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crotty99

The Third Line

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Ok so I know it's only early in the season, but our third line stats aren't looking great.

Modano 1G 0A -4

Hudler 0G 2A -4

Cleary 1G 1A -3

Even without looking at those numbers you can see just by watching how much this line is struggling. There is almost no chemistry between them and they seem to be out there for a lot of the goals against.

So what do you think the wings should do? Is it worth breaking up the other successful lines to help this one out? The line looks great on paper maybe we should just persevere until they finally click?

I know we are only 6 games in but a full preseason and 6 full regular season games should be enough to atleast see some potential. So far, nothing.

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The line definitely is not clicking offensively or defensively yet. Not much they can do though considering our top two lines are going pretty well right now.

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I think the line will pick up when Rafalski and Ericsson reaturn. Kindl is -4 and Salei and Janik have not been good. I think that line needs puck moving defensemen that can help hold the zone and help produce offense. 3rd line will be better when they learn how to have possession of the puck.

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There aren't a lot of options, but I think they should mix up the bottom two lines. I'd rather not mess with the top two because they're going well, and the 4th line is good but Miller, Eaves and Helm are good pretty much any line they play on.

How about...Eaves-Modano-Cleary? Hudler-Helm-Miller? Speed, net presence and shooting for the 3rd. I know Hudler's feelings will be hurt being bumped down but there's nowhere else for him to go. Maybe Helm's can feed Hudler for some goals.

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It's hard because Hudler can't play on the 4th line because he is slow and small, but he isn't doing anything on the 3rd line offensively. I would put Abdelkadar with Modano and Cleary. At least Abdelkadar can battle for pucks without getting pushed around, and he has offense as well. But then what would you do with Hudler?

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this is a good problem to have... as long as we're winning and the other 3 lines are going good, you leave it as is and let them work through the bumps...

The only slight tweak I would even consider is to maybe change things up a little just to get them out of their own heads, and swap the wings on them - Hudler on the right and Cleary on the left - like I said, very minor, but when a player sees the ice from a different perspective it can get them out of their own head, especially when they start gripping the stick too tight and over-thinking their shifts...

NeverForgetMac25 likes this

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Modano... :ph34r:

He's really not the problem. The big thing is they just don't seem to be clicking and you can't break up the top 2 lines given their success at this point. As long as the Wings are winning, Babs should ride it out and continue to give them a chance to get used to each others' tendencies. There's too much talent on that line, especially given teams are matching up bottom 6 against them for it not to break out sooner than later.

stevkrause and T.Low like this

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I think the line will pick up when Rafalski and Ericsson reaturn. Kindl is -4 and Salei and Janik have not been good. I think that line needs puck moving defensemen that can help hold the zone and help produce offense. 3rd line will be better when they learn how to have possession of the puck.

Seriously... what games have you been watching with Salei?!?!

He's been great on the PK and is a stay at home, physical defenseman on the 3rd pairing - not a point producer... he's done everything he was expected to do and has been very solid thus far...

He's really not the problem. The big thing is they just don't seem to be clicking and you can't break up the top 2 lines given their success at this point. As long as the Wings are winning, Babs should ride it out and continue to give them a chance to get used to each others' tendencies. There's too much talent on that line, especially given teams are matching up bottom 6 against them for it not to break out sooner than later.

haha, we were basically posting the same point at the same time!

:thumbup:

you're dead on though, there's really no other option and this is a great problem to have...

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Modano needs to start letting it rip....I saw several times last night where he passed the puck/turned it over instead of shooting. One time he had a wide open lane to the net. He's probably still a little uneasy playing on his first "new" team in how many years?

T.Low likes this

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Modano needs to start letting it rip....I saw several times last night where he passed the puck/turned it over instead of shooting. One time he had a wide open lane to the net. He's probably still a little uneasy playing on his first "new" team in how many years?

QFT

....and you're right in saying he's probably trying to be as unselfish as possible on his new team. If there's one thing Babs has always impressed upon his players with an actual shot, is to simply "shoot the puck." I'm sure Modo will start to more and more as he gets comfortable.

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Move Flip down to the third line as hes the better playmaker, and will help Modano and Clearly score, and he is more defensively responsible, move Hudler to the second line, where he will benefit from Bert and Mule's size.

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I'd be more okay with the lack of production if they weren't so awful around their own net.

Modano definitely needs to shoot more, but I don't completely agree that he's not at least part of the problem. Both he and Hudler have looked like they didn't have their man around the Wings goal and seconds later the pucks in the back of our net. Last night it was Hudler on the first goal, and Modano on the second goal. They've both been weak defensively and it shows.

Edited by haroldsnepsts
Green Wing likes this

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I'd be more okay with the lack of production if they weren't so awful around their own net.

Modano definitely needs to shoot more, but I don't completely agree that he's not at least part of the problem. Both he and Hudler have looked like they didn't have their man around the Wings goal and seconds later the pucks in the back of our net. Last night it was Hudler on the first goal, and Modano on the second goal. They've both been weak defensively and it shows.

