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The Mittelstadt Line


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Asplund was always a guy I projected as a useful bottom-sixer: speed, effort, and smarts with just enough skill.

He kinda fell off the radar in the past year, but he sure has looked the part lately.

He's scored 4 goals in his past 8 games, 3 in his past five. He's emerging in much the same way as the other two.

The final 20 games of the season look a whole lot more interesting than they did two weeks ago.

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I'm not on the Mittelstadt bandwagon, but he had a very solid game tonight.

It's pretty obvious the entire team is consistently playing much better now than under Krueger.

Makes you wonder just how bad Ralph really was.

I think he was probably worse than Rolston.

 

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3 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

They use their speed effectively, but so far they haven't had to go up against a big physical line. Jury's not out yet on that or how they will deal with the defensive side of the game in a close checking affair.

Yep. 

The true test now, as it is for any young player, is consistency.   For how long can you sustain thay level of play?  Are you bumping up against your ceiling?  Or setting new floor?

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9 hours ago, Eleven said:

I've got to say, the last few games, Casey has impressed me.  And tonight, with Thompson and Asplund, they were flying all over the place.  They look good together!  Even  Thompson was good.  Really, there could be room for this line in the future of this team.

These things are what keeps me interested for remainder of season. I've felt all along this team is better than the record. Let's see what some of our young guys can show. I think we know what Cozens, Jack and McCabe have so with them out others have chance to show whether they are part of this going forward.

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9 hours ago, Kruppstahl said:

I'm not on the Mittelstadt bandwagon, but he had a very solid game tonight.

It's pretty obvious the entire team is consistently playing much better now than under Krueger.

Makes you wonder just how bad Ralph really was.

I think he was probably worse than Rolston.

 

It seems like the team just is playing free now and not having to do a bunch of extra thinking out there

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We seen glimpses of their talent before but it seems like every aspect of their game has improved lately. It's not just them scoring points but the back checking and forechecking and board work has dramatically improved and for now their decision making and letting things develop and not trying to force everything gives hope. With Jack hopefully still on board and Cozens development it seems to me this has the making of a very good 3rd line which this team hasn't seen in almost 15 years. Watching a much faster team and the development of these still young guys has made watching this team bearable again and I find myself enjoying the games again whether this point streak continues or eventually ends. The play during Ralph's tenure and especially the end of it hopefully doesn't return anytime soon.

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5 hours ago, Weave said:

You have to hope this keeps up as the game changes when teams start jockeying for playoff position.  Will be interesting to see how/if Casey adapts to the game becoming tighter and more intense.

Faster. More intense.

I want to see us start spoiling some playoffs. I need the Rangers to stay good for a bit -- which pains me to say -- but I want them hot. We play Boston and Pittsburgh a bunch down the stretch. I want our kids to spoil either of Boston's or Pittsburgh's season. Preferably Boston.

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5 hours ago, Curt said:

Let’s see how they look against a couple of teams that are actually good.  Encouraging so far though.

This is my thinking. Let's see when they play the Washington's, Bruins ect. That will tell a lot whether they win or lose.

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I didn't think this line was very effective last night in 5-on-5, but Mittlestadt undeniably made 2 very nice NHL skill plays with his pass on the 1st goal and his "posting up" and tip-in on his PPG.

Signs of life are better than signs of death.

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24 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

I didn't think this line was very effective last night in 5-on-5, but Mittlestadt undeniably made 2 very nice NHL skill plays with his pass on the 1st goal and his "posting up" and tip-in on his PPG.

Signs of life are better than signs of death.

According to the fancystats they were the only line that was effective 5-on-5

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This is the first time he's playing with players that he is familiar with in Asplund and Thompson.  I wonder what type of confidence would be if that was a line all year.  Familiarity, comfortability and just less pressure of having to figure out guys on the fly.  Casey, has a solid shot, and he's not a terrible creator, it's nice to see him putting in solid effort on the forecheck for me.  If he can just work on those things, we're looking at someone who can be something, versus an out and out bust.  I'm still not a fan of Thompson, but it is what it is.  Asplund is crafty, creative and does the little things that you need.  More Asplund, less Okposo. 

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20 hours ago, Eleven said:

I've got to say, the last few games, Casey has impressed me.  And tonight, with Thompson and Asplund, they were flying all over the place.  They look good together!  Even  Thompson was good.  Really, there could be room for this line in the future of this team.

Would never work against a good team though. When you look how they play it's very AHL, stupid risks all the time. But hey, for now ill take anything.

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8 hours ago, dudacek said:

Is it realistic to think this trio can be a viable 3rd line next year?

I guess we’ll have a better sense of this in a month.

If it is the 3rd scoring line that leaves 1 piece to be added to lock down the 3 "scoring" lines.  They'd have 4 wings & Eichel to cover most of the top 6, but would like to see a 2C that could cover 2C for 1-2 seasons until Mjttelstadt &/or Cozens are truly ready for the role.

Still not sold on Thompson, but really liked his play the last 2 games.  He didn't look nearly as uncoordinated as even a week ago.  If he has finally grown into his body he could beva player.  Will need to see a few more like the last 2 to start believing, but at least there's some hints at this level that he could be figuring it out.

Presumably Eakin, Okposo, & Girgensons are back next year holding down the 4th line (for good or bad) leaving the 2C as the only forward get to come from outside.

Get the other NHL goalie and a couple of D to replace FAs they lose & the guy Francis scoops up & this team could be something the new coach can make something of.

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