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Is too much scoring depth a bad thing?


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IS TOO MUCH SCORING DEPTH A BAD THING?

THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012 AT 03:42PM

At first glance of the title people probably think I am losing my mind, but there is a method to my madness. For the whole year I have been saying one thing about the Flyers, this team lacks the correct makeup. While they are surely on the correct path on building this team to be solid there is still work to be done in my mind.

In one of my semesters in college we learned about sports psychology and what the make up of a team is all about. While I do believe the Flyers improved their team bond and comradery amongst each other I still believe team cohesion is not quite there and could be absent because of their scoring depth. To make team cohesion fully blossom each individual needs to know their own identity and their roles to the team (example- Giroux has to put points up for the team, Couturier- used as a defensive specialist).

If we look at teams that won the Stanley Cup from the last 4 years, Detroit 07-08, Pitt 08-09, Chicago 09-10, and most recently Boston 10-11 they each had an identity to their team. They had their top 6 players who would put up their points and their bottom 6 players who knew they were role players and embraced that role for the good of the team. Here are some stats for theses teams during the regular season:

Detroit 07-08: had 6 forwards reach the 40 or more point mark.

Pitt 08-09: had only 4 forwards reach 40 or more point mark

Chicago 09-10: had 6 forwards reach 40 or more point mark.

Boston 10-11: had, the highest, at 7 forwards to reach 40 or more point mark.

Flyers 11-12: had 7 forwards reach 40 or more point mark, and lets face it if JVR was healthy they would have had 8 forwards.

Even the 5 teams still left in the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, benefit from good team cohesion and identity. Their regular season stats were as follows:

LA- 4 forwards with 40 or more points (5 if Carter would have been there the whole season)

PHX- only had 3 forwards with 40 or more points

NJ- 7 forwards with 40 or more points

NYR- 4 forwards with 40 or more points

WASH-5 forwards with 40 or more points

To me those stats are saying you have your first and second lines contributing offensively and your third and fourth lines chipping in offensively sometimes but mainly out their for great energy and defensive reliability, along obviously with good team defense and goaltending. With all this in mind I think the Flyers need to set better expectations on who is going to be their go to guys and who are going to be their role guys and if guys like Read, JVR, Schenn are going to be bottom 6 players I think it would be in the teams interest to trade some of their offensive depth for defense along with some role players to help this team come together.

So I'll ask the question to you, is too much scoring depth a bad thing? Does having players, like JVR who has potential 30 goal scoring ability, being stuck with bottom 6 minutes hurt the team more than help?

Be sure to check in with my blog daily and share your opinions with me: http://toughbrotherlylove.squarespace.com/

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I think it puts the Flyers at a huge disadvantage trying to use JVR on the 3rd or 4th line. Defensively, he is a huge liability. JVR is a 1st or 2nd line player on 80% of the teams in the NHL, just not here. His value is in being able to move him for a Suter type Defenseman. That is the best way to get the bang for the buck with JVR.

P.S. Welcome to the board TBL

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His value is in being able to move him for a Suter type Defenseman. That is the best way to get the bang for the buck with JVR.

Right. Loaded at forward, need D help for stability next to Bryz. I would consider trading JVR and/or Read.

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@ TBL,

I agree about 75%. I don't believe too much scoring depth is a 'problem.' Players need to have roles, theres no doubt. To create an appropriate focus for a player really will help get the most potential out of that player. And I would be in favor of making trades to bolster the D corps.

What I can't stand is when checking line players say 'Its not their job to score goals.' Its everyones job to score goals! Not in spite of their roles, but the name of the game is to put the puck in the net. Some roles may not invite as much opportunity, but when it comes-a-knockin' I don't want players turning from it.

I've said it before, but I'd love to have a team with about 6-7 max talbots on it. Charlie hustle, will oblige any role a coach will give him, and will grab that opportunity to strike when it comes.

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@toughbrotherlylove

does jagr resign with flyers ? if not JvR would (depending on his camp) have the opportunity to play top 6 minutes.

I don't think abundance of scoring depth is a problem

the coach sets the tone and defines the roles, there is no reason matt read has to sacrifice his offensive game to be defensively responsible, none. and that goes for every other player on the roster, the directive needs to come from the coach and enforced by the leadership group, there was massive turn over on this team with a 75% new guys and a **** pile of young players who should be able to be coached up to back check and support each other on the breakout.

to sublimate courtier's offensive game so he can be a checker is stupid. this young man put up back to back 90+ season's in the Q, why on earth do you tell him, thanks sean, your role is to shut down the top centerman of the other team don't worry about scoring, that's a waste of ability.

so thanks for the thought provoking post and welcome but, i don't think having scoring depth is a problem.

