Calgarypuck Forums - The Unofficial Calgary Flames Fan Community
Old 07-05-2019, 10:29 AM   #1
Flames Draft Watcher
Franchise Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Exp:
Default Reimagining the Top 9

1. Centre depth seems to be an issue. Backlund in an ideal world would be a fantastic #3.
2. Right after the playoffs Bill Peters talked about moving Lindholm to centre.

Which leads me to imagine the following lines.

Gaudreau-Lindholm-Tkachuk
Bennett-Monahan-Czarnik/Dube/Mangiapane
Dube/Mangiapane-Backlund-????

1. This puts Gaudreau with our two most skilled players who have some grit. It puts Gaudreau with our best power forward, our two best net crashers, two of our best forwards along the boards. IMO this line maximizes Gaudreau and puts two skilled players who have the grit and physicality that Gaudreau completely lacks.
2. This asks Monahan to be the man on his line and step up and lead. This might allow Monahan to stop deferring to Gaudreau and to round out his game. Gives a good offensive opportunity to whichever of Bennett, Mangiapane, Czarnik or Dube who make that line.
3. This slots Backlund in at 3rd line centre which allows Peters to have an elite two way checking line while still constructing two scoring lines

Problem? Canít really fit Neal in

Thoughts? Bill Peters know what we have in Gaudreau-Monahan and Tkachuk-Backlund. Itís time to find some other combos that wonít be as easily neutralized in the playoffs
Flames Draft Watcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 10:30 AM   #2
TheScorpion
First round-bust
 
TheScorpion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: working to confirm
Exp:
Default

Just slot Neal on the third line to start and give him a shot to continue his progress from the end of the regular season last year. If he fails, maybe try Ryan there?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kybb79 View Post
TO will never trade Kadri.
TheScorpion is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TheScorpion For This Useful Post:
Old 07-05-2019, 10:39 AM   #3
CalgaryFan1988
Franchise Player
 
CalgaryFan1988's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Back in Ottawa
Exp:
Default

Just my opinion, but I can't really see them splitting up Monahan and Gaudreau long term and I can't see Lindholm going from arguably the least productive on the top line, to top line center.

The way I see it until the inevitable trades occur;

Gaudreau - Monahan - Bennett

Tkachuk - Lindholm - Frolik

Jankowski - Backlund - Neal


I think Neal is a lock as the third line RW to start the season.
CalgaryFan1988 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CalgaryFan1988 For This Useful Post:
Old 07-05-2019, 10:43 AM   #4
btimbit
Franchise Player
 
btimbit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Calgary
Exp:
Default

I'll believe breaking up the first line when I see it. Barring a trade I'd assume the plan for centre depth is hope Jankowski and Dube continue to grow

Gaudreau - Monahan - Lindholm
Bennett - Backlund - Tkachuk
Mangiapane - Ryan - Neal
Jankowski - Dube - Czarnik

Obviously in this scenario assuming Frolik is gone and any trades that happen dont include a forward coming back

Last edited by btimbit; 07-05-2019 at 10:46 AM.
btimbit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 10:53 AM   #5
Harry Lime
First Line Centre
 
Harry Lime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Exp:
Default

Absolutely in favour of breaking up Gaudreau and Monahan. I understand the difficulty in breaking up a pairing that has worked so well. My reasoning is that the two of them together are in fact holding back some of Monahans progression, as he is tasked with following Johnnys lead. I think that he is capable of being a line driver, and putting him in the back seat is doing the team a disservice.

Tkachuk has also been held back playing with Backlund, who just doesn't have the offensive capability to finish the fast passes that Tkachuk thrives on. Monahan has those hands.

I would round out the right wing with Bennett on the second line, as he would complement Tkachuk with his boardwork, and make room for Monahan, hopefully keeping him healthy.

Lastly I would look at Mangiapane or Dube on the top line. Flames fans hate 'gifting' players, but there is speed and tenacity to spare with both of them.


Gaudreau-Lindholm-Dube/Mangiapane
Tkachuk-Monahan-Bennett
Dube Mangiapane-Backlund-Neal
__________________
"Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol." - Steve Martin
Harry Lime is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Harry Lime For This Useful Post:
Old 07-05-2019, 10:59 AM   #6
djsFlames
Franchise Player
 
djsFlames's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Where opinions are fact
Exp:
Default

I'm also in favor of breaking up Johnny/Mony to start the season.

