I ripped this off of the Avs website. Just for fun I was going through and looking at the projected point totals for our TOP six forwards.
GP G A +/- Pts
17 6 7 -2 13
17 7 5 -1 12
17 2 10 -1 12
17 5 6 -4 11
17 6 4 -3 10
17 5 3 +2 8
Duchene - 28G / 35A / 63P (I think everyone would like to see him hit 70 this year or better. Add 4G 6A? 73P)
Hejduk - 34G / 24A / 58P (Odd for Hejduk but a good year non the less)
O'Reilly - 10G / 48A / 58P (Good point total but I think it may even out a little. More like 20/40 or something similar)
Stastny - 24G / 29A / 53P (Another sub-par year for the Staz if he keeps that up. But notice his goals? More Asst. w/better lines.)
Jones - 29G / 19A / 48P (Actually not a bad year for Jones but I think we all know he could do a little better. 30/20?)
Landeskog - 24G / 15A / 39 (Good rookie year for Lando. I could see 5-10 more assists very easily.)
As you can see It would not take much of a production boost to get these guys numbers up. But that small boost could mean playoffs or no playoffs for this team.
Now I think what this shows is that no one as of right now is projected to have an outstanding year. Except O'Reilly as kind of a breakout year. I cannot help but wonder though if these 6 were playing together night in and night out.. They might developed more chemistry which would help the guys breaking out just as much as Duchene and Stastny are struggling.
A lot of us have been harping on the fact that this should be our top two lines and there is pretty much only one configuration that seems to make sense keeping Lando and Radar together. Also all the points that all the other scrubs have maybe able to be plugged in amongst these six boosting their point totals a little more. Obviously not all but some would be. Besides the added points that hopefully would come from playing with more consistent and talented line mates for each player. The only two that have been that way so far are Landeskog and O'Reilly. One is a 18 year old rookie and his point total is pretty good for a rookie. At the 60 point mark that is a breakout season for Radar. Interesting how consistency when combined with talent creates results huh?
I post a lot based on my opinion and not a lot of math and statistical data. In this case I feel it's hard to ignore the fact that the offense has been spread too thin trying to support rolling three scoring lines. With Muller in and contributing this may have worked. So I can see why Sacco did it in the beginning of the year. Now though? And probably about 6 or 7 games ago this should have been realized and adjusted for. THAT.. is coaching and the little amount of insight that Sacco has shown proves his inexperience and a general lack of feel for this team. Are you really going to tell me that he does not know who our best players are? I probably could have projected this top six as well as just about any other fan on here. Obviously with a little room for Muller thrown in for argument sake. (Also talking about points in that last statement) NO excuse at all as to why the adjustments toward this are just now being made and not even to the full extent because Jones is not playing with Radar and Lando.
Yes Duchene - Stastny - Hejduk works instantly.. I mean look at the talent on that line alone. Planting Jones with Radar and Lando may not work instantly though. The talent is still there and the type of players needed to make a second line is obviously there. They need to gel and be coached and work together. Who knows it may work right away.. BUT the sooner this gets done the sooner these two lines can start to gain chemistry on a nightly basis. Also each player gains security and confidence in his role on the ice each night. Right now all our forwards might as well be individual pieces. You wonder why the team is not playing like a team? It's not the players... It's the coaching and confusion and uncertainty that it's brought to the forward core.
The best people in hockey often talk of how valuable it is for a player to be clear on their role and what their suppose to do every night. How can a player develop that kind of confidence if he's wondering were and what he's suppose to do every night? Keeping the lines together for at least a few games and practices until it's obvious that something is wrong is key. The best coaches change their lines a bit. It really seems to be on a lot slower pace though. If one guy is coming on for a game the next game there might be a winger swapped out or something of that nature. Not 9 different guys playing with 9 different guys practically every night because your coach is worried he is going to lose his job. Gelling lines will work for long term success even if they struggle here and there. Because you fix that with coaching and work.. Yeah if you want instant production you may get lucky by throwing some hot guys together during a game to get something going. That to me sounds more like playing the lottery than building a solid structure for winning.
AND.. So far we just have not been lucky! Mix the bottom six all you want their job is defense and energy. The top six is suppose to be your skilled lines that put up the majority of your points. They need consistency and a chance to gel and work out their issues. Plus when they are producing it creates energy in the rest of the lineup.
(Double posted here and MHH - Does not always seem to get the same traffic.)