No one should argue they haven't been brutal defensively these first 6 games, but I was referring more to the offensive side of things. True, even if they are putting the puck in the net on the front end, its more detrimental if they can't keep the puck out of their net, so obviously its something to keep an eye on.

I just feel there's too much talent on this third line playing against other teams' thirds for it not to work itself out. As long as the Wings are winning and the other lines are clicking, its something that "isn't an immediate need" to switch up.

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Ok so I know it's only early in the season, but our third line stats aren't looking great.

Modano 1G 0A -4

Hudler 0G 2A -4

Cleary 1G 1A -3

Even without looking at those numbers you can see just by watching how much this line is struggling. There is almost no chemistry between them and they seem to be out there for a lot of the goals against.

So what do you think the wings should do? Is it worth breaking up the other successful lines to help this one out? The line looks great on paper maybe we should just persevere until they finally click?

I know we are only 6 games in but a full preseason and 6 full regular season games should be enough to atleast see some potential. So far, nothing.

Cleary has been playing well but Hudler and Modano are not. I thought Modano would do well here but maybe I was wrong. It's still early but he looks lost out there. Lets give it some time and see what happens.

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No one should argue they haven't been brutal defensively these first 6 games, but I was referring more to the offensive side of things. True, if this line can't keep the puck out of the net, its more detrimental even if they are putting it in the net in the other end, so obviously its something to keep an eye on.

I just feel there's too much talent on this third line playing against other teams' thirds for it not to work itself out. As long as the Wings are winning and the other lines are clicking, its something that "isn't an immediate need" to switch up.

Offensively speaking I totally agree. They're gonna start clicking. Defensively I am still worried. They're out to an awful start and the only chemistry they seem to have is of the same kind Lebda and Ericsson had last season. Something about how they play together combines for a perfect storm of defensive lapses.

I know Modano is 6'3" and 210 lbs but he plays like he's Hudler's size around the Detroit net. He needs to pay attention to how Hank physically eliminates guys.

And I definitely agree that the other lines are playing too well to change things up at this point. Hopefully it will get sorted.

Edited by haroldsnepsts

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Even though it would probably offend modano or something like that by putting him on the 4th line with few limited minutes and let abdelkader center the third line might be a good option for now

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the 3rd line has been tough to watch. so funny that before the season we all thought it would be the best in the league, and currently its one of the worst.

personally, i think modano is the one that really needs to step it up. so many stars fans felt he had been mailing it in the last couple seasons. looks like the change of scenery hasn't done anything to alter that. hudler has been unimpressive thus far, but i think modano sticks out much more.

as has been said, the injuries on D certainly isn't helping them as they mostly end up out there with that 3rd pairing. however, i do think the problem is the line, not their lack of defensive support.

i also agree that modano on the 4th might be a solution. since he gets PP time, its not as if he would get 6 minutes a night or something. as others have mentioned, with the top 6 playing well, theres not a lot of moves that can be made.

Edited by dobbles

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The third line hasn't played well yet I still think they will jell and be very effective if not Babs is not afraid to separate them. On the bright side I think Mickey has looked good for just starting on a new team!

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There aren't a lot of options, but I think they should mix up the bottom two lines. I'd rather not mess with the top two because they're going well, and the 4th line is good but Miller, Eaves and Helm are good pretty much any line they play on.

How about...Eaves-Modano-Cleary? Hudler-Helm-Miller? Speed, net presence and shooting for the 3rd. I know Hudler's feelings will be hurt being bumped down but there's nowhere else for him to go. Maybe Helm's can feed Hudler for some goals.

That is exactly what I said when we had the "what should the lines be" thread. We all know helm can fly and possess the puck, but can't quite finish. We also know that Hudler can finish. So I can easily see Helm feeding Jiri all day. Put Eaves on that line and you have a winner. Someone needs to remind Modano of the tempo we expect here and the engagement of the other players that is expected on the offensive side. He goes to the 4th line, or maybe takes a breather to see how the wings are supposed to play.

Edited by plopster

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it's probably not realistic to expect modano to change the way he's playing right now. that's part of what comes with signing a 40yr old.

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Hudler has been the worst player on that line by far, he cannot win any battle anywhere on the ice. The defense cannot breakout on his wing, and there is no puck possession in the offensive zone due to his lack of effort and strength. He's not adjusting to the more physical and faster game as fast as I'd like.

One thing I'm noticing is the forechecking on the line has been very weak, Modano is the only one with speed and he has to stay back as a center. Cleary is skating well, but is getting no help from Hudler and they cannot keep the offensive zone pressure up.

xtrememachine1 likes this

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I want Cleary to play with Hank and Pavel, but I don't think putting Holmstrom with Modano and Hudler is going to benefit that third line at all unfortunately.

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