Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Bottom Six Philosophy?


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 blueadams

blueadams

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:33 AM

Regardless of how much Ken Holland wants physical play to be a non-factor in this league, it still most certainly is (especially in the playoffs); and it's probably going to continue to be for a long time. We've had moanings and groanings here for the last three years now about the lack of size and aggressiveness in our bottom six. Playing against a big strong team like San Jose really accentuates the issue. It's not just an x's and o's hockey strategy issue. It's an attitude issue. It's a being intimidated issue. It's a being afraid to go hard into the corners issue. It's a being afraid to charge the net hard, and a defending our own crease, issue. It's a skating around scared with your head over your shoulder issue.

Eaves, Miller, Emmerton, Brunnstrom and Mursak. These guys all have great defensive "skills," but are they great defensive players? They're all very fast. They all play hard (on most nights?). They all have good enough defensive awareness. But are they good defensive "players"?

I guess the question I'm really trying to ask here is this - - -> is our bottom six a weakness? Has our once admired depth dissapeared?





The vast majority of our top six is always going to be made of soft(ish) Euros. Especially our homegrown players. That's just the way we scout. That's just the way we draft. That's where our edge is. And I can live with that.

Our top six right now, for all intensive purposes (i.e. our top six offensive players, regardless of how Babcock rolls them) are Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Filppula, Hudler and Nyquist (when he's up). Aside from Franzen, who's as soft as butter, these guys are all at least relatively small players. Our top-six-potential prospects (Tatar, Pulkkinen, Jurco, Jarnkrok, etc., ...Sheahan I see as bottom six) aren't any bigger or tougher. That's just the way it is. That's what we're going to have to live with. Signing a guy like Parise would obviously be a huge boost, but he's still only one man.





So, therein lies the situation. Our top six is always going to be small and physical play is always going to be important in this league. Can we afford to keep non-scoring/non-physical guys like Eaves, Miller, Emmerton, Brunnstrom and Mursak in our bottom six!? Throw Bertuzzi in there as well; he's an enormous man, but he's just as soft as Mule.

IMO, you can live with a smaller center in the bottom six. So Helm and maybe even Emmerton are alright. Abdelkader's a great physical winger. Sheahan's probably going to be up in a couple of years and should fit the bill. But really, we don't have any other physical prospects with a likely chance of making it in the pros. Cleary's under contract for a couple of more years, and is at least somewhat suited. But Miller, Eaves, Brunnstrom, Mursak and Bertuzzi...I don't think we can afford to keep these guys on the squad.




IMO, we should be shopping Miller, Eaves, Mursak, Brunnstrom and Bertuzzi (+ picks/lower end prospects) hard for a couple of physical bottom six wingers (Dallas Drake types). And we need to do so without hurting our cap flexibility next off-season...still need to get Parise and Suter. Any ideas?





Filppula-Datsyuk-Holmstrom(/Parise in '12)
Hudler(/Nyquist in '12)-Zetterberg-Franzen
Cleary(/Sheahan in '13)-Helm-Abdelkader
*???*-Emmerton-*???*

...plug a couple of physical wingers into those 4th line spots, and we're instantly a much better team IMO.

Edited by blueadams, 18 November 2011 - 03:19 PM.


#2 Wing Across The Pond

Wing Across The Pond

    Gabriel's Wings

  • Silver Booster
  • 744 posts
  • Location:LONDON, UK

Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:45 AM

There's a difference between being a big, strong, bone-cruncher when you hit, and making an effective hit. Miller, Eaves, Helm, Bertuzzi will throw effective checks, instead of trying to intimidate and risk losing position. If you're referring to having a bit more intimidation on a team then losing the entire bottom 6 isn't going to do it. Maybe an established fighter would like we used to have with DMac or more recently Downey. But they'd be the first to tell you not to go throwing hits in left right and centre as that's when you lose position. Once you lose position the opposition knows they've got the technical edge over you.

And when it comes to non-scoring guys, Miller's been getting the goals that are expected of him for his minutes and his role, and Bert has been out for weeks. If you're going to talk about non-scoring guys, and guys who get intimidated, look at the top 6, and look at people like Cleary who's spent more time on his arse this year than he has on his skates.

