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mvr

Changes needed on the fourth line....

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mvr said on 23 hours ago:

The Hawks stars (Toews, Kane and Panarin etc) were MIA in Washington last night, as they have been too often this season for many fans.  

Still, the brutal collapse against the Capitals once again demonstrates, at least to my mind, what the real problem has been with this team for most of this year (and last).

Anyone who watched the game carefully would tell you that Alex Ovechkin did not beat this team last night.   It was third and fourth liners like Beagle, Eller, Winnick, Connelly and Wilson who were the big difference makers.

The Capitals got production and valuable ice-time from their third and fourth liners.  The star players on both sides basically cancelled each other out.

The Hawks third and fourth lines could not contain the Capitals' superior depth (on their bottom lines).   Andrew Desjardins played eight minutes last night and was -2 (with no points).   He is now is -7 on the season (with no points) in 27 games (the worst on the team).   

Tootoo and Rasmussen both were  -2 last night and are now -5 each on the season.    Tootoo still has zero points on the season.

Energy lines are supposed to provide energy.   A coach typically relies on these lines to give the star forwards a breather.    If the line can hold its own for the 30 second shifts, they are succeeding.

This line continues to put the team in the hole.   Quenneville rarely can play them more than a few shifts a game because he just can't hide them.  

As I wrote above, I would like to see two of Baun, Lundberg and McNeil recalled immediately, and both Desjardins and Tootoo waived.   Doing so would save an additional $200 K or so against the cap (pro rated).   It would also provide the coach with some youthful enthusiasm (and perhaps more talent).    

Certainly, he is not getting much "energy" from this line right now.   The veterans are not getting the job done.

It is time.

Replace all the players you like on the 4th line because in the end not one damn player playing on the 4th line is going to light a fire and get the veterans on the 1st or 2nd line to get their job done.

Edited by Creature1958
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Creature1958 said on 1 hour ago:

Replace all the players you like on the 4th line because in the end not one damn player playing on the 4th line is going to light a fire and get the veterans on the 1st or 2nd line to get their job done.

Creatch, I totally understand the philosophy that the best motivation is one that comes from within.  It is the one that is the most lasting, the most consistent and the most reliable.  That said, hockey has always had the "energy guy" or "--guys."  Why? I think it's obvious that that energy can be contagious for a play, or period, or even a game.  Does that kind of motivation last?  Not really and excuse me if that's what you were referring to, but I believe hockey has had that.  Think of Andrew Shaw.  Hawks could have been in a funky game, "going through the motions" collectively and that A$ comes along and shows the rest of the team that LOSING REALLY SUCKS.  Then, most of us could easily tell when the fire for the rest of the team was lit.

Edited by GigECJ
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GigECJ said on 33 minutes ago:

Creatch, I totally understand the philosophy that the best motivation is one that comes from within.  It is the one that is the most lasting, the most consistent and the most reliable.  That said, hockey has always had the "energy guy" or "--guys."  Why? I think it's obvious that that energy can be contagious for a play, or period, or even a game.  Does that kind of motivation last?  Not really and excuse me if that's what you were referring to, but I believe hockey has had that.  Think of Andrew Shaw.  Hawks could have been in a funky game, "going through the motions" collectively and that A$ comes along and shows the rest of the team that LOSING REALLY SUCKS.  Then, most of us could easily tell when the fire for the rest of the team was lit.

For every fire Shaw lit he extinguished one with a dumbass penalty 

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Puckjim said on 3 minutes ago:

For every fire Shaw lit he extinguished one with a dumbass penalty 

Thanks Jim for completely obliterating a point by pointing out something most of us would agree with and didn't need to be reminded of right then and there.

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Creature1958 said on 2 hours ago:

Replace all the players you like on the 4th line because in the end not one damn player playing on the 4th line is going to light a fire and get the veterans on the 1st or 2nd line to get their job done.

The league is too balanced now and the schedule far too compressed to count exclusively on the top guys every night.

Most games these days turn on one or two plays. The scores tend to be close and very low scoring.   Each goal matters.   The lack of depth scoring is a problem.   Making matters worse is the poor defensive play of the checkers.

As it stands, the fourth line (both this year and last) plays on average about 5-6 highly protected minutes a game (typically against the other team's worst players).  

On a good night, they do no real damage, though they never score, nor do they participate in any shut-down assignment.    But when they allow goals against (as they have with alarming frequency over the past two years), it is beyond demoralizing - it is crippling.

