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pilldoc

Round 2: Flyers vs Islanders Thread

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How often are captains stripped of their C while they remain on the team though? That seems a very rare occurrence to me. I feel like Giroux will remain captain until at least his contract is up, and possibly up until he is moved (if he's ever moved). 

 

I get the frustration, and I'm not saying I disagree with it. I just can't remember the last time someone would have lost their C while still being a member of the team.

 

As far as the off season goes, my guess is both Jake and JVR will be gone somehow. And frankly, that's exactly what should happen.

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17 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

Benn

 

Oh right, I think I remember him. It's the guy who always takes the puck, chips it on the corner and then go lazily for a line change.

 

 

29 minutes ago, elmatus said:

How often are captains stripped of their C while they remain on the team though? That seems a very rare occurrence to me.

 

The only case I have in mind is when Modano was stripped of the captaincy for Morrow, when Modano started to decline and went more to a bottom-6 role.

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Here is a little of an article on AV and his usage.

 

Nate Thompson’s usage

Let’s start with a particularly intense debate: Nate Thompson’s continued presence in the lineup.

 

By the numbers, it’s easy to see why so many statistically inclined fans wanted him scratched. Thompson scored just one point — a goal in the first round-robin game against Boston — in the postseason. The Flyers lost the shot-attempts battle 140 to 82 at even strength when he skated (35.67 percent share). They lost the expected goals battle 6.65 to 3.80 (36.36 percent share). They were outscored 5-2. They didn’t come close to controlling the territorial battle when he played — in fact, they got buried.

 

Yet as more talented forwards like James van Riemsdyk and Joel Farabee were scratched on occasion, there was Thompson, always in his Line 4 center spot. Why did Vigneault stick with Thompson in all 16 postseason games, despite his surface-level poor results?

 

“Nate’s obviously, at five-on-five and penalty killing, a big faceoff guy,” Vigneault said before Game 6 against the Islanders. “At this time of the year — and we’ve been a good faceoff team all year long — but at this time of the year, there’s a little bit more permitted on faceoffs to get to the 50/50 pucks. He’s a good faceoff man, he’s dependable, and he’s a great team player. We feel that we’re a better team with him in our lineup.”

 

Let’s read between the lines here, combined with some good old common sense. For Vigneault, Thompson brought the aforementioned faceoff prowess (team-high 60.12 percent success rate in the playoffs), penalty-killing ability and the defensive role he played at even strength. The three were linked, of course; Thompson’s ability to win draws surely played into why he was used so often on the penalty kill and why he was given so many defensive zone draws at even strength (56). But they were distinct, as well: Vigneault wanted a reliable faceoff taker, a PK specialist and a center he could trust to take on secondary shutdown duties against top lines.

 

It’s the third point that likely speaks to why Vigneault didn’t just replace Thompson with rookies such as Connor Bunnaman or Morgan Frost, or even Michael Raffl, a wing capable of playing the middle in a pinch. Based on Thompson receiving a whopping 63.9 percent of his five-on-five minutes in the Islanders series against either Mathew Barzal or Brock Nelson, it’s clear Vigneault wanted to send his fourth line out against top forwards, asking it to “eat” those minutes, which in turn opened up more favorable matchups for the Flyers’ stars. Players like Bunnaman, Frost and (to a lesser extent as a result of the unnatural position) Raffl were not going to be trusted in such a role.

 

There were a couple of problems with the strategy, however.

First, while deploying Thompson in this fashion did open up easier shifts for Sean Couturier and company — the Flyers’ 1C spent more time against Islanders fourth-line center Casey Cizikas at five-on-five (24:31) than Barzal (20:18) — the top line didn’t take advantage. Yes, Philadelphia outshot New York 27-11 when Couturier went head-to-head with Cizikas, but it was outscored 1-0 during that time. All of those easier shifts for Couturier earned by Thompson chewing up minutes were ultimately wasted. Functionally, the plan failed.

 

Then, there’s the philosophical issue with the strategy. One of the Flyers’ biggest strengths entering the postseason was forward depth. They could attack teams in constant waves of offense with high-end weapons on each line. Instead, Vigneault turned the fourth line into a forechecking-and-defense unit, sacrificing a potential strength to maximize the contributions of his top guys. It made the Flyers a three-line team, at least in terms of goal scoring, which became especially noticeable due to Vigneault’s long-standing propensity to roll four lines in the playoffs.

 

Thompson averaged 11:13 per game at even strength in the postseason — that’s over one-sixth of the game in which the Flyers more or less knew they weren’t going to score goals and were going to be throttled from a play-driving standpoint.

 

Vigneault’s Thompson strategy wasn’t without merit, even if I thought the Flyers should go all-in on their depth advantage rather than putting even more of the load on their stars. After all, a similar strategy worked well for his best Vancouver teams, with the Sedin twins taking on the Couturier/Claude Giroux role and Manny Malhotra in Thompson’s spot. This time, however, it didn’t.

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1 hour ago, elmatus said:

I just can't remember the last time someone would have lost their C while still being a member of the team.

 

There was this one guy who wore 88...

 

Granted he then was traded but did play for them (yes, one game...) after he lost it.