Posted Image



Check out my blog -The Heid-Out- a cynical mans take on everyday life


#3 blueadams

blueadams

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 12:15 PM

There's a difference between being a big, strong, bone-cruncher when you hit, and making an effective hit. Miller, Eaves, Helm, Bertuzzi will throw effective checks, instead of trying to intimidate and risk losing position. If you're referring to having a bit more intimidation on a team then losing the entire bottom 6 isn't going to do it. Maybe an established fighter would like we used to have with DMac or more recently Downey. But they'd be the first to tell you not to go throwing hits in left right and centre as that's when you lose position. Once you lose position the opposition knows they've got the technical edge over you.

And when it comes to non-scoring guys, Miller's been getting the goals that are expected of him for his minutes and his role, and Bert has been out for weeks. If you're going to talk about non-scoring guys, and guys who get intimidated, look at the top 6, and look at people like Cleary who's spent more time on his arse this year than he has on his skates.


1) If you read my entire post, you'd know that I'm talking about bringing in two new wingers. Not "replacing the entire bottom six".

2) It's much, much more than just "hits" or "fighting". It's being hesitant going into the boards, and giving up battles. It's being hesitant going into the opponents' crease, and protecting our own. And just the lack of confidence that goes with not being able to match up physically with the other team, which anyone that's ever played hockey knows is real.

#4 PaZel

PaZel

    Top Prospect

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 66 posts
  • Location:Ann Arbor

Posted 18 November 2011 - 12:20 PM

Dallas Drake
"I didn't know the draft was in alphabetical order." - Henrik Zetterberg

#5 Wing Across The Pond

Wing Across The Pond

    Gabriel's Wings

  • Silver Booster
  • 744 posts
  • Location:LONDON, UK

Posted 18 November 2011 - 12:38 PM

1) If you read my entire post, you'd know that I'm talking about bringing in two new wingers. Not "replacing the entire bottom six".

2) It's much, much more than just "hits" or "fighting". It's being hesitant going into the boards, and giving up battles. It's being hesitant going into the opponents' crease, and protecting our own. And just the lack of confidence that goes with not being able to match up physically with the other team, which anyone that's ever played hockey knows is real.

OK I hear you. Understand where you're coming from, but with regards to number 1) you've done exactly the same thing. My post was mainly about the fact that they make smart plays rather than physical ones. I think the bottom 6 do work hard along the boards (maybe not crashing the net) as that's their job. Don't think that's the problem. The problem is they only do their job and in a time where the top 6 aren't producing, expectations fall slightly on others to pick it up, which these guys can't really do (although like I mentioned Miller has been tying his darnedest). Instead of getting two new wingers on the 4th line which would arguably not help the slumping top 6, why not experiment with more balanced lines, a 'star', a mid-level guy, and a bottom 6 guy, all on the same line? Bit of everything. Obviously that wouldn't be entirely viable in all situations but wouldn't hurt to try it.

As for the emboldened bit, took that a bit personally. Not everyone knows everything about hockey, or about hockey players. I've giving my opinion, and in that opinion I don't think it's lack of confidence with most of these guys. Helm is a lot smaller and less physical than a lot of other guys but still plays hard. Miller is a tall, strong guy, but plays a different style. Before we look at individuals the whole team mentality has to be assessed, otherwise two more 4th liners wont make a hell of difference

Posted Image



Check out my blog -The Heid-Out- a cynical mans take on everyday life


#6 GMRwings1983

GMRwings1983

    The Killer is Me

  • Silver Booster
  • 20,846 posts
  • Location:Jerkwater, USA

Posted 18 November 2011 - 12:48 PM

Grinders, checkers and fighters can spark their team with a big hit or fight. At the very least, they'll bring it on every shift and make us harder to play against. They can set the tempo for the game physically at any point.

Other than Helm (who isn't big) and maybe Abby, we don't have anyone in our bottom 6 that makes us hard to play against or who can set the tempo for a game. If I'm another team, I'm not worried at all about the Wings 3rd and 4th lines. It's basically an off night.

Edited by GMRwings1983, 18 November 2011 - 02:42 PM.

According to my profile, my reputation is excellent. LOL.

#7 blueadams

blueadams

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:29 PM

Grinders, checkers and fighters can spark their team with a big hit or fight. At the very least, they'll bring it on every shift and make us harder to play against. They can set the tempo for the game physically at any point.

Other than Helm (who isn't big) and maybe Abby, we don't have anyone in our top 6 that makes us hard to play against or who can set the tempo for a game. If I'm another team, I'm not worried at all about the Wings 3rd and 4th lines. It's basically an off night.


couldn't agree more.

