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The Ralph Krueger put Jeff Skinner on the 4th line discussion including an excerpt from the instigators thread


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1 hour ago, Derrico said:

No it's not.  He can start doing what the coach asks regardless of what line he plays on.  RK knows what Skinner does well, score goals.  He needs him doing the other things it takes to win hockey games.

Doesn't help to score 40 if you are the main person responsible for giving up 60 when your line is on the ice.

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2 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

You realize that Skinner averaged 17 minutes a night over his 8 years in Raleigh with a low of 16:03.  He won't come close to that PT under RK.  

I realize he mainly played on their third line and did just fine.  I also know that he played on a top line last year and scored 14 goals and 9 assists.  That's 9 assists in 59 friggen games played!!  Woof.  I also realize the Sabres missed the playoffs with him playing in said top line when the friggen playoffs were expanded to almost every team in the league.  No I'm not going to cry for Skinner because RK has him on the 4th line.

A lot will change and I suspect Skinner will end up on the third line with a guy like Cozens.  I also suspect he will be playing the second power play and his minutes will probably end up very close to 17 minutes per night.

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12 minutes ago, I-90 W said:

I know this is a divisive situation in Sabre land right now, and I understand both points. But I’m definitely on RKs side. Everyone needs to buy in to the system, and break free from bad habits. I like Skinner a lot but hope he will play the way the coach wants him to, otherwise not only will he be wasted but it will continue to be a locker room problem. Just my 2 cents.

A good coach puts his players in position to succeed, to maximize their potential.   The fact that a 40g scorer has landed on the 4th line tells me the RK has failed at coaching him up.  It's just as much a reflection of RK's inability to coach as it is on Skinner himself.

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1 minute ago, pi2000 said:

A good coach puts his players in position to succeed, to maximize their potential.   The fact that a 40g scorer has landed on the 4th line tells me the RK has failed at coaching him up.  It's just as much a reflection of RK's inability to coach as it is on Skinner himself.

If you really want to send a message bench him.  Why put him in a position to fail by playing him with marginal players with little or no offensive skills? It makes no sense.

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4 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

A good coach puts his players in position to succeed, to maximize their potential.   The fact that a 40g scorer has landed on the 4th line tells me the RK has failed at coaching him up.  It's just as much a reflection of RK's inability to coach as it is on Skinner himself.

On the Instigators they made a point that really resonated with me though; when Phil Kessel came to Pitt first he was on the Crosby line, then Malkin, and finally settled into the third line because he was a scoring threat in his own right. That’s also a potential strategy, balanced lines. 

Edited by I-90 W
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9 minutes ago, Derrico said:

I realize he mainly played on their third line and did just fine.  I also know that he played on a top line last year and scored 14 goals and 9 assists.  That's 9 assists in 59 friggen games played!!  Woof.  I also realize the Sabres missed the playoffs with him playing in said top line when the friggen playoffs were expanded to almost every team in the league.  No I'm not going to cry for Skinner because RK has him on the 4th line.

A lot will change and I suspect Skinner will end up on the third line with a guy like Cozens.  I also suspect he will be playing the second power play and his minutes will probably end up very close to 17 minutes per night.

And the year he got his 40 goals he came away w/ his 3rd best assistant total of his career: a whopping 23.  Yes, he was nearly 2:1 G:A.  

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3 minutes ago, I-90 W said:

On the Instigators they made a point that really resonated with me though; when Phil Kessel came to Pitt first he was on the Crosby line, then Malkin, and finally settled into the third line because he was a scoring threat in his own right. That’s also a potential strategy, balanced lines. 

And what wasn't said, but was implied, was that not only could Kessel drive a line but the other top guys weren't as good with him as they were without him.  (Or at a very minimum, the 3 lines in total were better when Phil stayed away from the top players.)

