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mvr

Changes needed on the fourth line....

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We're now at just about the half way point of the season and Quenneville continues to get zero production from the veterans on his fourth line.

Jordin Tootoo has played 30 games and has zero points and is a minus 2.    Andrew Desjardins has played 22 games and has zero points and is a minus 5.  

Obviously, this is not good enough.  

We can blame some of this lack of production on roster turnover and inconsistent line-mates.    We also must be realistic here about what we should expect from a fourth line constructed on the cheap.   Still, these two guys are experienced players, and they are not getting the job done for whatever reason.  They need to go.

The time to do it is right now (to shake up the team from what has become their annual, uninspired mid-season - "we have already made the playoffs" - funk).  

Kero is here and has shown some energy in spurts.   Mark McNeil continues to lead Rockford (as he has for a couple of years), and he should be called up immediately to fill Kruger's spot (and finally be given a real opportunity).  I might also be inclined to re-call Nick Schmaltz.    

In the meantime, Bowman also should be watching the waiver wires carefully to see if someone cheap becomes available before the playoffs.  

Leaving the status quo any longer would be a mistake.    To the surprise of many here (but not me), Brandon Mashinter somehow found a spot on the roster for playoff games last year because Stan Bowman kept him around too long.

  

Edited by mvr
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mvr said on 33 minutes ago:

We're now at just about the half way point of the season and Quenneville continues to get zero production from the veterans on his fourth line.

Jordin Tootoo has played 30 games and has zero points and is a minus 2.    Andrew Desjardins has played 22 games and has zero points and is a minus 5.  

Obviously, this is not good enough.  

We can blame some of this lack of production on roster turnover and inconsistent line-mates.    We also must be realistic here about what we should expect from a fourth line constructed on the cheap.   Still, these two guys are experienced players, and they are not getting the job done for whatever reason.  They need to go.

The time to do it is right now (to shake up the team from what has become their annual, uninspired mid-season - "we have already made the playoffs" - funk).  

Kero is here and has shown some energy in spurts.   Mark McNeil continues to lead Rockford (as he has for a couple of years), and he should be called up immediately to fill Kruger's spot (and finally be given a real opportunity).  I might also be inclined to re-call Nick Schmaltz.    

In the meantime, Bowman also should be watching the waiver wires carefully to see if someone cheap becomes available before the playoffs.  

Leaving the status quo any longer would be a mistake.    To the surprise of many here (but not me), Brandon Mashinter somehow found a spot on the roster for playoff games last year because Stan Bowman kept him around too long.

  

I agree. I'm an advocate for McNeil and will be until I see different  after a fair evaluation.  

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4th line with three ~700K players and 6 min average TOI, which starts 90% of their shifts in D-zone is not there to produce scoring but prevent opps to score and get into chances and they doing well their job.There is 10.5M player, who plays 20 minutes/game and takes alone 1/4 of total cap allocated to all 14 forwards in the roster to produce but didn't score 5 on 5 goal since Nov. 6th, almost TWO months.... or what about Keith who scored 1 goal in about last 50 games.

Edited by Modry-Jazyk
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This team can't score goals. The 4th line isn't the problem.

Look, Toews and Kane have a combined 17 goals in 61 games played this season. 

Until the 2 guys paid the most to put the puck in the net actually start doing so, it's senseless to worry about the 4th line... or the kids... the stars aren't performing as stars. This is pretty simple.

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mvr said on 3 hours ago:

We're now at just about the half way point of the season and Quenneville continues to get zero production from the veterans on his fourth line.

Jordin Tootoo has played 30 games and has zero points and is a minus 2.    Andrew Desjardins has played 22 games and has zero points and is a minus 5.  

Obviously, this is not good enough.  

We can blame some of this lack of production on roster turnover and inconsistent line-mates.    We also must be realistic here about what we should expect from a fourth line constructed on the cheap.   Still, these two guys are experienced players, and they are not getting the job done for whatever reason.  They need to go.

The time to do it is right now (to shake up the team from what has become their annual, uninspired mid-season - "we have already made the playoffs" - funk).  

Kero is here and has shown some energy in spurts.   Mark McNeil continues to lead Rockford (as he has for a couple of years), and he should be called up immediately to fill Kruger's spot (and finally be given a real opportunity).  I might also be inclined to re-call Nick Schmaltz.    

