Cheech For The Top?


My biggest worry from that game was Cheechoo.

I want him to succeed, for a number of reasons, not just because he’s a Sen, but I have ZERO faith in his doing so in a 3rd line role.

In many ways it’s a catch-22 for Cheechoo.

He has to show he’s worth top 6 minutes, but he doesn’t have the individual skill to do that from the third line.

He’s a sniper, and like any sniper asked to play 10 min. a game, without PP time, and Shannon as a centre…do you think they would look impressive?
I sure don’t.

To me, Cheechoo either has to be waived, traded, or played on the top 6.
To do anything else is only to risk making him beyond moveable, while stunting the development of another player who does have a future on this team.

My suggestion, move Regin (I like Marmaduke) to the 3rd line, where he will face other players of less skill, and still play with solid linemates. Let Cheechoo play the wing on the top line. Let Mich play on the second line with Fish and Kovalev. To me, that’s the combo you want to have succeed, so why not test it now, and if it fails, then come up with the work-around.

Or, as soon as a team losses a top 6 player to injury, waive or trade him, and bring up one of Zubov, Bass or Smith.

Putting a player into a postion in which he can never flourish is counterproductive, to both the player, and the team.

Just a thought.

GN

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13 Responses to “Cheech For The Top?”

  1. I agree Gerald!

    Cheech/Spez/Alfie
    Mich/Fish/Kovy
    Foligno/Regen/Shannon
    Biter/Plugger/Pugilist

    I believe Cheech can get 20 to 30 goals again, but not on the third line. And anything else looks bad for everyone (especially BM and CC).

    I would hate to see him waived though and a trade wouldn’t get much right now.

    He is a goal scorer and must be utilized correctly to be effective.

    Here’s hoping this is CC’s plan B!!! Or else the negativity and lack of productivity could drag us down very quickly.

  2. Michalek is best suited with Alfie and Spezz. We saw flashes of their magic in preseason and even last night. I wouldn’t mind putting him on 2nd line but then again Fish and Regin are great together, come to think of it he has no place on the team and imo Foligno deserves a top 6 chance more than him but won’t get it because of Regin and Kovalev. Its nice to have so many choices but then again not everyone gets the chance they deserve

    And lol @ your 4th line Oman

  3. GelatinousMutantCoconut Says:

    I know there are only so many minutes to give out….but Foligno-Shannon-Cheechoo have the potential to be second-line calibre, though third on the depth chart. I’m not ready to mix up the lines just yet, however, I would like to see one minor change back

    Michalek-Spezza-Alfredsson
    Kovalev-Shannon-Cheechoo
    Foligno-Regin-Fisher

    These combination’s seem to produce more offense, albeit in the pre-season. Kovalev becomes the “elite” set-up man Cheechoo needs.

    Also, give Cheech a chance on the first power-play unit with Spezza.

    Michalek-Spezza-Cheechoo
    Alfredsson-Kuba

    Foligno-Shannon-Kovalev
    Karlsson-Campoli

    If after given time to gel, with top-6 and power-play time, he still struggles…then panic…

  4. I guess for me, it comes down to best case vs best case.
    Best case Regin scores 20 goals on the second line, 15 on the 3rd.
    Best case Cheechoo scores 35 goals 1st line, 10 3rd line.
    If Cheechoo isn’t able to play on the 1st line, why bother having him take up space on the third? Waive him, or trade him, but at least let him prove he can or can’t play on the top 2 lines first.
    I really don’t see Regin as anything special on the second line (yet). I like him, but he’s not exactly anything special, but Cheech has proven to be in the past. Would Regin really be stunted in his development playing on the third line? I certainly don’t think so.
    I suspect Mich is on the top line to provide some speed and 2 way pay, which are both lacking from Cheech, more so than for his raw sniping ability.
    I do believe Mich would play better with the more physical Fisher, and puck controlling Kovy, but that’s just a hunch, and we all have a right to our own view on line ups.
    In the end, I just want to know that Creech is, or is not worth having on the roster. If he’s not…fine, too bad, but fine, let’s just accept it and move on. But putting him in a situation whereby he has never had success seems to be a method for madness, and nobody is going to be fooled into thinking he had a good shot to succeed playing on the third line.
    Is this just management trying to hide the fact Creech is washed up?
    I say let him sink or swim, or, if it has been decided he can’t swim, just bite the bullet and move on, or risk creating or exacerbating a bad situation.
    GN

  5. Ok Mr. Coconut. Good thinking. I could live with that too. Might be hard politically though to put Fish on the 3rd. And the whole preseason thing with Fish and Regen may be a bit unrealistic. Preseason and actual season, when points are on the line, are two different things.

