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Yet another 2nd line center thought


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#1 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:05 PM

I know there's a lot of threads around, feel free to tell me to shut up if you think I'm beating a dead horse :lol:. Anyway, last night I was watching the replay of Marty's 100th win. It was cool to see a game from the Lemaire era, as this was before my time. One thing in particular I noticed was when Chico started talking about how Sullivan who was a center his whole life switched to wing so they could get more offense out of him. Playing a rookie at center in a defensive system isn't that easy to break in. As subtle as this tidbit may be it got me thinking. Lemaire has always done for with less than a lot of other coaches. His understanding of the game is impeccable.

After a little reaserch, I found that he would move players around on lines to try and maximize the talent of his players, rather than stick to something that wasn't working. That led me to two thoughts. One, Lou knew we weren't getting a second line center this year; could also explain why it took so long to get done, maybe there was a few he had on radar and after that fell through he turned to Lemaire. Two, Opposed to what most of us are thinking, we will might not have a set second line center, maybe he switches to whatever is hot.
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#2 Triumph

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:21 PM

i don't see why there's this huge groundswell about the 2nd line center, it is and will almost certainly be dainius zubrus. the devils may have been interested in saku koivu, but other than that, there hasn't been much out there. the 3rd line center is the issue at hand.
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#3 Par9

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:26 PM

I know there's a lot of threads around, feel free to tell me to shut up if you think I'm beating a dead horse :lol:. Anyway, last night I was watching the replay of Marty's 100th win. It was cool to see a game from the Lemaire era, as this was before my time. One thing in particular I noticed was when Chico started talking about how Sullivan who was a center his whole life switched to wing so they could get more offense out of him. Playing a rookie at center in a defensive system isn't that easy to break in. As subtle as this tidbit may be it got me thinking. Lemaire has always done for with less than a lot of other coaches. His understanding of the game is impeccable.

After a little reaserch, I found that he would move players around on lines to try and maximize the talent of his players, rather than stick to something that wasn't working. That led me to two thoughts. One, Lou knew we weren't getting a second line center this year; could also explain why it took so long to get done, maybe there was a few he had on radar and after that fell through he turned to Lemaire. Two, Opposed to what most of us are thinking, we will might not have a set second line center, maybe he switches to whatever is hot.


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#4 Par9

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:35 PM

Our centers are probably going to look like this Zajac, Zubrus, Clarkson, and Pelley we have to accept it. If not we are going to have to sign or trade. If we could acquire Marleau we would be a very skilled team. On another thread a guy said next year's draft will be the worst since 1999 so It would be good to give up a 1st rounder. We also have to know how to give up talent!


Give up a first plus zubrus plus davsion/murphy plus halichuck or corrnente. Lou signed these d men for a reason. This wouldnt put them in cap trouble except for zubrus maybe. davison or murphy for some support in the back where they lack. halichcuk to give them a RW where they also lack. this would be a fair trade considering Marleau a FA next year.
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#5 Devils731

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:46 PM

Clarkson at center? I highly doubt that.

Also, for the people who want to trade a first rounder because the draft will stink this year, all the other GMs know this too and change how much value they think that first rounder adds to a trade deal.
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#6 Devil Fan

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:27 PM

I think Lemaire will give the 2nd line center position to Rolston due to their relationship in Minny and his contract. We'll see and maybe Rolston will flourish under Lemaire again.
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#7 BlueSkirt

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 02:48 PM

I think Lemaire will give the 2nd line center position to Rolston due to their relationship in Minny and his contract. We'll see and maybe Rolston will flourish under Lemaire again.


?
every statement made by LL, Lemaire have said Rolston will wing it...
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#8 Devs4LIFE

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 03:13 PM

i don't see why there's this huge groundswell about the 2nd line center, it is and will almost certainly be dainius zubrus. the devils may have been interested in saku koivu, but other than that, there hasn't been much out there. the 3rd line center is the issue at hand.

Exactly right, Zubrus will play 2nd line center and he will do an alright job. The question is who will play third line? Hopefully not Rod Pelley, he's a 4th line center at best. Patrice Cormier I don't think is ready yet to play in the NHL. This is why I wish Vrana wasn't treated like sh!t and forced to leave, he would have been perfect.
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#9 Jerrydevil

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 03:31 PM

i don't see why there's this huge groundswell about the 2nd line center, it is and will almost certainly be dainius zubrus. the devils may have been interested in saku koivu, but other than that, there hasn't been much out there. the 3rd line center is the issue at hand.