#8 blueadams

blueadams

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:40 PM

OK I hear you. Understand where you're coming from, but with regards to number 1) you've done exactly the same thing. My post was mainly about the fact that they make smart plays rather than physical ones. I think the bottom 6 do work hard along the boards (maybe not crashing the net) as that's their job. Don't think that's the problem. The problem is they only do their job and in a time where the top 6 aren't producing, expectations fall slightly on others to pick it up, which these guys can't really do (although like I mentioned Miller has been tying his darnedest). Instead of getting two new wingers on the 4th line which would arguably not help the slumping top 6, why not experiment with more balanced lines, a 'star', a mid-level guy, and a bottom 6 guy, all on the same line? Bit of everything. Obviously that wouldn't be entirely viable in all situations but wouldn't hurt to try it.

As for the emboldened bit, took that a bit personally. Not everyone knows everything about hockey, or about hockey players. I've giving my opinion, and in that opinion I don't think it's lack of confidence with most of these guys. Helm is a lot smaller and less physical than a lot of other guys but still plays hard. Miller is a tall, strong guy, but plays a different style. Before we look at individuals the whole team mentality has to be assessed, otherwise two more 4th liners wont make a hell of difference


1) Didn't mean to offend with the "played hockey" thing. I was just making an additional point.

2) Going to have to disagree with you about the boards things. If there's a loose puck in the boards and a big guy charging, they hesitate. Most players their size would. Just a fact of the game.

3) I'm not saying that Miller or Eaves aren't smart players, or that they aren't playing hard. I'm just saying that there are things we need out of their roles that they can't physically provide.

4) Agree that the whole team needs to start working harder. Agree that the top six needs to pick it up production-wise. But I think that a couple of really physical players in the bottom six would help us in a lot of ways. In addition to crashing the net, defending our own crease, being tougher in the boards, and just having a little more 'edge' as a team in general...as the other poster mentioned, they'd make our bottom six - which isn't at all hard to play against - harder to play against...and a big hit or fight does boost the team. But really, when I see our team out there most nights, I see a bunch of guys that look intimidated by the bullies on the other side of the rink. I hate that attitude. I think it leads to more problems than the eye can see. And I want to see it addressed, desperately.

...I mean, do you not think that McCarty and Probert gave our entire team a little bit of a different attitude that resulted in better play?

Edited by blueadams, 18 November 2011 - 02:42 PM.


#9 blueadams

blueadams

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:49 PM

Dallas Drake


a guy like him would be ideal.

if we could get a guy or two like him, without giving up more than some combination of eaves/miller/brunnstrom/bertuzzi/low-end prospects/mid-round picks...without significantly altering our cap flexibility in the offseason...we'd be a great deal better i believe

#10 RusDRW

RusDRW

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,352 posts
  • Location:Tampere, FI

Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:49 PM

Clarkson, Moen, Penner, Nyquist (that one in Dallas)... go after them instead of keeping Miller, Eaves, etc. Two trades may chenge the entire team.
Sweet. This dude was brought here for one reason, to punch people in the head - every other thing that he can do, other Wings can do better. I like that we have a head-puncher. The league has other, better head-punchers, but this one is ours. Better than nothing. Good work, Kenny!

© mikah

#11 newfy

newfy

    Hall-of-Famer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,114 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:58 PM

I've thought this for a while now.

Its not about having a bunch if fighters either (which Im sure we'll have plenty of people saying soon).

Our bottom 6 is definitely a weakness, theyre very soft besides Helm and Abdelkader. Drew Miller does nothing out there really, hes a dime a dozen 4th liner. Brunnstrom is useless on bottom lines and probably not skilled enouggh to crack the top 6 so whats the point of having him?

Really the only people in our bottom 6 I would like to see kept for any significant amount of time are Helm, Abdelkader and Eaves.

Ship out Miller, Brunnstrom,Bert and Homer are gone after this year.

The wings should bring in at least one more big body on forward. Abdelkader is big and physical for the most part but really the wings have one gritty, big hitter in their entire forward core, not just the bottom 6.

Roll with a bottom 6 of

Abdelkader Helm Mursak (speed, all three have offensive upside, and all three bring some kind of physical element)

Eaves Prust Moen

Every single line is capable of playing the game well enough AND would chip in as much offense as what the bottom 6 does now. I seriously dont get why Kenny doesnt go after another physical player after seeing what Drake did for this team in the playoffs.

