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Holmstrom

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I am seeing all these fan fantasy lines on the site, and 75% of them have Homer still on the first line.

I wanna start a discussion about the growing age of Homer, and if he is really a first line guy still. In my opinion, playing on the first line beat him down so much physically that he didn't show up enough in the playoffs, when it really matters.

So here is my thought, why not play Homer on the third or fourth line, and still use him on the first power play. That way we still reap the benefits of Homer being our PP specialist, but he stays fresher, and less injured, so that come playoffs we can still reap those benefits.

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I suppose it depends on how healthy he is. When his body isn't bothering him, he is the best at planting himself in front of the net and not budging. That opens plenty of room for Dats and Z (or anyone) to maneuver. If he isn't capable of holding his own in front of the net, I would be for moving him down a couple lines, but I sincerely hope that it isn't necessary.

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I suppose it depends on how healthy he is. When his body isn't bothering him, he is the best at planting himself in front of the net and not budging. That opens plenty of room for Dats and Z (or anyone) to maneuver. If he isn't capable of holding his own in front of the net, I would be for moving him down a couple lines, but I sincerely hope that it isn't necessary.

Agreed. Pending his health the beginning of this season will decide where he should be placed. It seemed he kept getting more and more injuries last season, especially leading into the playoffs. He is very effective when hes healthy, but if he can't keep up drop him down.

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Guest micah
So here is my thought, why not play Homer on the third or fourth line, and still use him on the first power play. That way we still reap the benefits of Homer being our PP specialist, but he stays fresher, and less injured, so that come playoffs we can still reap those benefits.

You've been reading my posts. Homer should be placed on the 4th line with Maltby and Draper - the other two guys that have no business playing at even strength when the game is on the line. If the 4th line isn't going to be used to wear down opponents (as ours clearly will not anymore) we might as well use it as a parking lot for the players who aren't good enought to contribute at even-strength. Roll 3 lines, keep our special teams specialists on the bench, ready for use when needed.

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I suppose it depends on how healthy he is. When his body isn't bothering him, he is the best at planting himself in front of the net and not budging. That opens plenty of room for Dats and Z (or anyone) to maneuver. If he isn't capable of holding his own in front of the net, I would be for moving him down a couple lines, but I sincerely hope that it isn't necessary.

I think everyone is hoping he'll still be top line material, beyond obviously wanted him to do well and still display that chemistry with Hank and Pavel, but also because if he's not riding shotgun with the Eurotwins on the top line he's got nowhere else to go. He would be a serious drag on any other line, as we observed last playoffs when he was hurt and all over the place in the lineup but largely unable to contribute.

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I was thinking much the same thing as the OP, especially toward the end of the season/playoffs.

By all means, Holmstrom still has his value on the ice. And much of his handiwork actually is a Lidstrom-Holmstrom tandem, with Lidstrom firing rockets, while Homer screens and deflects.

Honestly, I think that is the main reason he is top line. The more Homer is on the ice, the better we are offensively from the blueline. I don't think he was ever on the top line due to scoring ability, or because he exhibited top line characteristics. More of less when he is out there, our defensive scoring is simply better.

No way Babcock will put him on the fourth line. No way. Anyone suggesting this might as well just suggest that we buy out his contract and send him home for the season. Holmstrom isn't a self producing goal scorer. His job isn't to necessarily net 20-30 goals, but instead to insure that "other" people are netting goals. Put Holmstrom on the fourth line and you not only make him nearly completely useless (No way he'll score more than a handful of goals on his own), but you also weaken Lidstrom and Rafalski, since they continuously rely on Holmstroms handi-work at the crease. Remove holmstrom from the top six, and our defensive scoring takes a nose dive.

Most people look too much at numbers, and not enough at what the person is actually in his position for. Simply because everyone on the forums speaks as though they all have PHD's in NHL hockey coaching, I'm sure Babcock isn't just leaving people in a specific position simply because it's a tradition. Holmstrom generally only gets goals that he deflects, but I'm forced to wonder just how many Lidstrom/Rafalski get simply by having him in front of the net. How many does Lidstrom rip past the goaltender a year, that would have been easy saves if not for Holmstroms ass up in someone's face?

Consider this as well. Try to think outside of numbers for a minute. When Holmstrom is out there, and Lidstrom rips one, the goalie saves it and rebounds it. In most situations, where is Holmstrom? Right there. Maybe he gets a rebound, maybe not. But you know who else is usually right there? At LEAST 1, sometimes 2 or 3 of the opposing teams defenseman/fowards. They know Holmstrom is there to pick up the trash, and so they generally have to collapse more on the goaltender simply because of this threat. What does this cause? It causes an open lane, an open corner, or better yet, a completely open player.