In the meantime, Bowman also should be watching the waiver wires carefully to see if someone cheap becomes available before the playoffs.  

Leaving the status quo any longer would be a mistake.    To the surprise of many here (but not me), Brandon Mashinter somehow found a spot on the roster for playoff games last year because Stan Bowman kept him around too long.

  

I would love to see this guy get more of a legit chance (not just one game like last year).

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MERPER said on 15 minutes ago:

This team can't score goals. The 4th line isn't the problem.

Look, Toews and Kane have a combined 17 goals in 61 games played this season. 

Until the 2 guys paid the most to put the puck in the net actually start doing so, it's senseless to worry about the 4th line... or the kids... the stars aren't performing as stars. This is pretty simple.

I will agree that our 4th line may be a problem, but a relatively minor one in the scheme things. 

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MVR, how many goals do you want them to have? I agree they should be able to chip in a few, but it's not overly concerning to me. Even if the 4th line had a total of 5 goals, how many more wins do you see? This is why I differ from you and feel it's better to have a smaller core with a better support cast. Rather than a bigger core that takes up all the cap space, and a constant revolving door for the rest. When the oversized core goes cold, there is absolutely not much else to score for you!!!

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As many of you know, I don't believe in carrying "specialists" on the fourth line.   All players need to contribute something.    If they can't score, they should kill penalties or check star forwards (like Burish, Eager, Madden from 2010).

These present guys aren't doing anything.  They play 5-8 minutes a night, and they allow the opponent to create zone time.    Their unreliable play forces the coach to use Toews and Kruger in even more defensive situations. 

Fixing the fourth line might not be the most pressing problem the team has, but it s an easy one to address.  Once that line starts contributing, other problems might get solved on their own.

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Merper/Modry:  We can't fix what's going on with the first and second lines.   Toews and the rest of the core is here to stay, and I am glad about that.  

We can tinker with the margins, however.   Why not at least try?   It won't cost much - if anything.

Bowman sits on his hands far too much for my liking.   I do not want or expect big changes (most often these kinds of moves are damaging).   But there is nothing wrong with experimenting a little bit.

To move forward, management needs to re-think what a fourth liner should be.    Call me crazy, but I would rather see Sam Gagner than Jordin Tootoo.   

 

 

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I agree with ya there, can't argue that. However, I feel that if Panera is going to be a core member, one has to be shipped out, possibly two to create room to round out the roster. We need another Anisimov or 2 to make the team lethal again. A couple of guys in the 3-4 million range that can get 40-50 points. Right now we don't have that, and relying on kids is probably not going to work. That's why I've stated that I doubt the Hawks win it all this year. "Going for it" will end up like last year. All the Hawks are is competitive. I don't feel they're contenders this year. Now, next year if the kids have experience and Stan gets some cap space from trading CC, even if he has to sweeten the pot with Schmaltz to get a 1st rounder and no cap space, he should do it. Then go after guys like Sharp, J Thornton, P Marleau etc, all guys on the cheap that will kill for a shot at a Cup. They'd probably play for 1.5 million each. And if there's enough space, that's how you go for it. Build your team in the summer and don't lose assets to squire the pieces. We don't have much left, accept to offer guys a chance at a Cup!!!

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So now Bowman/Quenneville have demoted Tyler Motte to the AHL.

I am not convinced the finger is being pointed in the right place here, though Motte's cap hit is excessive.

Hopefully, McNeil will be recalled before Thursday.

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Motte hit a wall, it's better for him down there. Guys like Hartman, and Hino look better due to being seasoned down there. McNeil must have slept with the whole entire orgs daughters and wives, he just can't get a shot!!!