Work them with different guys until you form some new pairings.

It's training Monahan into a low possession player (because Gaudreau has the puck so much) when I think he could become much more effective developing that part of his game with someone else. And they have spurts when Gaudreau isn't high on confidence where that causes Monahan's game to suffer as well.

You might find something that works better with a Monahan-Tkachuk pairing given Tkachuk's ability to work behind the net and thread passes, and working Gaudreau with, say, Bennett and Lindholm. Or hell, even Neal.

With different pairings that you give enough time to form you potentially find a different dynamic that may not falter quite as easily as the current setup did in April.
djsFlames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:02 AM   #7
Monahammer
Powerplay Quarterback
 
Monahammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: St. Albert (Calgary-Jr.)
Exp:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheScorpion View Post
Just slot Neal on the third line to start and give him a shot to continue his progress from the end of the regular season last year. If he fails, maybe try Ryan there?
I've seen people talk about Neal's "progress" at the end of last season, but I think it's revisionist...

Outside of a 3-game road trip to California (end of March, 4 points) and a 3 game streak at the very beginning of February, Neal was pretty terrible in 2019.
He only recorded points in 9/24 games he played (9/29 if you include his terrible playoff performance.)
It was so bad that he was healthy scratched in our last playoff game. I can't stress how terrible that is for what he was supposed to bring in.

It's disingenuous to say Neal made anything resembling "progress" at any point last season. His scoring seems to get better the further south he travels, and I don't think that's necessarily a coincidence. Unless he comes into camp a new man, with new motivation and a willingness to get over himself and play more of a role, I severely doubt his ability to hang on the third line.
Monahammer is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Monahammer For This Useful Post:
Old 07-05-2019, 11:13 AM   #8
TheScorpion
First round-bust
 
TheScorpion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: working to confirm
Exp:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monahammer View Post
I've seen people talk about Neal's "progress" at the end of last season, but I think it's revisionist...

Outside of a 3-game road trip to California (end of March, 4 points) and a 3 game streak at the very beginning of February, Neal was pretty terrible in 2019.
He only recorded points in 9/24 games he played (9/29 if you include his terrible playoff performance.)
It was so bad that he was healthy scratched in our last playoff game. I can't stress how terrible that is for what he was supposed to bring in.

It's disingenuous to say Neal made anything resembling "progress" at any point last season. His scoring seems to get better the further south he travels, and I don't think that's necessarily a coincidence. Unless he comes into camp a new man, with new motivation and a willingness to get over himself and play more of a role, I severely doubt his ability to hang on the third line.
I don't think it's that revisionist... 12 points in 25 games to end the season. Yeah, the playoffs were bad, but they were bad for the whole team. It's not Neal's fault the Flames got run out of the series.

I think it's worth a shot.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kybb79 View Post
TO will never trade Kadri.
TheScorpion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:19 AM   #9
FanIn80
GOAT!
 
FanIn80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Exp:
Default

Unless we add another top-six forward (or two), I’d like to see:

Gaudreau Monahan Tkachuk
Mangiapane Lindholm Bennett

(I think it’s pretty obvious we need to add at least one top-six forward.)
FanIn80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:20 AM   #10
Rick M.
First Line Centre
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Exp:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djsFlames View Post
I'm also in favor of breaking up Johnny/Mony to start the season.

Work them with different guys until you form some new pairings.

It's training Monahan into a low possession player (because Gaudreau has the puck so much) when I think he could become much more effective developing that part of his game with someone else. And they have spurts when Gaudreau isn't high on confidence where that causes Monahan's game to suffer as well.

You might find something that works better with a Monahan-Tkachuk pairing given Tkachuk's ability to work behind the net and thread passes, and working Gaudreau with, say, Bennett and Lindholm. Or hell, even Neal.

With different pairings that you give enough time to form you potentially find a different dynamic that may not falter quite as easily as the current setup did in April.

I only want Tkachuk paired with Monahan if both improve their skating over the summer.
Rick M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:20 AM   #11
bubbsy
Franchise Player
 
bubbsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Exp:
Default

I've got to be honest, i have never ever considered separating Gaudreau and Monahan. They have been a duo making up a top5 line in the entire league for the last 3 seasons.