Know that cycling thing that we do so well? Trust me, even without Holmstrom ever touching the puck, he is a major influence as to why we are able to do it so proficiently. He buys players ice, by drawing the oppositions defense to him. He buys Lidstrom the opportunity to fire rockets from the blue line, because hit or miss the mark, odds are good it's going to be cycled right back into play.

But I wouldn't be surprised to see the lines change a little bit, and Homer take a step down, if not this year then maybe next. I would still put him on the top Powerplay line, of course, but we might be able to get more offensive punch out of a top line if it reuinited Datsyk and Zetterberg, and gave them a third who can generate goals on their own (Versus holmstrom whom generates goals opportunistically off of other peoples plays).

Flip's, Franzen, Holmstrom seems like it could be a decent line. Homer would still be out there much of Lidstrom/Rafalski's time. He could, perhaps, even improve the shooting aspect of Stuart/Kronwall, allowing them to play a little better shooting game. Flip's has some moves, and a well developing offensive awareness. Having Holmstrom to help get Flips pucks into the net, wihle maintaining his ability to screen/agitate/deflect for the blue line might work out well. I'd have to see it in action to make a judgement, but it's a theory that I would be willing to try if through some miracle of god I was a coach.

Edited by truebladearmy

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A potentially scary thought just occurred to me.

Adding Bertuzzi to our roster puts us just under 1M over the cap, which is more than Lebda's entire salary. That means the odd man out is Lilja, yet it seems like he would be too much of an unknown with his injury to know what we can do with him at this point. Will we be able to trade him with his injury? Will he be too healthy to be on IR for as long as the Wings need him to be in order to retain Bert? And why bring in Bertuzzi, who plays a similar style as Homer, Franzen and Cleary? We have a good amount of drive-the-net types right now, and with Holland's knack for efficiency with filling gaps, it seems like he would've brought in someone more goal score worthy, or right-handed, or good at PK. One of the three. (A cheaper Prospal comes to mind)

Then I began thinking. What if Homer is injured and they don't expect him to play much this year? He was hurt pretty bad last year, and in the playoffs there was definitely something bugging him enough to stop him from doing what he needs to do. That would certainly warrant bringing in Bertuzzi to fill in his role on the top line (or Franzen's on the second), and it would justify passing on Prospal (or another more injury-free scorer who shoots right handed or plays the PK), because he isn't the type to drive the net. It also gives Holland a bit more leeway with the whole Lilja situation to make signing a third forward this year a bit more plausible, because Homer might be on LTIR as well. Between him and Lilja, Holland may also have some capspace left for the deadline in case Howard doesn't pan out, but that's incredibly tentative.

I don't know. I'm probably just freaking myself out, but it fits a little too well for my liking.

Edited by Echolalia

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Homer should probably be on the 4th line and the 1st PP unit. But I also want the ZDH line to reunite and play together a full season.

I'd say give Homer the chance on that top line, and if he seems to be a burden on Pav and Hank put Cleary up there instead and let Homer play less minutes and keep him fresh for the PP's and the playoffs.

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Homer should probably be on the 4th line and the 1st PP unit. But I also want the ZDH line to reunite and play together a full season.

I'd say give Homer the chance on that top line, and if he seems to be a burden on Pav and Hank put Cleary up there instead and let Homer play less minutes and keep him fresh for the PP's and the playoffs.

I say again. Holmstrom is not on the top line to help the forwards, so much as he is there to help the defensive scoring.

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Truebladearmy is SPOT ON.

Holmer is top line because he fits the Wings system of having an invasive net presence to open up the ice for the skill players, obstruct site lines of the goalie, and deflect shots and jamb in rebounds. Holmer is awesome at all of the above.

He is not an energy 4rth line guy.

He is a very role specific player. Hell, Scotty Bowman told him "If you want a job in the NHL, go stand in front of the crease".

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Well, let's see.

He doesnt score anymore, can't hit, can't skate, can't take faceoffs, can't fight, can't play defensive hockey and is always injured.

Sure, that sounds like a first line player to me.

Thank God Maltby isn't a great net presence, or else he'd be on the top 2 lines also.

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unfortunately, if homer can't play on the first line, then he might as well be off the team. he can't contribute on any other line. he doesn't have speed, physicality or defensive ability to make him effective on the lower lines. and if he's not on a scoring line with the super talents of z and d, then he's ineffective. homer is probably the player i'm most worried about. his role on this team is very specific, and if he's not as effective in that role as he was when younger, there isn't much else for him to do. if relegated to the fourth line he'd be a detriment and would hinder our ability to roll four lines. hopefully he's gotten his form back this summer, but i'm not too optimistic. he takes a hell of a beating every night, and it was bound to catch up with him sooner or later.

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I am seeing all these fan fantasy lines on the site, and 75% of them have Homer still on the first line.

I wanna start a discussion about the growing age of Homer, and if he is really a first line guy still. In my opinion, playing on the first line beat him down so much physically that he didn't show up enough in the playoffs, when it really matters.