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Big-T said on 1 hour ago:

I agree with ya there, can't argue that. However, I feel that if Panera is going to be a core member, one has to be shipped out, possibly two to create room to round out the roster. We need another Anisimov or 2 to make the team lethal again. A couple of guys in the 3-4 million range that can get 40-50 points. Right now we don't have that, and relying on kids is probably not going to work. That's why I've stated that I doubt the Hawks win it all this year. "Going for it" will end up like last year. All the Hawks are is competitive. I don't feel they're contenders this year. Now, next year if the kids have experience and Stan gets some cap space from trading CC, even if he has to sweeten the pot with Schmaltz to get a 1st rounder and no cap space, he should do it. Then go after guys like Sharp, J Thornton, P Marleau etc, all guys on the cheap that will kill for a shot at a Cup. They'd probably play for 1.5 million each. And if there's enough space, that's how you go for it. Build your team in the summer and don't lose assets to squire the pieces. We don't have much left, accept to offer guys a chance at a Cup!!!

Totally agree. Like when they added Richards in '14. And if it doesn't work out next year, you go and get both Sedins when they're freed up the year after. There are a fair few players out there that just might want to put a stamp on their careers with that elusive cup win.

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Big-T said on 2 hours ago:

Motte hit a wall, it's better for him down there. Guys like Hartman, and Hino look better due to being seasoned down there. McNeil must have slept with the whole entire orgs daughters and wives, he just can't get a shot!!!

Like Schmaltz, Motte makes $925 K if playing in Chicago.   The money here is a factor, especially with the Panarin re-signing.   These players now might be too expensive to retain when projecting next year's roster.

As it stands, if you switch out Tootoo and Desjardins for guys like Baun and McNeil, you save another $300 K against the cap which will help at trade deadline.

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mvr said on 22 minutes ago:

Like Schmaltz, Motte makes $925 K if playing in Chicago.   The money here is a factor, especially with the Panarin re-signing.   These players now might be too expensive to retain when projecting next year's roster.

As it stands, if you switch out Tootoo and Desjardins for guys like Baun and McNeil, you save another $300 K against the cap which will help at trade deadline.

I forgot McNeil was even on the team.

It's a joke that he's not up here in Kruger's absence .

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Unless they trade one of Kane or Toews (not very likely) or two of the other 8 multi-millionaires we better get used to having 3rd and 4th liners that don't contribute much.  Starting next season, there will be 10 players on this team accounting for $57M in cap space - that only leaves $16M (call it $18M to account for a cap raise) to be spread out among the other 12 or 13 players needed to fill out the roster.  You can't make chicken salad out of chicken poop.

Whether we like it or not, simple math says something has to give or they will continue relying heavily on half a team.  Of the "big ten", only Kruger can be exposed to the expansion draft as he is the only one without a NMC (at least that's what the Cap Friendly website shows).

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I do not believe that useful and cost-efficient checkers are that hard to find.  

But this team doesn't seem to be willing to go out and find them.   Each year, they settle on a few older veterans at training camp, and these players (whether it be Pisani, Brunette, Mashinter, Bollig, Desjardins, Tootoo, Cullimore or Scott) get a free pass all year.      

The truth is that these players should be seen as disposable assets.  If they aren't performing, they should be replaced.   I believe there are better (and cheaper) players at Rockford right now (Baun and McNeil) and others available on waivers (ie Reid Boucher) all the time.  

But you have to be willing to try.......

Quenneville and Bowman have no problem demoting a kid.   Why not a veteran?   

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mvr said on 7 hours ago:

As many of you know, I don't believe in carrying "specialists" on the fourth line.   All players need to contribute something.    If they can't score, they should kill penalties or check star forwards (like Burish, Eager, Madden from 2010).

These present guys aren't doing anything.  They play 5-8 minutes a night, and they allow the opponent to create zone time.    Their unreliable play forces the coach to use Toews and Kruger in even more defensive situations. 

Fixing the fourth line might not be the most pressing problem the team has, but it s an easy one to address.  Once that line starts contributing, other problems might get solved on their own.

 

Fixing the 4th line to be somewhat like a Burish, Eager, Madden will go a long way to helping the top lines get space and more optimal matchups.

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Biscuit_In_The_Basket said on 4 minutes ago:

 

Fixing the 4th line to be somewhat like a Burish, Eager, Madden will go a long way to helping the top lines get space and more optimal matchups.

  

Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point, comes to mind here.   Fix a few small problems and the big issues start to disappear.

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Biscuit_In_The_Basket said on 3 hours ago:

 

Fixing the 4th line to be somewhat like a Burish, Eager, Madden will go a long way to helping the top lines get space and more optimal matchups.