That being said, i would be very curious to see what Monahan can do manning his own line
bubbsy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:23 AM   #12
Imported_Aussie
First Line Centre
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Exp:
Default

If I am splitting up Monahan and Gaudreau, to give Lindholm a shot at centre, i feel the 3rd guy on that line needs to be able to shoot the puck, but also have the wheels to keep up. Not sure there is anyone who fits that 100% for the Flames right now, but perhaps running Mangiapane up there may be a fit. The other guy who might work, for different reasons, would be Bennett - those different reasons being being more gritty and I feel he works well with Gaudreau.

As Monahan has a good shot, and will go into scoring areas, he would benefit from a winger who has good tactical awareness - so I am pairing him with Tkachuk. This is also where I see Neal fitting, as with Monahan and Tkachuk, this line will be more of a "set up in the zone" line - with the top line being a transition line. Feed this 2nd line O-zone starts against lower units.

The third line would be the two way powerhouse, built around Backlund.

Gaudreau - Lindholm - Mangiapane/Trade target
Tkachuk - Monahan - Neal
Bennett - Backlund - Dube/Mangiapane

That then means Jankowski shifts to 4RW beside Ryan. The other guy on that line depends on whether a new forward is brought in via trade or not. Dube could end up here, but I do think Mangiapane needs to move up the lineup. The team was patient, he earned the promotion through hard work and skill.

This all assumes that Frolik is gone - if he is still here, then he is the 3RW
Imported_Aussie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:24 AM   #13
shutout
Powerplay Quarterback
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Exp:
Default

Unless you play Neal with a playmaker he will not realize any of his former potential. Players that only have the ability to finish need to be put in situations where they can use that skill set or they wont be productive.

I would put Neal with Gaudreau and Lindholm. Two skilled players that can get him the puck. As long as Neal's skating and conditioning is a focus for him this off season he should be able to play with those two. They are high IQ and he knows where to go to score goals.

That drops Tkachuk down to play with Monahan. The skills and high IQ from Tkachuk will still allow the puck to end up on Monahan's stick in goal scoring situations. I would play Mangiapane with those two, and have Tkachuk on the right side. Tkachuk and Mangiapane will hopefully help Monahan become more involved in games and less of a peripheral personality.

That puts Bennett with Dube and Backlund for the checking line. Creating havoc, skating hard and forechecking, with the maturity and mentality that Backlund provides and I can see this group giving other teams top lines fits being matched up against.

Gives Ryan options like Czarnik and Jankowski on his wings that have skill enough but need the extra time to process the play to be effective. They have the elements to be able to outscore other teams fourth lines, while being skilled enough penalty killers that you wont be afraid of them being caught out against another teams top lines.

Gaudreau - Lindholm - Neal
Mangiapane - Monahan - Tkachuk
Dube - Backlund - Bennett
Jankowski - Ryan - Czarnik

If Neal does arrive in camp not able to keep up than I think it is because he is just not an NHL player anymore. Last year were some excuses, this year there aren't. Play him to his strengths and see if he can succeed. Playing with guys like Bennett and Jankowski that can create offense just inhibits his ability to create.
__________________
'Skank' Marden: I play hockey and I fornicate, 'cause those are the two most fun things to do in cold weather. - Mystery Alaska
shutout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:25 AM   #14
SeanCharles
Powerplay Quarterback
 
SeanCharles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Exp:
Default

Its disappointing we will likely be stuck with Neal and he doesn't really fit in on this team. We need a serious overhaul of our RW situation.
SeanCharles is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to SeanCharles For This Useful Post:
Old 07-05-2019, 11:27 AM   #15
FanIn80
GOAT!
 
FanIn80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Exp:
Default

Call me crazy, but I’m predicting a Neal bounce back season.
FanIn80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 11:39 AM   #16
Monahammer
Powerplay Quarterback
 
Monahammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: St. Albert (Calgary-Jr.)
Exp:
Default

It would be incredibly exciting if Neal did turn around and have a great season, but I personally saw no signs of that through last season. Dare to dream though!

On another note, Tkachuk-Monahan-Neal would be among the slowest lines in the league lol.
Monahammer is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Monahammer For This Useful Post:
Old 07-05-2019, 11:47 AM   #17
djsFlames
Franchise Player
 
djsFlames's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Where opinions are fact
Exp:
Default

Neal would have to approach his game quite radically different than he did last season to suddenly become a contributing factor worthy of slotting into the top 6.

