Author Topic: Second line make-up  (Read 1217 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline slapshot

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 541
    • View Profile
Second line make-up
« on: September 05, 2014, 12:30:12 AM »
Assuming Bozak remains between Kessel and JVR, and Kadri lines up along Lupul again, the right side should be open to auditions, likely as follows:

Clarkson, despite being a huge bust last year, will be given another crack. Personally, I'd prefer him on 3rd line despite his salary. I think the 3rd line will be better this year and will get better minutes.

Booth will probably get an audition there as well. We will just have to see if there is any chemistry there? Who knows really.

The one that intrigues me and always has is Matt Frattin. I still see him as a skill player that could round into a fairly decent two-way player. He had some serious chemistry going on with Kadri in the minors, so I think it makes sense to give him an audition. With skills young guys, here's the dilemma: They need ice time to progress, but also have to earn it. Kind of a chicken and an egg. What I found interesting in looking at Frattin stats he's only played over 18 minutes in a game 3 times in 126 games. Though a very small sample size, his stats in those three games were 2 goals, 2 assists, 11 shots on goal and a plus 4. In college and with the Marlies (where he was tearing it up), he was probably used to playing more than 20 minutes a game, including power play time. He definitely has an NHL shot.
If I were Carlyle, I would definitely try him out there with Kadri and Lupul for a couple of exhibition games, let him get some power play time. I don't think he's a high risk liability. In 126 NHL games, mostly with a bad defensive Leaf team, he is only -3 overall. Phanuef could be that on a given night. With LA, in 40 games he was only minus 7 times, and only once in the last 20 plus games. He said he definitely learned something about playing defence from Sutter in LA. I really think he could be one of those late bloomers. He played a lot of time with the Leafs with Grabo and Kuli, which I just don't think was the right fit chemistry wise for him.

Other option for second line might be Komarov, though I think he'll wind up on line three.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 12:33:28 AM by slapshot »

Offline Nik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 27551
  • Sucker punching Logan Couture
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 08:02:41 AM »
What I found interesting in looking at Frattin stats he's only played over 18 minutes in a game 3 times in 126 games. Though a very small sample size, his stats in those three games were 2 goals, 2 assists, 11 shots on goal and a plus 4.

The problem with that, aside from the small sample size, is that it's hard to separate someone responding well to getting more ice time and someone getting more ice time because they're playing well. In the games you're talking about both of Frattins goals and one of his assists all came within the first 26 minutes of the game so it seems at least a little likely that his increased ice-time was a result of his production, not the cause of it.

If we expand our parameters a bit and count every game where he was over 16 minutes in a given night then we get him at 5 goals and 2 assists in 13 games, with 3 of those goals and one assist coming in two separate games against the Sabres. So, largely, he hasn't been super-productive in an increased role.

Of course, even at 13 games we're still dealing with such a small sample size that things can't be ruled out. That said I'd be far more inclined to, at least initially, put a very defensively responsible winger out there with Kadri/Lupul because play in their own end could be a big problem for them.
Sports are like the reward of a functioning society
- Sean Doolittle

Online CarltonTheBear

  • Administrator
  • Sittler Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 27592
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 08:20:34 AM »
That said I'd be far more inclined to, at least initially, put a very defensively responsible winger out there with Kadri/Lupul because play in their own end could be a big problem for them.

I really wish we signed two Santorelli's. I think he's the perfect choice for both the 3C and 2RW spots. Looking at the 2nd line spot specifically, he's a centre who can also play on the wing effectively which is great because he can play on the wing but take the centre responsibilities in his own end like Kulemin used to do when he played with Kadri. He can also take important faceoffs for that line if Kadri doesn't improve in that area.

Offline Nik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 27551
  • Sucker punching Logan Couture
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 08:36:55 AM »
I really wish we signed two Santorelli's. I think he's the perfect choice for both the 3C and 2RW spots. Looking at the 2nd line spot specifically, he's a centre who can also play on the wing effectively which is great because he can play on the wing but take the centre responsibilities in his own end like Kulemin used to do when he played with Kadri. He can also take important faceoffs for that line if Kadri doesn't improve in that area.

Yeah, it's not a surprise or anything but right now the Leafs look like they have one or two too many players who ideally would be third liners. So, to me, at least initially I might lean something like:

Kessel-Bozak-JVR
Lupul-Kadri-Santorelli
Booth-Holland-Clarkson
Winnik-Komarov-Frattin/Kontiola/Ashton/Whoever

That's obviously not ideal but short of actually giving Kadri the #1 job I just don't see an obvious fit on the second line.
Sports are like the reward of a functioning society
- Sean Doolittle

Online CarltonTheBear

  • Administrator
  • Sittler Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 27592
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 08:42:16 AM »
Yeah, because of the lack of options at 2RW that's probably close to what we'll see. I think in a perfect world if somebody else clicked with Kadri and Lupul it would be something like:

JVR-Bozak-Kessel
Lupul-Kadri-Booth
Komarov-Santorelli-Clarkson
Winnik-Holland-Frattin

Gives Carlyle a checking unit that he could rely on/bury too, which probably won't be possible without Santorelli at 3C. Any of those non-Kessel right wingers could be interchanged, same with Komarov/Winnik.

Offline Nik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 27551
  • Sucker punching Logan Couture
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2014, 08:52:13 AM »

The thing that I worry about is that if the team is structured closer to what you've got there, where the third line is noticeably stronger/more to Carlyle's tastes than the fourth, if Carlyle doesn't just end up burying the fourth line the way he tends to. Winnik being there probably dissuades that a little but my hope is sort of that there's a real competition between the bottom two lines for ice time.
Sports are like the reward of a functioning society
- Sean Doolittle

Offline Boston Leaf

  • Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 1779
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 10:23:19 AM »
I don't know but I don't see any scenario where Ashton plays much or have a big impact..Not sure about Kontiola either

Offline moon111

  • Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 1512
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2014, 12:05:28 AM »
Sadly, people are forgetting about Orr's guaranteed spot on the roster. :)
R.I.P. Maureen.  You'll always be with us.

Offline Nik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 27551
  • Sucker punching Logan Couture
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2014, 09:57:45 AM »
Sadly, people are forgetting about Orr's guaranteed spot on the roster. :)

There's a difference between a spot on the roster and a spot in the line-up. I would be surprised if Orr wasn't on the roster but I don't think he's guaranteed to be in the line-up. Last year Orr was a pretty common healthy scratch near the end of the year right up until injuries put him back into the line-up.
Sports are like the reward of a functioning society
- Sean Doolittle

Offline Leafs71

  • Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 1074
  • I broke your television!
    • View Profile
Re: Second line make-up
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2014, 09:58:29 AM »
My guess is that Frattin and Ashton have to win a spot, (barring injury). I didn't picture Kontiola signed to play on the 4th line.

Perhaps they'll assign ice time to a 1st, 2nd, and split time evenly to the bottom six, until things work themselves out.

Compared to last year, its a heck of a good problem to have.