There is very little room for error.  Teams win and lose games with the play of their bottom six.

Fixing the fourth line should not be that difficult.   But there must be a will to do it.

 

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mvr said on 1 hour ago:

The league is too balanced now and the schedule far too compressed to count exclusively on the top guys every night.

Most games these days turn on one or two plays. The scores tend to be close and very low scoring.   Each goal matters.   The lack of depth scoring is a problem.   Making matters worse is the poor defensive play of the checkers.

As it stands, the fourth line (both this year and last) plays on average about 5-6 highly protected minutes a game (typically against the other team's worst players).  

On a good night, they do no real damage, though they never score, nor do they participate in any shut-down assignment.    But when they allow goals against (as they have with alarming frequency over the past two years), it is beyond demoralizing - it is crippling.

There is very little room for error.  Teams win and lose games with the play of their bottom six.

Fixing the fourth line should not be that difficult.   But there must be a will to do it.

 

I agree.  You have actually succeeded in persuading me to accept your premise that the fourth line is not only important, but a significant but easily fixable problem with the Chicago Blackhawks.  How many of us here actually bring anyone around to another way of thinking?  We are a proud and inflexible bunch and it almost seems as though we're here just for the mental masturbation of it all.  I can't think of too many times myself that I have been persuaded. 

All that said, the Hawks do not seem very concerned with Line #4, or really any line for that matter (other than trading pawns, knights, bishops and rooks from this place to that place).  I would like to see a 4th line overhauls just to see what such a quick, easy and inexpensive change could possibly do for the team.

Edited by GigECJ

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GigECJ said on 42 minutes ago:

I agree.  You have actually succeeded in persuading me to accept your premise that the fourth line is not only important, but a significant but easily fixable problem with the Chicago Blackhawks.  How many of us here actually bring anyone around to another way of thinking?  We are a proud and inflexible bunch and it almost seems as though we're here just for the mental masturbation of it all.  I can't think of too many times myself that I have been persuaded. 

All that said, the Hawks do not seem very concerned with Line #4, or really any line for that matter (other than trading pawns, knights, bishops and rooks from this place to that place).  I would like to see a 4th line overhauls just to see what such a quick, easy and inexpensive change could possibly do for the team.

 

I still don't think the 4th line is THAT important overall. However, they do need to be better. 2 of the 3 guys who have seen the most consistent 4th line time this season have ZERO points. That's (obviously) literally ZERO production from a line. 

At the very least, the 4th line should be bringing energy and having a shift a game that changes momentum where they keep the puck in the opponents' zone for a minute and cycle it to change the tide. Our 4th line hasn't done that at all. 

So, while I'd still say that the 4th line isn't of primary concern, I'd also say that this 4th line MUST be better than it has been.

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MERPER said on 7 minutes ago:

I still don't think the 4th line is THAT important overall. However, they do need to be better. 2 of the 3 guys who have seen the most consistent 4th line time this season have ZERO points. That's (obviously) literally ZERO production from a line. 

At the very least, the 4th line should be bringing energy and having a shift a game that changes momentum where they keep the puck in the opponents' zone for a minute and cycle it to change the tide. Our 4th line hasn't done that at all. 

So, while I'd still say that the 4th line isn't of primary concern, I'd also say that this 4th line MUST be better than it has been.

I think one example that the 4th Line has importance is that NHL coaches use the term "We roll four lines" implying that the fourth line is also strong and a royal b_tch to play against.  It connotes importance to them and, I suppose, should mean that 4th Lines should be important to us.  However, the most important point that MVP is making is that it's the easiest thing to "fix" on the team.

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There are many who see the New York mayor's campaign against graffiti as a Tipping Point which turned Manhattan island from a war zone of urban decay and crime into the success story it is today.

I believe the story there is somewhat more complicated.   But the premise that small changes can make a big difference is instructive here.  

Fixing the fourth line should cost little, but the positive impact will filter up to the other three lines.   If the fourth line can be useful and productive, it will ease the pressure elsewhere (both to generate offence and prevent the opponent from scoring).

The core pieces are in place at the top of the lineup.   These guys are proven world-class players.  The Hawks do not need - nor can they afford - more high end talent.

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mvr said on 39 minutes ago:

There are many who see the New York mayor's campaign against graffiti as a Tipping Point which turned Manhattan island from a war zone of urban decay and crime into the success story it is today.

