also with 5% more defensive zone draws)

That's the surface level production, I'll also post some other stats for the fancy stats guys
Eichel with Olofsson: 49.49 CF%, 47.35 xGF%, 49.1 scoring chance %
Eichel without Olofsson: 53.52 CF%, 52.82 xGF%, 52.02 scoring chance %

This is mostly just because, while Victor has shown tremendous even strength improvement over the years, he's still not quite ready to truly excel in all facets of the game in the role that comes with playing with Jack. Now that this year is kinda over, I wouldn't mind seeing them continue with Olofsson there because it's worked for his growth so far. But if we were absolutely desperate for maximizing every little thing we possibly can to win games, I'd probably not want Victor on the top line this season. 

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9 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

More specifically, our top line only broke even for the first 18 games,, before Jack's hot streak started. 11 goals for at even strength, 11 against. For a team that is built to lean on a line, this isn't acceptable production. Like I was keeping track at the time, we'd have needed all of our other lines to fairly significantly (compared to what is typically expected of depth lines) outscore their opponents to have a shot at contention like that. 11 goals for in 220 minutes gave them a goal every 20 minutes of ES time. ie, on average, they were scoring less than a goal per game. Then Jack got hot, but he must have gotten power play hot too, as until Olofsson got hurt, they played 311 minutes of ES ice time together and scored 17 goals in that time (a goal every 18 minutes of ES time, a bit better) and were now a +4. so for 41 games, the line was +4 and scored 28 goals at ES. In the 15 games since the injury (and including any time Jack didn't play with Olofsson between 11/15 and his injury, which I don't think is much) the top line has 23 goals in 330 minutes, or one goal every 14 minutes, and is +13. 

28 goals, +4 in 41 games AFTER a hot streak, Jack & Victor
vs
23 goals, +13 in 15 games without an Eichel 132 point pace streak, Jack without Victor (also with 5% more defensive zone draws)

That's the surface level production, I'll also post some other stats for the fancy stats guys
Eichel with Olofsson: 49.49 CF%, 47.35 xGF%, 49.1 scoring chance %
Eichel without Olofsson: 53.52 CF%, 52.82 xGF%, 52.02 scoring chance %

This is mostly just because, while Victor has shown tremendous even strength improvement over the years, he's still not quite ready to truly excel in all facets of the game in the role that comes with playing with Jack. Now that this year is kinda over, I wouldn't mind seeing them continue with Olofsson there because it's worked for his growth so far. But if we were absolutely desperate for maximizing every little thing we possibly can to win games, I'd probably not want Victor on the top line this season. 

But yet VO is such a better defensive option rather than Skinner.  In Ralph’s world.  

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55 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

More specifically, our top line only broke even for the first 18 games,, before Jack's hot streak started. 11 goals for at even strength, 11 against. For a team that is built to lean on a line, this isn't acceptable production. Like I was keeping track at the time, we'd have needed all of our other lines to fairly significantly (compared to what is typically expected of depth lines) outscore their opponents to have a shot at contention like that. 11 goals for in 220 minutes gave them a goal every 20 minutes of ES time. ie, on average, they were scoring less than a goal per game. Then Jack got hot, but he must have gotten power play hot too, as until Olofsson got hurt, they played 311 minutes of ES ice time together and scored 17 goals in that time (a goal every 18 minutes of ES time, a bit better) and were now a +4. so for 41 games, the line was +4 and scored 28 goals at ES. In the 15 games since the injury (and including any time Jack didn't play with Olofsson between 11/15 and his injury, which I don't think is much) the top line has 23 goals in 330 minutes, or one goal every 14 minutes, and is +13. 

28 goals, +4 in 41 games AFTER a hot streak, Jack & Victor
vs
23 goals, +13 in 15 games without an Eichel 132 point pace streak, Jack without Victor (also with 5% more defensive zone draws)

That's the surface level production, I'll also post some other stats for the fancy stats guys
Eichel with Olofsson: 49.49 CF%, 47.35 xGF%, 49.1 scoring chance %
Eichel without Olofsson: 53.52 CF%, 52.82 xGF%, 52.02 scoring chance %

This is mostly just because, while Victor has shown tremendous even strength improvement over the years, he's still not quite ready to truly excel in all facets of the game in the role that comes with playing with Jack. Now that this year is kinda over, I wouldn't mind seeing them continue with Olofsson there because it's worked for his growth so far. But if we were absolutely desperate for maximizing every little thing we possibly can to win games, I'd probably not want Victor on the top line this season. 

You have no idea how much it kills me to have to point out that right now winning games would be counterproductive because all that's left in this disaster of a season is getting ping pong balls (again).

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4 hours ago, Doohickie said:

For whatever reason, he seems to be a better playmaker at wing than at center.  Maybe it's just been his linemates.

Playing center is much harder than people realize because the game is swirling all around you. Many guys prefer playing with their back to wall (wings) or the game in front of them(d-men).

 

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Yeah, when I talk about Jojo not being a quality center, I don't mean to imply he's a bad player, just that he's not fit to be a center at this point.

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