No, the second-line center is the issue because we don't have anyone good enough to play there. There's a decent amount of mediocre players available to play third-line center.

You're the VORP master ... how much difference is there between Manny Malhotra and Rod Pelley -- our supposed FOURTH-LINE center? Probably not much.
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#10 Triumph

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:24 PM

No, the second-line center is the issue because we don't have anyone good enough to play there. There's a decent amount of mediocre players available to play third-line center.

You're the VORP master ... how much difference is there between Manny Malhotra and Rod Pelley -- our supposed FOURTH-LINE center? Probably not much.


i think there's a lot. on the surface, it doesn't seem like much, but everything adds up.

A: Goal scoring

Okay, on the face of it - Malhotra probably scores between 4-6 more goals. A big meh. 1-1.5 wins. Not a big deal.

B: Faceoffs

Pelley was thought to be a faceoff monster, but he did not do particularly well at winning faceoffs. Malhotra is one of the best faceoff men in the league. This is probably worth something like 2 goals a year - http://www.puckprosp...p?articleid=239 - if Malhotra takes something like 600 defensive zone faceoffs, instead of Pelley taking that many, Pelley probably wins around 300-310, Malhotra around 355.

C: Replacement

The real problem isn't necessarily Pelley vs. Malhotra, it's 'what if Zubrus or Zajac gets injured?' Zubrus has avoided major injury as a Devil, but before becoming one he was a virtual certainty to miss 10 or so games at least. The alternatives are awful - Ben Walter? Michael Swift? The solution will clearly come from the roster and have to be Elias or Rolston, which is no picnic either - it means shifting around all the lines.

The other way in which Malhotra is a 'replacement' - he could take Travis Zajac off the penalty kill. If the Devils can use something like this on the PK:

Elias-Malhotra
Rolston-Pelley

the Devils could put out Travis Zajac's line right after every penalty kill. I can't even pretend to know how much this is worth, but one thing I disliked about Sutter's style was his tendency to play mash-up lines after penalty kills and power plays - I think Zajac's line should get 15 minutes a game at even strength, last year they got around 13:30. Last season the PZL line scored 65 even strength goals - if they scored at the same rate in 15 minutes worth of ES ice time per game (assuming each plays 82 games), that's 71 goals.

The summary of all that doesn't sound like much, but think about it this way: not only is adding a player worth 1.5 wins give us a greater chance to win a playoff series, it gives us a better chance to play a worse team in the playoffs, also increasing our chances of winning. it's cumulative.

The Devils can sign a Blair Betts (unfortunately they can no longer sign Marcel Goc, as he inked with Nashville yesterday) to placehold, but I really think it's a gross error to go into the season with Zajac, Zubrus, Pelley, Walter, Swift, Sestito as the centers' depth chart. I don't think they will do that, but they're playing a dangerous game now with the remaining players, and waivers doesn't figure to offer up that many prizes.

Edited by Triumph, 21 August 2009 - 04:33 PM.

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#11 MantaRay

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:35 PM

We need a real 2nd line center, NOT Malholtra who is a 3rd/4th line talent, we have enough of that garbage.
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#12 LucifersDog

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:43 PM

Reality is that ZuBust will be the Devils 2nd line center, I would rather go with a rookie than ZuBust. I do not think that ZuBust has come to the dance floor and danced!!! He was a bad contract for LOU.
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#13 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:27 PM

No, the second-line center is the issue because we don't have anyone good enough to play there. There's a decent amount of mediocre players available to play third-line center.

You're the VORP master ... how much difference is there between Manny Malhotra and Rod Pelley -- our supposed FOURTH-LINE center? Probably not much.

Agree with all of this. The bottom line is we need another center if its not going to be Elias on the second line. We have Zajac at 1st, Pelley at 4th, and Zubrus at 2nd/3rd. I don't like Zubrus at 2nd so we might as well use him at the 3rd line hole rather than see him suck on the second.
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#14 Prucenterrules

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:56 PM

At this point it's just wait and see for all of us. None of us can guess what Lou and Lemaire are going to do, they are 2 very difficult people to guess on.
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#15 Martyisth3b3st

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 09:19 AM

Wouldn't arnott be fun? Pipe dream, oviously. But just thinking of PZL, Elias-Arnott-Rolston kind of makes me shiver.

