redfire11

Lines and Pairings for 2018/19 Season

1,249 posts in this topic

15 minutes ago, cccsberg said:

All possible and probably effective.  But here’s the question.  The team is playing well and first in the conference at the quarter pole.  You guys haven’t identified an actual problem, the team is successful but you still want changes?  Perhaps take up walking or something else, seems like you,vex got too much time on your hands.  Find a hobby and just sit back and enjoy.

 

3 minutes ago, MAC331 said:

There is no fun in that but I guess one could take that positioning if "winning" is all that matters to you. As the season goes on the team has to get better as other teams adjust to defense us. Our forward group outside of the top line could be better arranged. Our D is rounding into shape. The success Rittich is having hopefully pushes Smith to get his game together. I like our team but I don't think it is time to relax if ever.

 

It’s true the team is playing well. All of the lines are not liabilities. Like Mac has said, beyond the 1st line and Tkachuk, the offence drops off and the chemistry for scoring is a mess. The good teams will adjust and shut down the 1st line they can be dominant at times like last night, but that isn’t the norm. 

I think I look at next game and it’s a big test. It’s a game where getting secondary scoring will be needed.

 

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7 minutes ago, MAC331 said:

There is no fun in that but I guess one could take that positioning if "winning" is all that matters to you. As the season goes on the team has to get better as other teams adjust to defense us. Our forward group outside of the top line could be better arranged. Our D is rounding into shape. The success Rittich is having hopefully pushes Smith to get his game together. I like our team but I don't think it is time to relax if ever.

As we’ve seen, BP isn’t relaxing at all.   

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11 minutes ago, cccsberg said:

They already have three strong lines.  Your pairs may work as well, but at the moment, why bother?  With Bennett moving up to the Backlund-Tkachuk pair that second line is a fast, savvy, offensive buzzsaw line that was pretty great the past two games.

 

We have still only have two strong lines, and only one of them a serious scoring line. It seems fine now because the top line is scoring. But when another scoring slump happens and we arent able to put more then one or two goals up it would sure be nice to have some goals from the bottom 6.

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15 minutes ago, cccsberg said:

As we’ve seen, BP isn’t relaxing at all.   

I sure hope he doesn't, he is the last guy we want to be satisfied.

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42 minutes ago, kehatch said:

 

We have still only have two strong lines, and only one of them a serious scoring line. It seems fine now because the top line is scoring. But when another scoring slump happens and we arent able to put more then one or two goals up it would sure be nice to have some goals from the bottom 6.

 

Agreed. I like the looks of the 2nd line but they need to start producing something. Can't just keep looking good if the points don't come. 

 

While I would still make my own tweaks, I think the Flames have settled on a lineup they should role out for the next little while and give them some consistency. All of the combos have shown some flashes, so see what happens but I am in full agreement that the Flames need more from their bottom 6. heck I think they need more from their bottom 8. Can't rely on the same 4 guys all year, there are going to be slumps (case in point Gaudreau goes pointless and the team goes 1-4)

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32 minutes ago, cross16 said:

 

Agreed. I like the looks of the 2nd line but they need to start producing something. Can't just keep looking good if the points don't come. 

 

While I would still make my own tweaks, I think the Flames have settled on a lineup they should role out for the next little while and give them some consistency. All of the combos have shown some flashes, so see what happens but I am in full agreement that the Flames need more from their bottom 6. heck I think they need more from their bottom 8. Can't rely on the same 4 guys all year, there are going to be slumps (case in point Gaudreau goes pointless and the team goes 1-4)

 

Tkachuk is deadly on the PP and when he takes the puck himself, not really from great passing.  Neither Backlund nor Bennett are really finishing.  

That's a bit of a problem, as you say, when the top line gets shut down.

 

I also think that Dube should probably go back to the AHL and bring up Quine, Rychel and/or Mangiapane (assuming he is cleared to play).  My feeling is that Dube needs to develop into the defensive center he's showed in junior.  That was his strength.  He's not as good as Janko now, so you don't replace Janko as the depth center.

I also think that the gap between Mangiapane and Dube was not big at the end of TC.  He's a p/gp player and could do better this season on a better depth team.

 

At some point (thought they might try it in the 3rd last night), they should roll out Tkachuk-Lindholm and Gaudreau-Monahan with a RW each.  Neal and Bennett can determine where they best fit.  That would likely give you two strong offensive lines.  Backlund-Frolik should stay as a pair and do what they do.  