 

The guy that followed him gave it up after a year and stuck around.

 

No, I don't see them taking it off G without moving him.

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1 hour ago, OccamsRazor said:

Here is a little of an article on AV and his usage.

 

Nate Thompson’s usage

Let’s start with a particularly intense debate: Nate Thompson’s continued presence in the lineup.

 

By the numbers, it’s easy to see why so many statistically inclined fans wanted him scratched. Thompson scored just one point — a goal in the first round-robin game against Boston — in the postseason. The Flyers lost the shot-attempts battle 140 to 82 at even strength when he skated (35.67 percent share). They lost the expected goals battle 6.65 to 3.80 (36.36 percent share). They were outscored 5-2. They didn’t come close to controlling the territorial battle when he played — in fact, they got buried.

 

Yet as more talented forwards like James van Riemsdyk and Joel Farabee were scratched on occasion, there was Thompson, always in his Line 4 center spot. Why did Vigneault stick with Thompson in all 16 postseason games, despite his surface-level poor results?

 

“Nate’s obviously, at five-on-five and penalty killing, a big faceoff guy,” Vigneault said before Game 6 against the Islanders. “At this time of the year — and we’ve been a good faceoff team all year long — but at this time of the year, there’s a little bit more permitted on faceoffs to get to the 50/50 pucks. He’s a good faceoff man, he’s dependable, and he’s a great team player. We feel that we’re a better team with him in our lineup.”

 

Let’s read between the lines here, combined with some good old common sense. For Vigneault, Thompson brought the aforementioned faceoff prowess (team-high 60.12 percent success rate in the playoffs), penalty-killing ability and the defensive role he played at even strength. The three were linked, of course; Thompson’s ability to win draws surely played into why he was used so often on the penalty kill and why he was given so many defensive zone draws at even strength (56). But they were distinct, as well: Vigneault wanted a reliable faceoff taker, a PK specialist and a center he could trust to take on secondary shutdown duties against top lines.

 

It’s the third point that likely speaks to why Vigneault didn’t just replace Thompson with rookies such as Connor Bunnaman or Morgan Frost, or even Michael Raffl, a wing capable of playing the middle in a pinch. Based on Thompson receiving a whopping 63.9 percent of his five-on-five minutes in the Islanders series against either Mathew Barzal or Brock Nelson, it’s clear Vigneault wanted to send his fourth line out against top forwards, asking it to “eat” those minutes, which in turn opened up more favorable matchups for the Flyers’ stars. Players like Bunnaman, Frost and (to a lesser extent as a result of the unnatural position) Raffl were not going to be trusted in such a role.

 

There were a couple of problems with the strategy, however.

First, while deploying Thompson in this fashion did open up easier shifts for Sean Couturier and company — the Flyers’ 1C spent more time against Islanders fourth-line center Casey Cizikas at five-on-five (24:31) than Barzal (20:18) — the top line didn’t take advantage. Yes, Philadelphia outshot New York 27-11 when Couturier went head-to-head with Cizikas, but it was outscored 1-0 during that time. All of those easier shifts for Couturier earned by Thompson chewing up minutes were ultimately wasted. Functionally, the plan failed.

 

Then, there’s the philosophical issue with the strategy. One of the Flyers’ biggest strengths entering the postseason was forward depth. They could attack teams in constant waves of offense with high-end weapons on each line. Instead, Vigneault turned the fourth line into a forechecking-and-defense unit, sacrificing a potential strength to maximize the contributions of his top guys. It made the Flyers a three-line team, at least in terms of goal scoring, which became especially noticeable due to Vigneault’s long-standing propensity to roll four lines in the playoffs.

 

Thompson averaged 11:13 per game at even strength in the postseason — that’s over one-sixth of the game in which the Flyers more or less knew they weren’t going to score goals and were going to be throttled from a play-driving standpoint.

 

Vigneault’s Thompson strategy wasn’t without merit, even if I thought the Flyers should go all-in on their depth advantage rather than putting even more of the load on their stars. After all, a similar strategy worked well for his best Vancouver teams, with the Sedin twins taking on the Couturier/Claude Giroux role and Manny Malhotra in Thompson’s spot. This time, however, it didn’t.


You can counter the whole ‘problem with this strategy” argument with 3 words...Defense Wins Championships. 

IMHO, the Flyers lost because of 2 reasons:

1.  The offense dried up.  The top scorers on the team went AWOL.  The Flyers only scored 38 goals in 16 games compared to Tampa who scored 47 goals in 2 fewer games, or even the Islanders who scored 54 goals in 16 games.  

2.  Special teams.  The power play was beyond abysmal.

 

 

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1 hour ago, AlaskaFlyerFan said:


You can counter the whole ‘problem with this strategy” argument with 3 words...Defense Wins Championships. 

IMHO, the Flyers lost because of 2 reasons:

1.  The offense dried up.  The top scorers on the team went AWOL.  The Flyers only scored 38 goals in 16 games compared to Tampa who scored 47 goals in 2 fewer games, or even the Islanders who scored 54 goals in 16 games.  

2.  Special teams.  The power play was beyond abysmal.

 

 

 

Sure so let's bring em all back and let's do it again....what say you?

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