Anyway, carry on.
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#16 puckrock

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 10:07 AM

I think Lemaire will give the 2nd line center position to Rolston due to their relationship in Minny and his contract. We'll see and maybe Rolston will flourish under Lemaire again.


Please pay attention.

Reality is that ZuBust will be the Devils 2nd line center, I would rather go with a rookie than ZuBust. I do not think that ZuBust has come to the dance floor and danced!!! He was a bad contract for LOU.


Zubrus wouldn't be the WORST option for a 2nd line centerman. While I agree that he hasn't exactly "danced" yet, he does have a big upside and it will take someone with a brain like Lemaire to squeeze the most out of him. Zubrus reminds me a lot of Viktor Kozlov.

But all in all, it's wait and see. Everyone seems to be getting caught up in the notion that Lou absolutely MUST get something done before training camp. He's already stated that if he needs to go the trade route, he will. But, we all know that's always a last resort for Lou.

I say let the kids audition, see how October goes, and make your roster adjustments from there. This is the Devils we're talking about. A few skid-marks in October won't effect them as badly as another team. Anyone else remember winning 11 straight to end 2005-2006??
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#17 Jerrydevil

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 10:36 AM

Zubrus wouldn't be the WORST option for a 2nd line centerman. While I agree that he hasn't exactly "danced" yet, he does have a big upside and it will take someone with a brain like Lemaire to squeeze the most out of him.


Zubrus has had a big upside since the days when the Macarena craze swept the nation.
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#18 USC09

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 12:19 PM

I think Lou is more focused now on trying to sign Martin to an extension rather than getting a centerman, because he is slated to become unrestricted next summer, Clarkson will be an RFA. Losing Martin would be somewhat worse than losing Nieds, he is such a vital part of this team. So if the Devils were to get a center it would likely have to be a one year ordeal. So, the likelihood is that Elias is going to start the season in the center position or the Devils will dress seven D-Men. So the lineup will look like this

Parise Zajac Langenbrunner
Rolston Elias Bergfors
Pandolfo Pelley Shanahan
Leblond Zubrus Clarkson
Extras: Pikkarainen, Halischuk

or

Parise Zajac Langenbrunner
Elias Zubrus Bergfors
Rolston Pelley Shanahan/Clarkson
Leblond

Oduya Martin
White Mottau
Salvador Greene
Leach
Extras: Corrente or Davison or Murphy
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#19 empulse27

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 05:00 PM

First of all, there's no way Lemaire puts a healthy Brian Rolston (who, like we've all mentioned, scored 30 goals a season for him as a wing) at center OR on the third line. He will put Rollie in a spot where he can produce. Elias will probably center, because he is more responsible defensively, and with Rolston and Bergfors on the same line, will be able to dish out some great playmaker stats. Bergfors will need to play 2nd line with veteran producers like Elias and Rolston to really become the type of player he is expected to be. Plus, if Zubrus is on the 2nd line we lose a lot of depth on the back two lines...

The lines will probably look like this if a move isn't made for a center...

ZZ Pop
Rolston-Elias-Bergfors
Shanahan-Zubrus-Clarkson/Halischuk (with a good camp)
Pandolfo/PL3-Pelley-Pikkarainen/Clarkson

These lines balance out the offensive depth we have, while also sticking guys like Clarkson, who succeeded playing with Shanahan, in line for another 15+goal season or giving another youngster who may break out at camp (like Halischuk) a chance to play good minutes with two veterans like Zubrus and Shanny. If that happens, Clarkson goes to the 4th line and his role may change a bit.

Equal Opportunity "Empowerment" is what Lemaire will bring this team in order for each individual to grow through those around him. Depth people... depth. I'm excited to see what happens

Edited by empulse27, 22 August 2009 - 05:02 PM.

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#20 Par9

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 05:42 PM

Well, I'll take a shot at our defense which hasn't been majorly talked about.

Paul Martin Johnny Ouduya

Paul Martin a strong skater who can play the PP and can put up a 10 goal season and a 40 point year. He's will continue to grow. Johnny Oudya, he's a amazing skater that some what is like Martin. Both Paul, and Johnny are by far our top two defenders.

Colin White Bryce Salvador

This pair brings some grit and size along with experience. These are our crucial time defenders.

Now this is where it get intresting.

Mike Mottau/Cory Murphy Andy Greene/Rob Davison Extra Jay Leach

Both Mottau and Murphy are cheap and bring some good offense to our D. Greene is somewhat of a all around defender that has grit and can score. Davison can bring some physical presence to our team.
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