So here is my thought, why not play Homer on the third or fourth line, and still use him on the first power play. That way we still reap the benefits of Homer being our PP specialist, but he stays fresher, and less injured, so that come playoffs we can still reap those benefits.

Holmstrom does not have 1st line skill, however, Holmstrom is the kind of player that compliments and feeds off the talent of others. Putting Holmstrom with your first liners will make everyone more effective because there will be a screen for their shots and a garbage man to clean up the rebounds.

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The one guy who broke down how Holmstrom makes our defensive scoring better makes good points. It's true, Holmstrom creates space on the ice and I think you'd get the most out of him while playing on the first line. It doesnt make sense to bury him on the 3rd or 4th lines. You want to place each player in a situation to maximize his effectiveness on the ice. The spot where that happens best for Holmstrom is on a line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

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I don't understand the talk that if Homer isn't on the 1st line, then he can't fit anywhere else. He has been a 3rd/4th line player + PP specialist most of his career until recently. Even in 2002 he was on the 4th line with Robataille and Larionov and getting major PP time.

Homer has been one of my favorite players in this era of the Red Wings. He definitely has a place on this team. That place is having less ES time but still rolling out with the top PP unit. I completely agree with the topic starter.

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I don't understand the talk that if Homer isn't on the 1st line, then he can't fit anywhere else. He has been a 3rd/4th line player + PP specialist most of his career until recently. Even in 2002 he was on the 4th line with Robataille and Larionov and getting major PP time.

Homer has been one of my favorite players in this era of the Red Wings. He definitely has a place on this team. That place is having less ES time but still rolling out with the top PP unit. I completely agree with the topic starter.

He's my fav, but he just doesn't do well on the third and fourth lines. He's not very good at making plays outside of blocking the goalie's vision and getting rebounds. Passing, receiving passes, and stickhandling are weak spots for him. He needs to be surrounded by two guys that don't need Holmstrom to get the play going.

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I don't understand the talk that if Homer isn't on the 1st line, then he can't fit anywhere else. He has been a 3rd/4th line player + PP specialist most of his career until recently. Even in 2002 he was on the 4th line with Robataille and Larionov and getting major PP time.

Homer has been one of my favorite players in this era of the Red Wings. He definitely has a place on this team. That place is having less ES time but still rolling out with the top PP unit. I completely agree with the topic starter.

Well, two big differences there:

1) He's seven years older, which is decades in hockey years...especially when you play the kind of game he does.

2) Look at those fourth line linemates from 2002. Look at the 2009-10 4th line. Their mandates are entirely different. Lucky Luc and Igor were not put out there for "energy," they were put out there to score. I'm too lazy to look -- are you certain that was the 4th line and not the 3rd?

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I was thinking much the same thing as the OP, especially toward the end of the season/playoffs.

By all means, Holmstrom still has his value on the ice. And much of his handiwork actually is a Lidstrom-Holmstrom tandem, with Lidstrom firing rockets, while Homer screens and deflects.

Honestly, I think that is the main reason he is top line. The more Homer is on the ice, the better we are offensively from the blueline. I don't think he was ever on the top line due to scoring ability, or because he exhibited top line characteristics. More of less when he is out there, our defensive scoring is simply better.

No way Babcock will put him on the fourth line. No way. Anyone suggesting this might as well just suggest that we buy out his contract and send him home for the season. Holmstrom isn't a self producing goal scorer. His job isn't to necessarily net 20-30 goals, but instead to insure that "other" people are netting goals. Put Holmstrom on the fourth line and you not only make him nearly completely useless (No way he'll score more than a handful of goals on his own), but you also weaken Lidstrom and Rafalski, since they continuously rely on Holmstroms handi-work at the crease. Remove holmstrom from the top six, and our defensive scoring takes a nose dive.

Most people look too much at numbers, and not enough at what the person is actually in his position for. Simply because everyone on the forums speaks as though they all have PHD's in NHL hockey coaching, I'm sure Babcock isn't just leaving people in a specific position simply because it's a tradition. Holmstrom generally only gets goals that he deflects, but I'm forced to wonder just how many Lidstrom/Rafalski get simply by having him in front of the net. How many does Lidstrom rip past the goaltender a year, that would have been easy saves if not for Holmstroms ass up in someone's face?

Consider this as well. Try to think outside of numbers for a minute. When Holmstrom is out there, and Lidstrom rips one, the goalie saves it and rebounds it. In most situations, where is Holmstrom? Right there. Maybe he gets a rebound, maybe not. But you know who else is usually right there? At LEAST 1, sometimes 2 or 3 of the opposing teams defenseman/fowards. They know Holmstrom is there to pick up the trash, and so they generally have to collapse more on the goaltender simply because of this threat. What does this cause? It causes an open lane, an open corner, or better yet, a completely open player.