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28 minutes ago, travel_dude said:

 

I also think that Dube should probably go back to the AHL and bring up Quine, Rychel and/or Mangiapane (assuming he is cleared to play).  My feeling is that Dube needs to develop into the defensive center he's showed in junior.  That was his strength. 

 

While he was a good two way center, I would not call him a defensive center, nor suggest that was his strength. Rockets leaned on him to provide offense while being reliable in his own zone too. Putting him in that role I thin would be a mistake, because he has a ton of offensive skill to give. 

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57 minutes ago, travel_dude said:

 

Tkachuk is deadly on the PP and when he takes the puck himself, not really from great passing.  Neither Backlund nor Bennett are really finishing.  

That's a bit of a problem, as you say, when the top line gets shut down.

 

I also think that Dube should probably go back to the AHL and bring up Quine, Rychel and/or Mangiapane (assuming he is cleared to play).  My feeling is that Dube needs to develop into the defensive center he's showed in junior.  That was his strength.  He's not as good as Janko now, so you don't replace Janko as the depth center.

I also think that the gap between Mangiapane and Dube was not big at the end of TC.  He's a p/gp player and could do better this season on a better depth team.

 

At some point (thought they might try it in the 3rd last night), they should roll out Tkachuk-Lindholm and Gaudreau-Monahan with a RW each.  Neal and Bennett can determine where they best fit.  That would likely give you two strong offensive lines.  Backlund-Frolik should stay as a pair and do what they do.  

You know it funny that we sit here and can see Backlund and Bennett as players that don't finisher but BP doesn't. I agree we are starting to see Jankowski emerge into a good all-round player that knows what to do with the puck. Why are we not seeing a line of Tkachuk, Jankowski and Neal ? Put Bennett, Backlund and Frolik together, awesome shut down and they will figure out some scoring. Leave to 4th line for trying out some of these other players with Ryan at C were he belongs. This could be a good opportunity to see some of what we have from the ranks throughout the season.

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34 minutes ago, cross16 said:

 

While he was a good two way center, I would not call him a defensive center, nor suggest that was his strength. Rockets leaned on him to provide offense while being reliable in his own zone too. Putting him in that role I thin would be a mistake, because he has a ton of offensive skill to give. 

Dube will be a good all-round player but this extended look shouldn't necessarily cement him into the roster. He will have growing pains like all other rookies and he has the flexibility to go up and down leagues. I think he gained a lot of is defensive notoriety playing LW on the national WJ and grew from there. Good player to have for our future.

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6 minutes ago, MAC331 said:

You know it funny that we sit here and can see Backlund and Bennett as players that don't finisher but BP doesn't. I agree we are starting to see Jankowski emerge into a good all-round player that knows what to do with the puck. Why are we not seeing a line of Tkachuk, Jankowski and Neal ? Put Bennett, Backlund and Frolik together, awesome shut down and they will figure out some scoring. Leave to 4th line for trying out some of these other players with Ryan at C were he belongs. This could be a good opportunity to see some of what we have from the ranks throughout the season.

 

Actually Frolik has been clutch finishing.  Better than Neal, who I hope we can dump to another team.

 

But in general I agree.  Tkachuk - Jankowski - Frolik

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23 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

 

Actually Frolik has been clutch finishing.  Better than Neal, who I hope we can dump to another team.

 

But in general I agree.  Tkachuk - Jankowski - Frolik

Only you would be thinking of dumping Neal. Frolik belongs with Backlund performing a more significant role for us. Like I said a line of Bennett , Backlund and Frolik will get their goals.

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On 2018-11-20 at 0:03 PM, MAC331 said:

Only you would be thinking of dumping Neal. Frolik belongs with Backlund performing a more significant role for us. Like I said a line of Bennett , Backlund and Frolik will get their goals.

 

I think the Flames would be crazy to pass up a Neal trade right now.  He is playing like a fourth liner and earning first line money.  20 games in and he hasn't produced.  I would be willing to free up a bunch of cap space at the risk of him getting his game back together elsewhere.  

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1 hour ago, stubblejumper1 said:

 

I think the Flames would be crazy to pass up a Neal trade right now.  He is playing like a fourth liner and earning first line money.  20 games in and he hasn't produced.  I would be willing to free up a bunch of cap space at the risk of him getting his game back together elsewhere.  

 

The teams that would offer value for him know that he will produce 20 goals this year, which our fans seem to think he won;t get to.

What they would offer would be an insult, though.

Let's not dump players early in a season on a new team.

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1 hour ago, travel_dude said:

 

The teams that would offer value for him know that he will produce 20 goals this year, which our fans seem to think he won;t get to.