I LOL'd. 

Time has made people forget that Burish and Eager both sucked. 

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So now Bowman has recalled Spencer Abbott from Rockford.

This is a 28-year-old AHL lifer - a free agent pickup last summer from the Maple Leafs system.   From what I remember about the player, he is yet another small, scrappy type - a poor man's Ryan Hartman without the upside.    Abbott and McNeil presently share the team scoring lead.  

 I do not get the move.    McNeil is five years younger and at least 40 pounds heavier.   He kills penalties and wins face-offs.  

Sure, he has been a disappointment considering his draft position.   But he is clearly the better choice at this stage.    What is the harm with giving him a few games?   The treatment of this player is now bordering on malicious.   

PuckjIm -   Eager was a double digit goal scorer who could throw a hit.  Burish also scored some, agitated plenty, and killed penalties.   This is what a fourth line should look like.    We haven't seen a good one here (other than during the playoffs in 2013) since these two left.

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mvr said on 16 minutes ago:

So now Bowman has recalled Spencer Abbott from Rockford.

This is a 28-year-old AHL lifer - a free agent pickup last summer from the Maple Leafs system.   From what I remember about the player, he is yet another small, scrappy type - a poor man's Ryan Hartman without the upside.    Abbott and McNeil presently share the team scoring lead.  

 I do not get the move.    McNeil is five years younger and at least 40 pounds heavier.   He kills penalties and wins face-offs.  

Sure, he has been a disappointment considering his draft position.   But he is clearly the better choice at this stage.    What is the harm with giving him a few games?   The treatment of this player is now bordering on malicious.   

PuckjIm -   Eager was a double digit goal scorer who could throw a hit.  Burish also scored some, agitated plenty, and killed penalties.   This is what a fourth line should look like.    We haven't seen a good one here (other than during the playoffs in 2013) since these two left.

Is this a vendetta of some sort against McNeil? Bowman, please release him from your thrall as there seems to be no intention of ever using him.

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McNeill now played three full years in the AHL, and each year (before this one), the numbers improved.   Career high 48 points last year in just over 60 games - including 20 plus goals for the second year in a row.   He again leads the team in scoring this year (basically without any line-mates).

I don't get it either.   From what I saw from him in the preseason, he plays a boring, conservative style, rarely gets caught out of position, but seems unwilling or has become afraid of taking chances (ie delivering a hit).    The coaching staff played him almost exclusively on the fourth line with Rasmussen in the preseason, and I thought the line was for the most part effective in a shutdown role.

Now is clearly the time the coaching staff should be giving him the chance.  

 Abbott is certainly not part of the future (nor is likely to impact the present).   He is 5'9" and 170 pounds (so he should fit right in with Bowman's other guys).

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mvr said on 4 hours ago:

So now Bowman has recalled Spencer Abbott from Rockford.

 

Tracy Costello must not be available...

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Big-T said on 14 hours ago:

I agree with ya there, can't argue that. However, I feel that if Panera is going to be a core member, one has to be shipped out, possibly two to create room to round out the roster. We need another Anisimov or 2 to make the team lethal again. A couple of guys in the 3-4 million range that can get 40-50 points. Right now we don't have that, and relying on kids is probably not going to work. That's why I've stated that I doubt the Hawks win it all this year. "Going for it" will end up like last year. All the Hawks are is competitive. I don't feel they're contenders this year. Now, next year if the kids have experience and Stan gets some cap space from trading CC, even if he has to sweeten the pot with Schmaltz to get a 1st rounder and no cap space, he should do it. Then go after guys like Sharp, J Thornton, P Marleau etc, all guys on the cheap that will kill for a shot at a Cup. They'd probably play for 1.5 million each. And if there's enough space, that's how you go for it. Build your team in the summer and don't lose assets to squire the pieces. We don't have much left, accept to offer guys a chance at a Cup!!!

Joe Thornton.  In the past 12 years, he has had four 3 year contracts, with AAV between $6.67M and $7.2M.  He had four consecutive seasons over 80 points as well as reaching that level again last season.  This year his numbers are down a little (2-23-25 in 37 games). If he would fit himself into the Hawks' cap situation, he would be a great addition next season (ala Brad Richards like someone else alluded to!). 

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