I believe the story there is somewhat more complicated.   But the premise that small changes can make a big difference is instructive here.  

Fixing the fourth line should cost little, but the positive impact will filter up to the other three lines.   If the fourth line can be useful and productive, it will ease the pressure elsewhere (both to generate offence and prevent the opponent from scoring).

The core pieces are in place at the top of the lineup.   These guys are proven world-class players.  The Hawks do not need - nor can they afford - more high end talent.

For me, some of what you're saying should give us all some hope:

Hope that a renewed and reinvigorated 4th Line will renew and reinvigorate those world-class players (especially #19).

Hope that a renewed and reinvigorated 4th Line will created more balance from top to bottom.

Hope that a renewed and reinvigorated 4th Line will bring out more speed (tired legs?), puck movement and possession (mental fatigue causing turnovers, poor passing, faceoff inadequacies?), and grit on the board battles (tired legs, bodies and mental fatigue?).

These are integral to the Chicago Blackhawks and "bottom-up" economics is the cheapest possible remedy; it's at least worth a try.

Edited by GigECJ

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Bowman needs to take action now.   Waiting until the March trade deadline might be too late (it was last year).  

He has the money and the assets to make these small changes, but will he?    Or will he look for another "Big Name" play to generate marketing buzz?

The new bottom-line guys need time to get settled in and adjusted to the system.  Get the adjustments out of the way before they matter.   Bring up McNeil and/or Baun and Lundberg right now to see what we have.  Add some additional talent down the road as soon as possible. 

The top end guys are already showing signs of over-use.  

Edited by mvr

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Quenneville's decision to dress seven defencemen tonight against Minnesota should send a strong message to Bowman.  

The coach would rather double-shift Kane and rotate his bottom three defencemen (even an obviously over-ripe Rozsival) then pretend the team has four legitimate lines worth of forwards.  

This strategy might work for a game or two (though it did not tonight), but it is not sustainable.

Hopefully, the general manager is paying attention.

 

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the problem is not ($2M worth) 4th line but $10.5M in dead cap space what prevents Hawks from upgrading it.

Edited by Modry-Jazyk
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mvr said on 1 hour ago:

Quenneville's decision to dress seven defencemen tonight against Minnesota should send a strong message to Bowman.  

The coach would rather double-shift Kane and rotate his bottom three defencemen (even an obviously over-ripe Rozsival) then pretend the team has four legitimate lines worth of forwards.  

This strategy might work for a game or two (though it did not tonight), but it is not sustainable.

Hopefully, the general manager is paying attention.

 

Don't think coach made that decision to send any message, that's one of his decisions that no one else understands including probably him 

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irmaks said on 4 minutes ago:

Don't think coach made that decision to send any message, that's one of his decisions that no one else understands including probably him 

anisimov had the flu and they werent 1OO% sure he would play so Q dressed an extra Dman. 

and coach said on a quick interview on the bench that he wanted to get kane a few more shifts. dumb idea cause kane couldnt manage the tying goal.

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Marek Hrivik from NYR is on the waivers. Probably unknown to most or to all of you, but he's a good 2way center. Had 8+9 in 20 games in ahl and 2 assists in 16 games for NYR on the fourth line. Even if he would not be a good fit at the moment, he could increase the competition within our depleted ahl team. Don't know about his cap hit, but he's now available for free...

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Modry-Jazyk said on 9 hours ago:

the problem is not ($2M worth) 4th line but $10.5M in dead cap space what prevents Hawks from upgrading it.

Modry:  The problem is both.

The top line can't be fixed - Hossa and Toews are here to stay (and I believe most of us are happy about that - even at the price).  They will come around.

The fourth line can be fixed.   Management can choose (as you seem to want them to do) to sit on its hands, point fingers at the star players or the coach and do nothing.   Or it can experiment with the bottom of the roster and do everything possible.

I believe Hossa and Toews are slumping (and perhaps overpaid) but they still can contribute.   I know that the present fourth line cannot play.   It can be improved without costing more than a few dollars against the cap.

 

Jaty:   I like the way you are thinking.  Players go on waivers every week. There are grinders and checkers available for trade all the time.     

An active general manager regularly bring guys like this (or Panik/Sekac from last year) for auditions, and if one out of four works out, his team is ahead.  

But he has to be willing to cut bait quickly if the player does not work out.   Desjardins and Tootoo have been here for a half year.  We know that there are better options out there.  But you have to be willing to look.

What is this player's defensive game like?

