Second Line Woes
Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:02 AM
Flip has been inconsistent of late. He had a few great stretches, but I haven't seen so many missed wide open nets in such a small amount of time as the last 10 games for him.
Z has also been sub-par. This is not just noticeable to Wings fans, but to national media as well. I have read several articles on Z being worse this season than his previous worse season.
Cleary has been hurt often, so his numbers are not reliable for comparison to others.
For what it's worth with Dats out this may be the perfect time to play around. I know that we need all the points we can get in his absence, but there may not come a time (we are in first place) to see our true weaknesses when there is less on the line.
This mixes things up and allows for possible "duos" to appear. Cleary and Bert have worked well together in the past, and Helm would add to the great board presence of that line. Z and Flip work well together, and Franzen would give them both a good target for passing (something Hudler does) and a great net front presence (something Hudler cannot do). The third line would allow for a forecheck with hitting. The fourth line would undoubtedly be a great energy line with 2 players itching to stay on the team.
"I think a tough team, a team that sticks together, is a lot better than leaving the onus on one guy to take care of business." - Brendan Shanahan
It still would be nice to have that one guy. (Jordin Tootoo, wish granted)
Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:18 AM
I was just commenting on this in another thread and thought I'd start something here. Looking at the season splits on ESPN I noticed something problematic. I know the Wings are the best team in hockey right now, and I'm not trying to be overly pessimistic, I think we're largely as good as anybody out there and I can't complain, but if you look at the areas where we're weak something stands out pretty obviously.
Datysuk (+/-) Overall: 18, On the Road: 4, In Wins: 25, In Losses: -7
Franzen (+/-) Overall: 27, On the Road: 7, In Wins: 33, In Losses: -6
Bertuzzi (+/-) Overall: 21, On the Road: 9, In Wins: 20, In Losses: 1
Filppula (+/-) Overall: 15, On the Road: -6, In Wins: 28, In Losses: -13
Zetterberg (+/-) Overall: 8, On the Road: -6, In Wins: 26, In Losses: -18
Hudler (+/-) Overall: 6, On the Road: -9, In Wins: 21, In Losses: -15
Kronwall: Overall: -1, On the Road: -11, In Wins: 16, In Losses: -17
Stuart: Overall: 16, On the Road: -4, In Wins: 28, In Losses: -12
White: Overall: 28, On the Road: 10, In Wins: 22, In Losses: 6
Lidstrom: Overall: 26, On the Road: 2, In Wins: 35, In Losses: -9
I wanted to compare the top two lines as whole units considering +/- is a group stat. What jumps out at me is that while we don't lose much, when we do lose, it's usually (and obviously) on the road, and it's usually the second line getting scored on/not scoring. Aside from trading for a top six guy, which we've all talked about to death, does anybody see a solution to this problem or are we just going to have to deal with it and hope our first and third lines win us games on the road. I mean, presumably we can't win all our playoff home games...um...right?
Note: I guess I should add that while Filppula and Hudler's production has dipped slightly of late, Zetterberg's is picking up, and all of them are having good seasons IMO. So don't take this as a knock on individual players, but as a unit there's something not quite clicking for them on the road.
Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:25 AM
On datsyuks line on the road, the home gets the last line change. Which means more minuses if the opposing team is scoring. Which is exactly
Why the wings need a scorer come deadline not a fourth line grinder.
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