Brunnstrom is getting played for some reason on our 4th line, whe nhe couldnt crack dallas or toronto it doesnt make any sense to me.

Drew Miller providing nothing and still being given more than 1 year contracts doesnt make sense to me.

I would keep Emmerton as the 13th forward because hes young and a center.

edit: just to add, has anyone noticed that even when our skilled players are playing like dogs***, Helm and Abby have always seemed to play well and get constant pressure? Its because they play with grit, hard in the corners and are full of energy.

More guys like that instead of wanna be scoring line players like Brunnstrom is what this team needs,

Edited by newfy, 18 November 2011 - 02:59 PM.

RIP BOB PROBERT #24


#12 Bring Back The Bruise Bros

Bring Back The Bruise Bros

    RIP Probie

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,696 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:12 PM

We've got to get more physical up front. When it comes playoff time, we don't guys that will ferociously forecheck and wear down the opposition's defense. Many of our fowards are clearly too comfortable taking nights off. We need to bring in some new faces that actually want to play the game. Give 110% every shift. The type of work ethic we lost when Maltby and Draper retired. With Hudler, Brunnstrom, Bertuzzi, and Holmstrom likely to be let go (Barring some real improvement from Brun and Hud), obviously we'll see a few guys brought in. Are Eaves and Miller on one-year contracts? The big gunner for the top 6 is Parise, obviously. As far as bottom 6 forwards that can play a regular shift available this summer:

Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Kyle Brodziak
Dan Carcillo
Tanner Glass
Tim Jackman
Gregory Campbell
Ryan Jones
Brad Winchester
Shawn Thornton
Zenon Konopka
Ryan Carter

Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Parise
Franzen-Filppula-Nyquist
Abdelkader-Helm-Cleary
Prust-Mursak-Eaves
Emmerton
"Ice hockey is a form of disorderly conduct in which the score is kept."

RIP Bob Probert
RIP Wade Belak
RIP Derek Boogaard
RIP Rick Rypien

#13 dirtydangles

dirtydangles

    Hall-of-Famer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,850 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:17 PM

My belief is right now we have far too many "bottom 6" guys. Many of which are not bottom 6 material anymore. then we have some "top 6" guys that are fringe top 6 at best. I really think its time for kenny to make a decision and trade a top 6 player or 2 like cleary or hudler for something. I say something because i have no idea what he will package with him. but its way too evident that there is not enough space in the bottom 6 and players like eaves, nyquist, tatar, helm, abby could be regulars on the at least the 3rd maybe even the 2nd line. Next season bert and homer have to go. i love homer but its just not working anymore and bert cant stay at all.

I see this for next year:

Filppula-Datsyuk-Franzen
TRADE-Zetterberg-Nyquist
Tatar-Helm-Eaves
Bruno/Miller-Abdelkader-Mursak
Emmerton

We need some youth in the top lines to begin with. I really see cleary being shipped out while he still has value. Hudler doesn't have what it takes to play in the detroit top 6 and he can't get by on skill when he can't play defense at all. In my honest opinion that TRADE spot could be a guy like Parise - but whoever it is it has to be someone young who can score. Period. That pretty much solves the bottom 6 too. Maybe sign a type of enforcer player like brad may a couple years back.

The D is a whole other problem. Sorry for the cleary and hudler lovers but i just see them as having value still and not being essential to the team at this point.

Is there a kickstarter campaign for Jakub Kindl to never play another NHL game?


#14 hooon

hooon

    Hall-of-Famer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,261 posts
  • Location:Denver

Posted 18 November 2011 - 04:33 PM

I wouldn't mind a little more physicality but its not nearly as black and white as you make it out to be.

A physical guy in the bottom 6 isn't going to get our star players playing like they used to. He isn't going to motivate the team to play 60 minutes. He isn't going to help defensive zone turnovers or late period goals.

I do think more phsyicality would benefit this team, but I don't think its the solution to all of the problems in Detroit.
Posted Image

#15 redwingfan19

redwingfan19

    On a mission

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,523 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:53 PM

If callahan develops his defensive game to a point where it will not hurt this team or his line-mates I expect him to challenge for a spot on the 4th line next year. especially if we have a mass exodus of the bottom 6.

yeah i know people are going to say he is not ready but im getting tired of seasoning of prospects in GR for 4 years. the kid skates well and can make a pass, if he is not a liability just roll with him.
You may not like tough hockey, but it's winning hockey.