    Either way, one of the keys will be to give the top three lines lots of ice time (almost equal). They actually have the potential now to roll 4 lines pretty steady. That could be a big boost in energy that they’ve been lacking with the big Pizza Pizza line.

    • GelatinousMutantCoconut Says:

      I’m not trying to demote Fisher. Nor do I expect to him become a 30-40 goal scorer with Regin. But they do have chemistry, and Fisher is more effective on the wing.

      Like you said, the Sens have the ability to roll four lines consistently.

      I don’t really see Foligno-Regin-Fisher as a 3rd line…I see it more like like 2b. Whereas Kovalev-Shannon-Cheechoo is line 2b. And Ruutu-Kelly-Neil is line 3….

      Anyway, it’s good that we have these questions…this much depth is a blessing.

  6. Master of Puppets Says:

    Cheechoo with Kovalev. If the later will pass the puck 🙂 . Sometimes he rags it too much. He is a bit slower and can dangle it long enough for Cheech to get into a shooting position. I will say this – at least Cheech will hit, so having Fish and Cheech with Kovy (who’s takin it easy on his old body), will have 2 hitters on the line. Flash (Kovy), Dash (Fisher), n Crash (Cheechoo).

    Kelly, Neil and Ruuuuuuuuutu also had a couple of good shifts last night, so the new cash line ($/minute played) may pot some key markers here and there.

    Bring on the Laffs …

  7. Why try and re-invent the wheel? In San Jose last year, they already did all the “research” with Cheechoo. That’s why they insisted he be part of the deal when BM had his nuts in a vice. Cheechoo is just too slow to keep up with Top 6 forwards (yes, he’s even slower than whiny-pants #15) and even in his 56 goal year, he wasn’t really a super sniper. He got a boat-load of goals by crashing the net, getting his nose dirty, deflecting shots with various parts of his body. That was pre-injuries. He’s not a sniper like whiny-pants that can wait in the high slot or beside the net with his stick in the air.
    The Sharks figured out the best they could do with him was put him on the 3rd line and have him be a checker that is reasonably effective but massively overpaid. He gives 100% every night…honestly, even on the nights he looks invisible. What you see is what you get. You know what player he actually is most similar to? Denis Hamel. If he had been extremely lucky and scored his 56 goals in the NHL and not the AHL a few years ago, he’d have received a big fat contract and put his GM in the same predicament. Good hands, good attitude, not afraid to use his body…just not fast enough for today’s NHL.
    I predict the Sens will either try and tough it out through the last 2 years of Cheechoo’s contract (hoping for flashes of brilliance) or buy him out after this year. I don’t think they’ll waive him because no-one will pick him up and there is no way Melnyk is paying that much money to re-assign him to Bingo. It would just be emabarrassing to Cheechoo to go through that and end up back with the team.
    I honestly think the Sens have to live with him where he is for a while…and move the other players around him as needed. Every now and then he’ll get a shot to move up for short stints (injuries, someone underperforming, he’s showing flashes) but not for long.

    BTW, I’ve never seen a funnier and shorter description of the 4th line (Oman)…BRILLIANT!

  8. Thanks Sacul, I was inspired by Gerald’s title. Lol.

    And you could be right. Maybe we’d be trying to turn lead (back) into gold, but I’d still love to see Cheech get a chance to regain his form with a playmaker like Spez or even Kovy.

  9. Let’s face it guys…”it’s over!”

    Athletic injury is a terrible thing, sometimes ya recover sometimes you don’t. How do you think Cheech feels, he knows he’s done!

    • Nik, I’m not ready to call him washed up yet, he was never fleet of foot, and SA injuries are manageable, if it were really that bad, they should send him for surgery and take the LTIR money rather than pay him to take up splace on the third line.
      GN

  10. With all due respect – I think Kovalev is the better prospect to be the sniper on the top line – his shot (slap or wrist) is almost as good as “He who cannot be named” – all he has to do is get the puck to Alfie or Spezza and go to an open space for the return pass – hell he can even hold his stick at ear level to let everyone know the pass is coming to him (that wasn’t too bitter was it?}

    I’m afraid Cheechoo’s job is to get 20 – 25 goals on the third line – if not Donovan’s going to take his place (ouch!) as he has speed and is bigger

    PS: I think Michalek is better suited to playing with Regin and Fisher who (like him) have wheels and go to the net. They also have the size and strength to set up a cycle game when they have to dump the puck in

    Too bad we couldn’t have kept Comrie – he signed with the Oil for a million – I would be much more comfortable with him playing 3rd line center than Shannon (who God love him makes Gionti look big)

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