Iginla at LW?

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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby pcm on Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:45 pm

Dupuis' done more for this team than anyone could have imagined. He continued playing great even without Crosby, though I think the past 2 weeks both he and Kunitz have quieted down a bit, and I'm hoping that has more to do with them pacing themselves than anything else.

I'd be fine with a Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla line. Especially if having Morrow in the bottom 6 means a line of Morrow-Jokinen-Bennett, which I think would be difference maker in the playoffs... However, it seems more than likely that Blysma will go with Morrow-Sutter-Cooke, which in my mind reduces Cooke's effectiveness playing on the right side.

Secondly, I think Kunitz and Sid really had something magical. Kunitz-Crosby-Iginla is to me a superior line than with Dupuis on it (for either 14 or 12).

That brings us to the second line. Kunitz-Malkin-Neal vs. Morrow-Malkin-Neal. While the sample size for the latter is only 1 game vs. a season of success for the former, I actually think that Morrow's wily game would fit PERFECTLY with Malkin's temperment. It's been said how much Malkin and Neal love to talk/ yell at each other on the ice. IMO Iginla does not fit here because he's a mild-mannered guy, more reserved like Sid. Whereas Malkin and Neal and Morrow are all kind of wild. Kunitz has a bit of both to his game, which makes him work with either Malkin or Sid; but with Morrow potentially fitting better there, I'd keep Kunitz with Sid, and have Dupuis work with Sutter and Cooke. In that scenario, everyone plays in their ideal position.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby mikey287 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:27 pm

Nizzy wrote:Mikey, Real Talk.

Do you like

Dupuis Crosby Iginla
Kunitz Malkin Neal

?


I do like that.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby mikey287 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:06 pm

juicebox1 wrote:Great thread - thanks guys.

A couple of questions regarding handedness...
Right. Neal, a LHS, on the right wing would be on his "off wing" his "weak side" even his "wrong side". That's considered "wrong" colloquially in North American hockey. That said, it seems the further down you go, the more RHS there are and the less and less likely it matters what side you play on because the competition is so limited. Improper defense techniques leaves sizable gaps and spacing issues for even moderately-skilled players to thrive on their wrong side. But that's an entirely different issue...


1) Do you say that playing the off wing is considered wrong because of the defensive responsibilities that the NA systems implement, whereas Kovalchuk and Ovechkin excel on their off-wings?


Off wing is "wrong" for possession mostly. North American hockey focuses on possession and board work. European hockey focuses on rushing the puck and more one on one skills. As you astutely note, Euros, especially Russian trained players like Kovalchuk and Ovechkin, can play on their off wing because of their terrific and quick shots and their wonderful hands. Look at their golden generation vs. "ours".

See clips from the 1972 Summit Series and the 1980 Olympics. Watch the USSR jerseys, count the LHS on the ice. And look at the breakouts...a lot of criss-crossing, drop passes, they want to be in the middle of the ice...that's where organic offense is created. Watch a regular season KHL game today...many one-man rushes, if you can get by three guys, great...if you can't, well, you'll just try again next time...

Look at the North American game. Board play, cycling, possession. Offense isn't organically created through creativity. It's manufactured...it's artificially created. It's pre-processed blueprints to a goal.

Europeans generally are taught to create plays. North Americans generally are taught to create errors (opponent errors, of course).

Defensively, yeah, there's advantages...possession again, look at the Blackhawks. Their goalies aren't any good, but the other team isn't allowed to have the puck...no puck, no shot...no shot, no goal.

When you're back in your own end...what do they tell ya? "Up the boards and out..." "Use the glass and out..." Retrieve. Turn. (Now you're on your forehand) and Out. Tough to clear on your backhand at any level.

juicebox1 wrote:2) You mentioned that the further down you go, there are more RHS -- the further down where?


Sorry, I should have been clearer. Further down the ranks. The NHL is something like 70/30 or 75/25 LHS/RHS or something like that...I forget the exact figures off hand. I know I've coached teams at lower levels where I couldn't find a LHS to save my life...I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'd guess the ECHL or VHL, for instance, would have a higher percentage of RHS. I'm not even totally sure why that is to be honest...

juicebox1 wrote:3) I've always been curious as to how different regions "breed" their players. When I grew up playing street hockey, I went back and forth with my plastic Mylec curve because I never felt comfortable playing "Right-Handed." 6 of 8 kids in my neighborhood all ended up playing Lefty - while only one actually wrote with their left hand. I have always attributed this comfort level to having my dominant hand at the top of the stick for maximum control. Maybe it's a generalization, but in terms of top end talent, the % of RHS appears to be higher in the US than in Canada. Does that have anything to do with how they train their kids from day 1 or is there an "advantage" that LHS have in their game?