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4 minutes ago, I-90 W said:

On the Instigators they made a point that really resonated with me though; when Phil Kessel came to Pitt first he was on the Crosby line, then Mallon, and finally settled into the third line because he was a scoring threat in his own right. That’s also a potential strategy, balanced lines. 

Skinner is very Kessel-ish, but Kessel played with 2 good players on Pitt's 3rd line named Hagelin and Bonino.  Last I looked Sheahan and Lazar will never be confused with Hagelin and Bonino.

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10 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Skinner is very Kessel-ish, but Kessel played with 2 good players on Pitt's 3rd line named Hagelin and Bonino.  Last I looked Sheahan and Lazar will never be confused with Hagelin and Bonino.

Eakin and Cozens could be that fit but Ralphy boy seems intent on sending a message to the detriment of his team’s potential.  I’m sure in his mind he sees it as a positive.  

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25 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

A good coach puts his players in position to succeed, to maximize their potential.   The fact that a 40g scorer has landed on the 4th line tells me the RK has failed at coaching him up.  It's just as much a reflection of RK's inability to coach as it is on Skinner himself.

I agree with the bold 100 per cent, and disagree with the rest 100 per cent. Skinner is responsible for his own play.

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2 minutes ago, inkman said:

Eakin and Cozens could be that fit but Ralphy boy seems intent on sending a message to the detriment of his team’s potential.  I’m sure in his mind he sees it as a positive.  

That's all I'm asking for.  I'm not saying put him with Eichel or Staal, but at least give him real players to play with.  Unfortunately, RK is married to the pairing of KO and Eakin as the replacement for Larsson Okposo.  

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Just now, dudacek said:

I agree with the bold 100 per cent, and disagree with the rest 100 per cent. Skinner is responsible for his own play.

Skinner is responsible for his attitude and work ethic. However there are situations, like this one, where a coach can put a player in a position to fail.

As I said earlier, if Skinner's attitude sucks or his work ethic, bench him.  Wasting him with two plumbers is just wrong.

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3 hours ago, dudacek said:

I thought it was a good conversation.

I'll repeat what I thought was implied from the other thread: the guys in the Sabres top 6 generally don't like playing with Jeff Sinner.

So play him with someone who will help him in the bottom 6. 

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2 hours ago, Taro T said:

Except the way the lines are structured, line 3 is the heavy D usage line & line 4 is the heavier O usage line.  Skinner doesn't belong on the D line & Cozens was viewed as the best option after Okposo, Girgensons, and Reider for that line.  If Girgensons is healthy, maybe Cozens doesn't get in, but my guess is he'd get the 4RW slot ahead of Rieder and he definitely gets it w/ Z out & Kyle in.

And if Cozens is 4R then much of this concern over Skinner is alleviated (though not all).

All that matters is how the lines are being configured for tonight's game, IMO. 

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2 hours ago, dudacek said:

I am interesting to see how hard Skinner works out there.

Who is going to blame Ralph if he coasts?

Right now the entire blame is on Ralph, pairing him with Lazar and Sheahan trumps everything else, it's the most illogical thing done so far within this situation. It helps no one. 

If Skinner coasts, I'll blame them both. 

2 hours ago, Taro T said:

Because Okposo is out.  That 3rd line will get more ice time than the 4th and he wasn't going to put Sheahan on it because of that.  Cozens had been practicing on the 4th line until Okposo was hurt.  And he'd've been there if Okposo could play.

It doesn't matter though, Taro. You have to adjust the strategy to the pieces you have - Cozens may be a placeholder on that line but the game itself is not a placeholder - it's 1 out of 56. 

Rieder - Eakin - Sheahan 

Skinner - Lazar - Cozens

..gives us a checking line, and a Skinner/Cozens line that has a chance. 

Rieder - Eakin - Cozens

Skinner - Lazar - Sheahan 

...gives us a lot of time watching where the only thing of merit is how long it takes those lines to get off the ice so the top 6 can get back on. 