Mitch Callahan: 48GP, 6G, 3A, 9PTS,+/- -3, 103PIMS

14 Fighting Majors

#16 RusDRW

RusDRW

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,352 posts
  • Location:Tampere, FI

Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:59 PM

yeah i know people are going to say he is not ready but im getting tired of seasoning of prospects in GR for 4 years.


it is not us. it is Kenny :)
Sweet. This dude was brought here for one reason, to punch people in the head - every other thing that he can do, other Wings can do better. I like that we have a head-puncher. The league has other, better head-punchers, but this one is ours. Better than nothing. Good work, Kenny!

© mikah

#17 blueadams

blueadams

    1st Line All-Star

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:24 PM

I wouldn't mind a little more physicality but its not nearly as black and white as you make it out to be.

A physical guy in the bottom 6 isn't going to get our star players playing like they used to. He isn't going to motivate the team to play 60 minutes. He isn't going to help defensive zone turnovers or late period goals.

I do think more phsyicality would benefit this team, but I don't think its the solution to all of the problems in Detroit.


whoa whoa whoa...

i did NOT say that adding a couple of dallas drake-like 4th line grinders was going to 'solve' all of our problems. far from it. will it be beneficial? most definitely. will it solve all of our problems? absolutely not. if you go through the thread again, you'll see that i've suggested a great deal more is needed...

1) signing parise and suter this off-season

2) a better team attitude in general. no more entitlement. need to start working as hard, check, *harder*, than all of the other teams out there. from top to bottom.





Here's a summary of what I'm suggesting...

#1a) No matter what we do, DO NOT SIGNIFICANTLY ALTER OUR CAP FLEXIBILITY for this coming off-season. #1b) Sign Parise and Suter!! Parise and Suter are the top two UFA's on the market. They are best friends. They want to play together. We are one of the few teams that will be able to afford both (plus Lidstrom...I've spelled this all out in my off-season thread). Our winning tradition, and ability to match virtually any other contract offers they get, should land us both. They are both young. They are both absolute studs. They are both tough, physical players. They do things 'the red wing way.' They play with a ton of heart. They have no injury history. They are perfect additions.

#2) Trade for/Sign two or three Dallas Drake-like 3rd/4th line grinders. Plenty of expendable players we can deal that don't need to be back next year - Hudler, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom, Eaves, Miller, Emmerton, Brunnstrom, Mursak, Kindl, Commodore, Conklin, etc...even Cleary in the right situation. Some of those guys have trade value. Some don't. We can probably trade for one or two, and sign the other one or two. These guys don't need to be expensive studs. Just dime-a-dozen grinders. Big physical guys that play hard, and are solid defensively. Not asking for a ton. Just a changeup in the bottom six.

#18 hooon

hooon

    Hall-of-Famer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,261 posts
  • Location:Denver

Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:42 PM

I approve Parise and Suter. :thumbup:
Posted Image

#19 Detroit # 1 Fan

Detroit # 1 Fan

    Truculence.

  • HoF Booster
  • 19,061 posts
  • Location:St John's

Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:50 PM

Our bottom 6 could've been great this year. Instead we re-signed Miller and kept Brunnstrom as a fringe forward, and made us one dimensional.

I just hate seeing us losing games, and on top of that our star players are getting run, and cheap shotted, and no one does a god damn thing about it. Not even a fight, but for f*** sakes hit there star players, slash Thornton on the wrist, make him know your there. The Wings show no emotion, ever. That's why losses are hard to take as a Wings fan, if they at least battled, gave it all they had and played the other team hard for 60 minutes I wouldn't be critical of them. But they haven't done that for years now. I hope Kenny makes a few moves later in the year to get us a few players with guts. We need guys who will go full speed and hit Zdeno Chara in the corner, we need a guy who will go into the corner with a big tough defenceman grab the puck and get it to the net. People always harped on Drapes in his later years, but he showed up every night, was as physical as he could be, and always battled hard. We miss that mentality on the 3rd and 4th lines. Helm and Abby bring it, and so does Eaves when he gets his chance. But that's it, we need some more balance. Both in our scoring players (speed and ability) and grinding players (size and guts).

#NOMOREKINDL


#20 haroldsnepsts

haroldsnepsts

    "Classy"

  • HoF Booster Mod
  • 17,022 posts

Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:25 PM

Re-signing Miller was the big head scratcher to me once they signed Eaves. Why not go get a bottom six guy who provides something different other than a nearly identical player?





Similar Topics Collapse

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users