Well, isn't the population like 90/10 right-handed vs. left? Or some such? So, dominant hand goes on top in Canada, so right-handed writers are left-handed hockey players. Exceptions abound, of course, but that's the generalization.

Me...well...I'm totally different. I write right...I throw left (but did teach myself to throw right-handed out of necessity [lack of baseball gloves with my hand amongst friends, gym class, etc.])...I started playing hockey as a LHS, broke all of my lefty sticks, the next stick I could get my hands on was for a righty, so I became a righty...and I'm a righty today. But I can't shoot left any longer. What happened to me...

Fun fact: Gordie Howe was ambidextrous as an NHLer.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby DelPen on Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:39 pm

The problem isn't what wing Iggy plays, it's who his center is.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Daniel87 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:22 pm

I look at it this way. Both lines are at their best with Kunitz, but Malkin/Neal need him more than Crosby/Dupuis. Is it worth moving Iginla to LW just to reunite the "best line in hockey?" Nope.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Sigwolf on Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:07 pm

Daniel87 wrote:I look at it this way. Both lines are at their best with Kunitz, but Malkin/Neal need him more than Crosby/Dupuis. Is it worth moving Iginla to LW just to reunite the "best line in hockey?" Nope.


Especially true when Dupuis/Crosby/Iginla, Kunitz/Malkin/Neal, would give them arguably the best TWO lines in hockey...
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Headshot77 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:25 pm

Kunitz/Malkin/Neal looked pretty good today...
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby murphydump55 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:54 pm

Sigwolf wrote:
Daniel87 wrote:I look at it this way. Both lines are at their best with Kunitz, but Malkin/Neal need him more than Crosby/Dupuis. Is it worth moving Iginla to LW just to reunite the "best line in hockey?" Nope.


Especially true when Dupuis/Crosby/Iginla, Kunitz/Malkin/Neal, would give them arguably the best TWO lines in hockey...


As I said before, Dupuis was a LW when Guerin was here was he not? Seemed to work fine.

Iginla was a LW too....for 2 weeks since he's arrived here. Dupuis can play both sides!
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby André on Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:19 am

Dupuis - Crosby - Iginla
Kunitz - Malkin - Neal
Cooke - Sutter - Morrow
Jokinen - Adams - Kennedy

We're looking at that now I guess? I think they'll keep the second line together and Jokinen with Dupuis and Iginla tells me that's where they're putting Sid. Cooke, Sutter and Morrow has been great. This has med feeling bad for Jokinen but what can you do? And I love the thought of him being able to fill whatever slot opens (knock on wood) in the top nine.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Luckybreak on Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:42 am

pcm wrote:Dupuis' done more for this team than anyone could have imagined. He continued playing great even without Crosby, though I think the past 2 weeks both he and Kunitz have quieted down a bit, and I'm hoping that has more to do with them pacing themselves than anything else.

I'd be fine with a Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla line. Especially if having Morrow in the bottom 6 means a line of Morrow-Jokinen-Bennett, which I think would be difference maker in the playoffs... However, it seems more than likely that Blysma will go with Morrow-Sutter-Cooke, which in my mind reduces Cooke's effectiveness playing on the right side.

Secondly, I think Kunitz and Sid really had something magical. Kunitz-Crosby-Iginla is to me a superior line than with Dupuis on it (for either 14 or 12).

That brings us to the second line. Kunitz-Malkin-Neal vs. Morrow-Malkin-Neal. While the sample size for the latter is only 1 game vs. a season of success for the former, I actually think that Morrow's wily game would fit PERFECTLY with Malkin's temperment. It's been said how much Malkin and Neal love to talk/ yell at each other on the ice. IMO Iginla does not fit here because he's a mild-mannered guy, more reserved like Sid. Whereas Malkin and Neal and Morrow are all kind of wild. Kunitz has a bit of both to his game, which makes him work with either Malkin or Sid; but with Morrow potentially fitting better there, I'd keep Kunitz with Sid, and have Dupuis work with Sutter and Cooke. In that scenario, everyone plays in their ideal position.


I couldn't agree more with everything in this post (and the previous about BB on the RW), those lines would seem to get the most out of every line and every player through a combination of chemistry and playing natural positions.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Fire0nice228 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:00 am

André wrote:Dupuis - Crosby - Iginla
Kunitz - Malkin - Neal
Cooke - Sutter - Morrow
Jokinen - Adams - Kennedy

We're looking at that now I guess? I think they'll keep the second line together and Jokinen with Dupuis and Iginla tells me that's where they're putting Sid. Cooke, Sutter and Morrow has been great. This has med feeling bad for Jokinen but what can you do? And I love the thought of him being able to fill whatever slot opens (knock on wood) in the top nine.