Edited by Thorny
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44 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

That's all I'm asking for.  I'm not saying put him with Eichel or Staal, but at least give him real players to play with.  Unfortunately, RK is married to the pairing of KO and Eakin as the replacement for Larsson Okposo.  

Really not convinced yet that Krueger is necessarily married to the Eakin Okposo pairing.  Am convinced that, at least to start the year, he wants Eakin & Lazar as his 3rd & 4th C's and in that order.  Am also convinced that Ralph thinks that both lines should be 2 way (at least as much as 3rd & 4th lines can be) and that at least for now that 3rd line should have more of a D first focus which is why Skinner isn't getting a look on that 3rd line but rather the other one.

My expectation is that as a kid earns trust & thus additional ice time that the 3rd line's focus, while still being 2 way, will be more offensive and the defensive wingers (Rieder & Okposo) will shift to Lazar's line & Skinner & Cozens will bump up to Eakin's line.  And also that as injuries inevitably give Mittelstadt, Asplund, &/or Quinn a shot that the focus of the 3rd & 4th lines could shift again until these kids earn trust & thus more ice time.

The whole bottom 6 will be pretty fluid.  And should Thompson flame out on Eichel's line, then Olofsson or Cozens will get a shot there & things become fluid again.  And Skinner could get a shot with Staal once again, too.

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1 hour ago, Derrico said:

Skinner plays a unique game.  He's not a set up man in the least.  He will get his regardless of where he plays in the lineup.  Again, they did the exact same thing in Carolina and he got his just the same.  We needed him scoring goals last year and he didn't do that in the top 6 either......

No, they played him with a good 2 way C in Rask. 

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1 hour ago, matter2003 said:

Doesn't help to score 40 if you are the main person responsible for giving up 60 when your line is on the ice.

When has this happened? When paired with Jack that line carried play. 

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55 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Skinner is responsible for his attitude and work ethic. However there are situations, like this one, where a coach can put a player in a position to fail.

As I said earlier, if Skinner's attitude sucks or his work ethic, bench him.  Wasting him with two plumbers is just wrong.

If he's benched, then he's lost IMHO.  While this isn't ideal, at least Skinner will still get 2PP time & will likely take shifts in the top 6 just before breaks.

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1 hour ago, Derrico said:

I realize he mainly played on their third line and did just fine.  I also know that he played on a top line last year and scored 14 goals and 9 assists.  That's 9 assists in 59 friggen games played!!  Woof.  I also realize the Sabres missed the playoffs with him playing in said top line when the friggen playoffs were expanded to almost every team in the league.  No I'm not going to cry for Skinner because RK has him on the 4th line.

A lot will change and I suspect Skinner will end up on the third line with a guy like Cozens.  I also suspect he will be playing the second power play and his minutes will probably end up very close to 17 minutes per night.

But he didn't play on a top line last year. 

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3 minutes ago, Thorny said:

No, they played him with a good 2 way C in Rask. 

I don't watch a ton of Canes games but I know the year before he was traded he was playing most of his time with journeyman Derek Ryan.

3 minutes ago, Thorny said:

But he didn't play on a top line last year. 

Top 6 I should have said.

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1 minute ago, Derrico said:

I don't watch a ton of Canes games but I know the year before he was traded he was playing most of his time with journeyman Derek Ryan.

I know, but you said he gets "just the same" regardless of who he plays with. It's not really the case. There are players he's proven to perform well with. 

This is like bypassing his faults - there are players he plays with where his faults are statistically minimized. Skinner doesn't have to *do* anything, they just have to configure the lines properly. 

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What if Ralph's structure was dump and chase? Wasn't Bylsma's? 

Bylsma has won a stanley cup, and NO ONE on here was telling Jack to rim it around the boards while Jack was in possession - we wanted his strengths to be maximized. 

Maximize the Old Dog's strengths, bench him, or trade him. Willingly torpedoing the roster is a waste of time and a mistake from Ralph. 

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