Edited by mojo1917
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to sublimate courtier's offensive game so he can be a checker is stupid. this young man put up back to back 90+ season's in the Q, why on earth do you tell him, thanks sean, your role is to shut down the top centerman of the other team don't worry about scoring, that's a waste of ability.

The kid the Flyers(Phantoms actually) just signed (Ian Slater) is going to be the perfect 3rd/4th liner. That will ultimately free up Cooter to take Jagr's place on the top line where he belongs. Jagr was great this year playing with Giroux until he ran out of gas for the playoffs. It is amazing that he was able to produce as much as he did at his age. I thank him for his contributions to this young core of players. He has helped usher them into the NHL by showing them what work ethic is all about but I think that ultimately he will be gone from here next year.

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Not the problem. The ability to roll four lines with some scoring threat is an amazing weapon to have. As far as chemistry is concerned, 75% roster turnover in one offseason is not conducive.

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With all this in mind I think the Flyers need to set better expectations on who is going to be their go to guys and who are going to be their role guys and if guys like Read, JVR, Schenn are going to be bottom 6 players I think it would be in the teams interest to trade some of their offensive depth for defense along with some role players to help this team come together.

Welcome to the board.

Before operating on the premise that the Flyers have "surplus" scoring, consider for a moment that 2 of those top six are "suspect" in a sense for the long run. Jagr may not be signed at all and Briere, who is about to turn 35, scored 16 goals last year, suffered another concussion and took a lot of big hits. If Jagr isn't resigned, or even if he is resigned to another one year deal, does it make sense to trade scoring wingers away under the assumption that things are "set" with a 41 YO in the line up? If he leaves now, leaves in a year or goes down for the season (he's 41 after all) or just can't get it done, who are the top 4 wingers after JvR is traded? Voracek, Hartnell, Simmonds and...that's it. IMO Read belongs in a third line role. Schenn belongs in the middle ultimately though I guess he can play the wing until Briere's contract is up...in 3 years.

Which brings me to the other "suspect" top six player, Briere. Is it realistic to believe that he's going to be the offensive force he was a few years ago? Probably not (16 goals in 73 games may be a trend). Is he going to continue to be a defensive liability? Yes, he will. My personal preference would be to have G, Schenn, Couturier and Talbot down the middle with Hartnell, Simmonds, Voracek and (yes) JvR playing wing in the top six. I'm not sure who the other wing is on the third line, which is another indication that the Flyers aren't necessarily "too deep" up front.

I don't know what you do about Briere's contract, which is a pretty significant obstacle to the center line up I'd prefer but I truly think the Flyers would be a better team with that line up, even putting aside what you could do with the cap space (huge). If the new CBA allows them to buy him out, they should do it. Also, I see plenty of chatter about "getting rid of" JvR, where the premise seems to be that they need to punish him for being lazy or injured or because he appeared in a local bar wearing a blazer. It really puts the cart before the horse because it starts with "punishing" rather than addressing a need. Unlike some fans, I doubt Homer is in any rush to trade JvR.

All of this said, with regard to your list, I would move Read for sure to address a more pressing need, like say a top 4 defenseman (it won't happen even up, but you get my meaning). I might consider moving JvR for a true top 4 defenseman if Jagr is resigned but would not move him for a pick or prospect unless I was certain that player would be in the line up next season. I would probably not move Schenn in a deal for anything less than a true #1 defenseman.

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Thanks for the welcome! I agree with the points made. I do not think Jagr returns next year which takes a winger away from our top 6, I agree with thoughts about Danny B also. He is vastly overpaid for the type of seasons he has and is not getting younger, would much rather use his cap space else where to fix other needs. Plus as you made mention we are stacked down the middle with great young promising talent. As for JVR, I see your point that if Jagr leaves, a spot opens up in our top 6 and could be filled by him, question still arises can he even play big enough to fill that spot, he is very soft majority of the time, but on the plus side he is still young so there is still time. I am hesitant on trading him but also hesitant on keeping him as well, heres why. I feel if we trade him he will come back to bite us in our rear (see Patrick Sharp and how he has developed) and all of Philly will regret it, but if we do not trade him then I have a feeling the hockey gods will curse us and not let him develop into what he is supposed to become.

Thanks for the posts and reads! love the insight by people!

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IS TOO MUCH SCORING DEPTH A BAD THING?

without reading any of the other posts, my answer is yes, BUT only if it comes at the expense of other departments. Striking a balance is key as this season exposed. When you rely to heavily on any one aspect of the game and the other team figures out how to neutralize your strength, in this case the Flyers' offense, then you need to be able to fall back on D to keep you in the game. The opposite is also true, the greatest amount of D doesn't mean anything if your team can't score, as the Phillies showed us last season.

having a lot of anything isn't the detriment though, it would be only if it makes you weak in other areas.

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