It would also be easy for HCDB to throw Sid/Gene or even Sutter out there for a double shift or just for a shift centering Jussi/TK(or BB hopefully) depending on players in the penalty box or whatever else for a surprise offensive burst
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby tfrizz on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:03 am

Sigwolf wrote:
Daniel87 wrote:I look at it this way. Both lines are at their best with Kunitz, but Malkin/Neal need him more than Crosby/Dupuis. Is it worth moving Iginla to LW just to reunite the "best line in hockey?" Nope.


Especially true when Dupuis/Crosby/Iginla, Kunitz/Malkin/Neal, would give them arguably the best TWO lines in hockey...


Assuming Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla isn't a massive failure, which is entirely possible.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Pavel Bure on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:24 am

Moving a future HOFer to a position he hasn't played in 15 years to somehow give him better scoring opportunities... Good God.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Odd Man Rush on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:53 am

Headshot77 wrote:Kunitz/Malkin/Neal looked pretty good today...


Come on. Carolina mailed it in.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Odd Man Rush on Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:04 am

My problem with all of this isn't just Iginla moving to LW, it's the chain reaction that his move causes. Suddenly, you have to move Cooke from his natural LW to the RW. And if Iginla doesn't work out on the LW, you also have to likely move Dupuis to the LW even though he's played the best hockey of his career on the right side. That is a lot of adjustment for any team to make this time of year. The rash of injuries this team has suffered to so many key players only exacerbates that issue.

Here's another option that nobody is discussing. Instead of getting caught up in a top 6/bottom 6 mentality we could follow Detroit's lead when they had a similar embarrassent of forward riches in the early 2000s. Scotty Bowman, who knew a thing or two about the game, didn't get too caught up in all that bullschitt and instead routinely moved players up and down their top nine. They then had Maltby, Draper and McCarty as a true checking line.

I think that is how I would go if I were Disco. I would have at least liked to have seen them try it. Something like this:
L1: 14 - 87 - 9
L2: 19 - 71 - 18
L3: 10 - 16 - 12
L4: 24 - 36 - 48 (or 27 or 15)

If Bennett falters, try this one:
L1: 14 - 87 - 9
L2: 10 - 71 - 18
L3: 24 - 16 - 12
L4: 27 (or 15) - 36 - 48

That keeps everyone on their natural side and causes minimal disruption to everyone's games.

If you can't get over Iggy playing on the third line, switch him and Dupuis. Personally I think that's a mistake but it achieves the same basic goal.

If that doesn't get it done, then go to the top 6/bottom 6 model. I just think we're trying to force together parts that don't quite fit naturally.

When Detroit did this they moved Brett Hull up and down their lineup and also Brendan Shanahan. Hell, Steve Yzerman was playing their third line center behind Larionov and Fedorov. The result was they became impossible to match up against because nobody could possibly contain all of that talent over the course of a seven game series. Eventually, Detroit would get favorable matchups and when they did they just POUNDED other teams with them. Why couldn't the Pens do the same?

If you are Boston for example, who do you put Chara out against? At some point they are going to have to roll the dice on their third D pairing against our third and fourth lines. When they do, we should be able to take advantage of them.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Beveridge on Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:59 am

Bennett Malkin Neal is next year's project.

There are about half a dozen other guys I would want to see with Neal and Geno before Bennett this post season.

Morrow Sutter Cooke is pretty much set in stone
Geno and Neal Sid and Duper are locks
Iggy (playing LW or RW) + Kunitz on which pair they go with is only toss up right now in top 6

The 11th/12th spot should be between adams/glass adams/glass/kennedy/bennett (I'm expecting Adams Jussi Glass/Kennedy for game 1 if Sid is back)

Morrow Sutter Cooke is pretty much set in stone
Geno and Neal
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby DontToewsMeBro on Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:25 pm

tfrizz wrote:
Sigwolf wrote:
Daniel87 wrote:I look at it this way. Both lines are at their best with Kunitz, but Malkin/Neal need him more than Crosby/Dupuis. Is it worth moving Iginla to LW just to reunite the "best line in hockey?" Nope.


Especially true when Dupuis/Crosby/Iginla, Kunitz/Malkin/Neal, would give them arguably the best TWO lines in hockey...


Assuming Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla isn't a massive failure, which is entirely possible.


No, it's really not.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby tfrizz on Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:41 pm

DontToewsMeBro wrote:
tfrizz wrote:
Sigwolf wrote:
Daniel87 wrote:I look at it this way. Both lines are at their best with Kunitz, but Malkin/Neal need him more than Crosby/Dupuis. Is it worth moving Iginla to LW just to reunite the "best line in hockey?" Nope.