There was no signs there all year of a guy that could contribute on a nightly basis, outside of that one week in march when he mustered a bit more determination for a few games and decided to use his body.

Half of his handful of goals were even weird ones or flubs, where he didn't get a clean shot off. Not the way of a goalscorer.

Can he do it? Sure. But it'll take a different mindset, and probably an improved fitness level to help offset how he's slowed down with age. Does he love the game enough still, and want it enough to do it? Not sure.

Last edited by djsFlames; 07-05-2019 at 11:53 AM.
djsFlames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 12:10 PM   #18
New Era
Franchise Player
 
New Era's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Exp:
Default

Bennett anywhere near the top six is a massive fail. Same with Czarnik. Both are bottom six players and have too many gaps in their games to work in the top six. Donít fix what ainít broke. Find ways to improve the bottom six by forcing a top six player down, or finding a younger player like Dube or Mangipagne to step up.
New Era is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2019, 12:13 PM   #19
CN10
Backup Goalie
 
CN10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Calgary
Exp:
Default

It's not so much a problem with the center ice position specifically, just that we are still missing a clear cut top 6 forward (RW or C). Neal and Lindholm were brought in last off season to address the issue and one guy did not deliver. It also doesn't help that Bennett is trending to be a middle six utility guy rather than line driving top 6 forward that his draft position lead us to believe he would be.

Assuming we don't see any changes to the forward group from last year, I wonder if Peters doesn't try both Lindholm and perhaps even Bennett back at C during training camp. He also did mention that he would look at Tkachuk on the right side last year but we didn't see much of it. If nothing else, maybe Ryan's play late last season warrants a look for him in the middle six as well (he did put up nearly 0.5PPG the last two seasons).

I hope they at least experiment with the following lineup combinations that I don't think we've seen before during preseason to find out what else besides Gaudreau-Monahan and Tkachuk-Backlund might work in the top 6.

This relies on Neal's return to 20-25G, 40-50P pace of seasons past:
Gaudreau - Lindholm - Neal
Tkachuk - Monahan - Ryan
Bennett - Backlund - Frolik
Mangiapane - Jankowski - Czarnik

This relies on Bennett becoming at least the about 50 point C he was drafted to be (perhaps he could between these two elite wingers):
Gaudreau - Bennett - Tkachuk
Dube - Monahan - Lindholm
Jankowski - Backlund - Frolik
Mangiapane - Ryan - Neal

Perhaps the answer lies in adding Gaudreau to the Tkachuk-Backlund pairing.
This works if either Johnny or Tkachuk are up to playing on the right hand side and Bennett's play from the playoff series at least partially carries over:
Gaudreau/Tkachuk - Backlund - Tkachuk/Gaudreau
Bennett - Monahan - Lindholm
Dube - Jankowski - Frolik
Mangiapane - Ryan - Neal

This is a likely set up going with what worked (in the regular season) with a small adjustment breaking up Janko-Neal as that combination was an anchor. Neal needs a quick player who can get him the puck in scoring areas and I think Ryan combined with a nearly playoff-mode Bennett (hopefully we see progression from him) could be those guys:
Gaudreau - Monahan - Lindholm
Tkachuk - Backlund - Frolik
Bennett - Ryan - Neal
Mangiapane - Jankowski - Czarnik
CN10 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to CN10 For This Useful Post:
Old 07-05-2019, 12:15 PM   #20
Iceman57
Scoring Winger
 
Iceman57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Exp:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCharles View Post
Its disappointing we will likely be stuck with Neal and he doesn't really fit in on this team. We need a serious overhaul of our RW situation.
After taking a closer look, I wholeheartedly agree, you sir are correct. I also agree with some others in believing a 1st line of JG, Lindholm & Tkachuk would prolly pretty dam great!

Gaudreau - Lindholm - Tkachuk
Dube - Monahan - Bennett
Jankowski - Backlund - Neal/Czarnik
Mangiapane - Ryan - Trade acquisition with SIZE!
__________________
Iceman57 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Iceman57 For This Useful Post:
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:59 AM.

Calgary Flames
2017-18




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Calgarypuck 2016