 

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galaxytrash said on 9 hours ago:

anisimov had the flu and they werent 1OO% sure he would play so Q dressed an extra Dman. 

and coach said on a quick interview on the bench that he wanted to get kane a few more shifts. dumb idea cause kane couldnt manage the tying goal.

If a forward is sick, would it not make more sense to carry an extra forward?

Let's say Anisimov started last night but had to leave early.  The team would have been down to 10 forwards.  What if one gets injured?

 

Edited by mvr

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mvr said on 11 minutes ago:

Jaty:   I like the way you are thinking.  Players go on waivers every week. There are grinders and checkers available for trade all the time.     

What is this player's defensive game like?

 

I would say that he would be a good fit. Had good looks with the Slovak national team in the past. Is a typical grinder. What he lacks on the offensive side, he does his best not to be a defensive liability. Otherwise he would not have a chance in today's nhl. 

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To earlier posts, an established brand shouldn't need to be marketed.  The Blackhawks are three time Stanley Cup winners in the past 7 years.  

This team needs to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.  If that is what the 4th line is supposed to do, fine.  But the other eight or nine forwards also have to be willing to do all of the little things necessary in playing a full 60 minute game.  Strap on the Depends, take the Ritalin, but for god's sake don't mail in efforts.  Same with the defensemen.  They leave the goalie out to dry too often.  Never play the body, frequently out of position and depend too much on stick checking.  Guard the crease without screening the goalie unless you plan on blocking every shot.  It seems little mistakes take out their wind and end up costing this team games.  This should not be the case for a team who supposedly is a Cup contender.

There is still about have the preseason to work on things.  

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galaxytrash said on 13 hours ago:

anisimov had the flu and they werent 1OO% sure he would play so Q dressed an extra Dman. 

and coach said on a quick interview on the bench that he wanted to get kane a few more shifts. dumb idea cause kane couldnt manage the tying goal.

At least Kane managed something.  Can't say the same for the other players or coaching staff.

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yooper496 said on 2 hours ago:

To earlier posts, an established brand shouldn't need to be marketed.  The Blackhawks are three time Stanley Cup winners in the past 7 years.  

This team needs to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.  If that is what the 4th line is supposed to do, fine.  But the other eight or nine forwards also have to be willing to do all of the little things necessary in playing a full 60 minute game.  Strap on the Depends, take the Ritalin, but for god's sake don't mail in efforts.  Same with the defensemen.  They leave the goalie out to dry too often.  Never play the body, frequently out of position and depend too much on stick checking.  Guard the crease without screening the goalie unless you plan on blocking every shot.  It seems little mistakes take out their wind and end up costing this team games.  This should not be the case for a team who supposedly is a Cup contender.

There is still about have the preseason to work on things.  

Agree snowman. I've read everybody's posts and I get them and their thinking and position of them. But I just can't seem to buy that the 4th line is some type of major boon to get the top lines with world class players motivation. We see this year after year with the lull and going through the motions play and it always seems to point toward the 4th line or the crap D men or the soft goals. Then when they turn the switch on all praise goes to those world class players when they win and scorn for the 4th line when they lose. MVR is right that this team is loaded with world class players and if they put forth the effort 75% of the time we would not be talking about the 4th line.

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LordKOTL said on 1 hour ago:

At least Kane managed something.  Can't say the same for the other players or coaching staff.

Kane 2 goals, 12 SOG lol, that's something ... even he played 27 min, it's special.On the other side, Toews 0 (zero) SoG in 20 minutes .... My optimism about him and Hawks chances for another SC is fading away

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Modry-Jazyk said on 22 minutes ago:

Kane 2 goals, 12 SOG lol, that's something ... even he played 27 min, it's special.On the other side, Toews 0 (zero) SoG in 20 minutes .... My optimism about him and Hawks chances for another SC is fading away

He needs to do that more as well as the rest of the team. Too many nice passes have gone for another pass instead of a SOG. That correction alone could change the game.

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Modry-Jazyk said on 22 hours ago:

the problem is not ($2M worth) 4th line but $10.5M in dead cap space what prevents Hawks from upgrading it.

Prove to me that you can lose that 10.5, get a number 1 Center, and a complete fourth line for that. He's not the problem. MVR has some valid points. Right now Q is riding his top guys way too much. Even if they score, they get scored on more. The team lacks depth, we have 2.5 lines and have so for the last 2 years. It's really starting to show!!!

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