Especially true when Dupuis/Crosby/Iginla, Kunitz/Malkin/Neal, would give them arguably the best TWO lines in hockey...


Assuming Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla isn't a massive failure, which is entirely possible.


No, it's really not.


Except, it is. Crosby hasn't even practised with Iginla on a regular line let alone play with him. Add in the fact that Crosby is nowhere near 100%, and it has trainwreck potential.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Idoit40fans on Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:39 pm

How is it not possible? The only time Crosby has ever played with Iginla was in the context of one of the greatest teams ever assembled, with another elite level(albeit gutless) talent on the other wing, Kunitz would make more sense on a line if you want to force Iginla onto Crosby's wing. Dupuis can contribute value anywhere in the lineup, but you maximize his value on Crosby's right wing. I still think Iginla would be fine on Malkin's line...either side.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby tfrizz on Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:51 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:How is it not possible? The only time Crosby has ever played with Iginla was in the context of one of the greatest teams ever assembled, with another elite level(albeit gutless) talent on the other wing, Kunitz would make more sense on a line if you want to force Iginla onto Crosby's wing. Dupuis can contribute value anywhere in the lineup, but you maximize his value on Crosby's right wing. I still think Iginla would be fine on Malkin's line...either side.


All I'm getting at is people are looking at Crosby and Iginla being alright at the Olympics and assuming they will now, but that's not necessarily the case. For one, Iginla's not the same player today that he was when they played together over 3 years ago.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby DontToewsMeBro on Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:58 pm

Well, it depends on your definition of a 'massive failure'. The fact that Crosby can put up 100+ points centering Andy Hilbert and Colby Armstrong as an 18 years old tells me that any line including Sidney Crosby will be just fine.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby tfrizz on Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:04 pm

DontToewsMeBro wrote:Well, it depends on your definition of a 'massive failure'. The fact that Crosby can put up 100+ points centering Andy Hilbert and Colby Armstrong as an 18 years old tells me that any line including Sidney Crosby will be just fine.


If Crosby were healthy, I'd be much more inclined to agree. In reality, if he plays he's probably only going to be 70-75% at best. It's not like the doctors have pushed him along - he had to go ask for clearance to practise with the team, but still isn't cleared to take contact.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby DontToewsMeBro on Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:10 pm

Unless he's lost a significant amount of weight there's no reason to believe he will be at 75%, which might be the case, but I doubt it. If anything, wearing a full shield will be the biggest hindrance to his abilities on the ice.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby Dan H on Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:15 pm

I think the tactical reasons to which Mikey alluded in his reply can probably be summarized well enough to not confuse most fans, and they're important enough to mention. Besides, I'm actually not quite sure about how Iginla fits into the specific systems used by the Pens and Flames, so I'm hoping someone with more knowledge than I have can elaborate on my answer.

So, in a nutshell, different hockey teams have different defensive systems. An individual team may have a defined system they play when the opponents have the puck in their own end, and another system when the other team is bringing the puck through the neutral zone.

In some systems, the wings are basically equivalent: if the puck is on your side, you do one thing (pressure the puck carrier tightly, perhaps), and if it's on the other side, you do something else (maybe hang out high along the boards). In other systems, the left and right wings always have defined roles: perhaps the right wing pressures the puck even if it's in the left corner, the center supports the right wing and the left wing is always back high.

To make things more complicated, most teams at the NHL level use more than one system depending upon the opponent and game situation. So forwards might be required to have a few different things internalized so they're in the right position and don't give up good scoring chances because they were doing the wrong thing.

The relevance here is I think (and here's where I'm hoping someone knowledgeable can elaborate) that the Pens tend not to use asymmetric, defined-role systems such as the "left wing lock" as much as many other NHL teams. It's hard sometimes to tell, because TV cameras tend to focus on the puck carrier and because most beer-league players like me have limited experience playing in well-defined systems and sometimes have to watch for a while to tell what players have been coached to do. But to me it looks as though in the Penguins' system, the wingers are more equivalent than they are for some other teams.

And there's the relevant point to Iginla. Everything Mikey said about receiving passes on your backhand, etc. is true, although there are further complications involving most systems being more fluid on offense than when the other team has the puck. But it might be easier for Iggy to switch sides playing for the Pens than for some other team because there isn't a switch in his role.

I have no idea what systems the Flames use, so hopefully someone can tell us and confirm or refute my observation on what the Pens do.
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Re: Iginla at LW?

Postby cma3585 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:51 am

I will say Iggy on LW as a righty will make for a massive one-time option as we saw with Malkin to Neal last night on the right. We also saw Iggy blast a few from the left side on the powerplay.
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