What they would offer would be an insult, though.

Let's not dump players early in a season on a new team.

 

My argument is that nobody knows if he will score 20.  He might only score 10.  If he has a bad year this year and then follows it up with another bad year next year, he becomes untradable.  It may be time to cut bait while they can (but I doubt anyone would be looking to take on Neal's contract at this point).

 

I hope I am wrong, but there is nothing saying Neal isn't the new Lucic/Brouwer.  

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4 hours ago, stubblejumper1 said:

 

I think the Flames would be crazy to pass up a Neal trade right now.  He is playing like a fourth liner and earning first line money.  20 games in and he hasn't produced.  I would be willing to free up a bunch of cap space at the risk of him getting his game back together elsewhere.  

 

The problem with Neal for me is, he's not even getting chances.  In comparison, Bennett is getting a ton of chances to score every game and so there's optimism.  The flood gates could open for Bennett once he gets a lucky bounce or three.  Neal though, does he only get one legit chance to score every 2 games?  It's not even about lucky bounces at that point.  He's not even getting himself into the opportunities to get lucky.

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7 hours ago, The_People1 said:

 

The problem with Neal for me is, he's not even getting chances.  In comparison, Bennett is getting a ton of chances to score every game and so there's optimism.  The flood gates could open for Bennett once he gets a lucky bounce or three.  Neal though, does he only get one legit chance to score every 2 games?  It's not even about lucky bounces at that point.  He's not even getting himself into the opportunities to get lucky.

Have to agree with this. Bennett is creating space for he and his line mates, Neal's claim was finding space and his shot, he has found space once. You can't even use the arguement he has bad line mates. If I am not mistaken he has touched every line on the roster.

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On 2018-11-20 at 0:03 PM, MAC331 said:

Only you would be thinking of dumping Neal. Frolik belongs with Backlund performing a more significant role for us. Like I said a line of Bennett , Backlund and Frolik will get their goals.

The current line of Tkachuk-Backlund-Bennett has been exceptional on many levels, and Bennett is just getting better.  That should not be broken up for anything until they take a serious slide, and the same should be true for the 1st line.

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13 hours ago, stubblejumper1 said:

 

I think the Flames would be crazy to pass up a Neal trade right now.  He is playing like a fourth liner and earning first line money.  20 games in and he hasn't produced.  I would be willing to free up a bunch of cap space at the risk of him getting his game back together elsewhere.  

Neal and Phillips for Mark Stone.

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12 minutes ago, cccsberg said:

Neal and Phillips for Mark Stone.

Neal would have to be part of the deal but I think we would have to add quite a bit for it to happen. 29 other teams will be making a pitch for Mark Stone.

I could see Neal, Brodie, 2019 3rd and 5th

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10 hours ago, The_People1 said:

 

The problem with Neal for me is, he's not even getting chances.  

 

Neal's team rankings at 5 on 5:

 

Shots/60th : 3rd

Individual scoring chances for/60: 5th

Rebounds created/60: 6th

High danger chances created: 13th

 

Interestingly enough, looking at his analytics he's actually performing pretty close to what he's done the last 3-4 seasons. Biggest thing that jumps out is a 3% drop in shooting percentage and a reduction in high danger chances which suggests he isn't getting to the slot/front of the net which is key for him and that would match what i've seen from the eye test.

 

I'm not here trying to defend his deal, i've actually never liked his deal, but I still think he is playing better than most think. I'm not sure if this is just a case of most weren't sure what we were getting but I honesty don't feel his play has dropped off that much from the last 2-3 season. I think he's struggled a bit to fit in, but that's been getting better the last couple weeks. 

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59 minutes ago, cccsberg said:

The current line of Tkachuk-Backlund-Bennett has been exceptional on many levels, and Bennett is just getting better.  That should not be broken up for anything until they take a serious slide, and the same should be true for the 1st line.

 

Right now, it looks like Backlund is the weakest link there.  Bennett and Tkachuk are all offense when together.  Backlund is adding the passing and defensive work to the line.  May sound like a downer, but I absolutely think you break up that line by going with Lindholm at C.  Move Neal to the top line and see how it works.  Elite shooters need elite passers.  Ryan and Czarnik are not.  Backlund could easily form a line with Frolik and a LW or RW as a third.

 

If you are giving up on Neal at this point, or suggesting a Stone trade using him, don't you think you need to see what you have in him first?  He's woirth little in trade if you are playing him with a non-producing 3rd line.  He doesn't kill penalties, so he's going to get the same or less minutes that JH and Monahan.  