Know that cycling thing that we do so well? Trust me, even without Holmstrom ever touching the puck, he is a major influence as to why we are able to do it so proficiently. He buys players ice, by drawing the oppositions defense to him. He buys Lidstrom the opportunity to fire rockets from the blue line, because hit or miss the mark, odds are good it's going to be cycled right back into play.

But I wouldn't be surprised to see the lines change a little bit, and Homer take a step down, if not this year then maybe next. I would still put him on the top Powerplay line, of course, but we might be able to get more offensive punch out of a top line if it reuinited Datsyk and Zetterberg, and gave them a third who can generate goals on their own (Versus holmstrom whom generates goals opportunistically off of other peoples plays).

Flip's, Franzen, Holmstrom seems like it could be a decent line. Homer would still be out there much of Lidstrom/Rafalski's time. He could, perhaps, even improve the shooting aspect of Stuart/Kronwall, allowing them to play a little better shooting game. Flip's has some moves, and a well developing offensive awareness. Having Holmstrom to help get Flips pucks into the net, wihle maintaining his ability to screen/agitate/deflect for the blue line might work out well. I'd have to see it in action to make a judgement, but it's a theory that I would be willing to try if through some miracle of god I was a coach.

I couldn't have said it better. You have got it!!! :clap:

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He's my fav, but he just doesn't do well on the third and fourth lines. He's not very good at making plays outside of blocking the goalie's vision and getting rebounds. Passing, receiving passes, and stickhandling are weak spots for him. He needs to be surrounded by two guys that don't need Holmstrom to get the play going.

This is actually what I was getting at for the most part. On the 4th line, his inability to skate/stickhandle/pass isn't as necessary as it is on a legit scoring line. I know he has had good chemistry with D and Z, but I think Cleary looked really good with them at times. Where he isn't as good as Holmstrom (screening/deflections) he makes up in nearly every other category.

I guess I'd rather see a 3-person line on the 1st line than 2 and Homer limping to the net. However if Babcock likes Homer there, that's fine. I'm not trying to disparage Homer by any stretch because I think he has a very secure and useful role on the team.

On the 4th line, we don't have to worry as much about him getting pinned in the defensive zone with the likes of Getzlaf/Crosby/Iginla/Nash/etc.

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I agree that if Holmstrom is not only on a scoring line, but also a defensively responsible scoring line, he is virtually useless outside of the power play and may as well never play at even strength.

Assuming he is recovered from injuries, he should still be effective on the first line with Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

I could also see him do well from time-to-time on a line with Filppula and Cleary/Franzen -- as those guys can cover for Holmstrom defensively, and benefit from the space he creates offensively. Outside of those two lines, I would not want Holmstrom on the ice at even strength.

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Homer was headed toward another 25+ goal season before he got hurt last year (28.7 to be precise). No doubt if he's fairly healthy he can still be an important contributor to a scoring line. (And that's before factoring the intangibles mentioned earlier.)

Also, now that we have a 13th forward, he (nor Maltby and Draper) need to be every day players. We have the freedom to rest him on back to backs or long road trips. He already played fewer minutes per game than the other top 6 players (8th in TOI/G among forwards).

The 4th line isn't a garbage pile, nor is the first line necessarily your three best forwards. Lines are about combinations that work. The Wings will try to get all 4 lines to be effective. Homer could work with Flip/Mule, but not as well as with Pav and Hank. Putting him on the 3rd or 4th line would do more damage to that line than the benefit you'd get from Cleary/whoever moving to the top line.

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I think Holmstrom can be a first line guy for the Wings with Dats and Z from time to time, but I don't think there's a chance in hell that he'll be able to contribute down the stretch if he doesn't get a lot of rest. I would give him as much rest as possible down the stretch whether he aggravates injuries or not. We need him to be ready for the playoffs and if he plays through the season with no rest, I have little doubt that his contribution will continue to decline this year as it has the last few years in the playoffs.

From the "lines" thread, I wrote the following:

"I think/hope that Holmstrom's going to be given a lot of nights off if only to keep the guy as rested and healthy as possible so he can be most effective when we need him in the playoffs. The guy cannot take the abuse of a full regular season and be effective in the playoffs at this point. His body just can't do it. I really, really, really hope he's given a lot of rest along the way and given the signings, I wouldn't be shocked if that's the direction they're leaning. Maltby and Draper will rotate out depending on how things go when Holmstrom's playing and Holmstrom gets lots of rest.

I honestly think Draper's as likely if not more likely to spend a lot of time in the press box as Maltby. If you ask me, he's been our worst player for awhile now. It's sad to say because the guy's got heart like very few have, but he just doesn't have the inherent hockey sense of some of the other guys. Age has hurt his game quite a bit the last couple years."

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