 

JH-Monahan-Neal              Not really hurting a pair that has been dynamic no matter who they play with.

Tkachuk-Lindy-Bennett      Really need to see this at some point.  Underrated center.

Frolik-Backlund-Ryan        Not 100% sure if Ryan is the best fit, but he's dynamite on draws.  Backlund needs that some nights.

Dube-Janko-Hathaway      Didn't we see that line connect twice for 2 goals last night?  Say no more.

 

Maybe it's just me, but I see that as less top heavy and more balanced.  The previous top line has been stymied at times, so this gives them a slightly new look.  And we are using the best players in roles that should get the best results.  Neal and Tkachuk are goal scorers.  Play them in that situation.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, redfire11 said:

Neal would have to be part of the deal but I think we would have to add quite a bit for it to happen. 29 other teams will be making a pitch for Mark Stone.

I could see Neal, Brodie, 2019 3rd and 5th

Neal is not as bad as he's started the season, with a long positive history that could provide Ottawa with cost-controlled scoring and leadership for a few years.  Stone is great but a UFA who demanded, and got a 1-yr contract so he held all the cards for his future.  Stone controls the situation, but if he is still iffy on the Sens then they should be looking to make a move at the TDL, if not earlier.  My suggestion is one of many possible scenarios, where I'm adding a very high-potential prospect that could get a great shot in Ottawa but is likely redundant in Calgary, especially with the Russian Zavgorodniy lighting it up in the QMHL.  

 

Your suggestion is ridiculous, not that they might get great offers elsewhere..... Brodie is the best player of all you mentioned, including Stone, especially at his contract, and considering Stone is UFA. 

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2 hours ago, tmac70 said:

Have to agree with this. Bennett is creating space for he and his line mates, Neal's claim was finding space and his shot, he has found space once. You can't even use the arguement he has bad line mates. If I am not mistaken he has touched every line on the roster.

 

58 minutes ago, cross16 said:

 

I'm not here trying to defend his deal, i've actually never liked his deal, but I still think he is playing better than most think. I'm not sure if this is just a case of most weren't sure what we were getting but I honesty don't feel his play has dropped off that much from the last 2-3 season. I think he's struggled a bit to fit in, but that's been getting better the last couple weeks. 

 

Ya Neal just doesn't pass the eyeball test.

 

Last season Bennett wasn't scoring either and was also not getting chances.  There wasn't any reason to believe that Bennett could put up much points.  But this year, Bennett looks like he's going to score 20 because he's getting 1 or 2 high quality chances per game.  Similar with Backlund who gets so many chances to score, there's always reasons to believe he could score 30.

 

But Neal. The chances aren't even there.  The reason to believe isn't even there.

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55 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

 

 

Ya Neal just doesn't pass the eyeball test.

 

Last season Bennett wasn't scoring either and was also not getting chances.  There wasn't any reason to believe that Bennett could put up much points.  But this year, Bennett looks like he's going to score 20 because he's getting 1 or 2 high quality chances per game.  Similar with Backlund who gets so many chances to score, there's always reasons to believe he could score 30.

 

But Neal. The chances aren't even there.  The reason to believe isn't even there.

 

Think back to last year and how people were saying that Bennett was used the wrong way.  Playing with Brouwer, etc.

How is this any different with Neal.

Bennett is less of an elite scorer, but brings other aspects to his game, more this year than last.

Neal is an consistent scorer that is being tasked with scoring on less skilled passing.

 

The only way to maximize the skill is to play him with skill.

JH-Monahan-Bennett

Tkachuk-Lindolm-Neal

or

JH-Monahan-Neal

Tkachuk-Lindholm-Bennett

 

These are your only real options for having two solid scoring lines that don't have to constantly play a 200 foot game.   

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Interesting enough, Bennett's numbers (ie Chances created) haven't really improved from last year to this year. In fact his scoring chances are down, but high danger up but not a drastic amount. Big different is his shooting % (which was really low to begin with) is up over 2%. The reason why I was one that campaigned that Bennett could do more with a better opportunity is that the numbers he put up, as in chances, were good last year but he just wasn't burying them and didn't have the guys around him to help bury them. For me, the only thing that has really changed with Bennett this year is he's found ways to impact the game outside of just points/stats etc and it's changing the narrative on how he is playing. 

 

I would put Neal in a similar boat. Needs to find a way to impact the game outside of just stats and that's where I can get behind people getting on him. 

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