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Player Discussion: Bryan Little

Discussion in 'Winnipeg Jets' started by HPsauce, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. HPsauce

    HPsauce Registered User

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    Feel free to merge this with another thread if needed.

    I'd like to put the idea out there that Little has officially lost a step. Rightfully so for someone who has had the injuries that he has sustained over the past two seasons. He's mobility in his back looks to be completely gone and he's not really able to reach backwards at all. Can't really bend his legs as he always needs his back to be almost upright.

    Little used to be our best player at suppressing other teams break outs, he was always able to close a gap quickly on the forecheck and was great at rolling off bodies and controlling the puck.

    It looks like these days he's having trouble reacting to plays quick enough, I assume it's because he's in some considerable pain while he's playing.

    You'll noticed that there are a number of plays were Little can't keep the puck moving in the right direction takes too long to gather in a pass and secure the puck. Maybe he's just dealing with a little bump or bruise... But this seems to be a bit consistent now.

    Playing an aging vet that has lack of mobility with two young up and coming stars does seems a bit off.
     
  2. GNP

    GNP Here Comes the Jets -look out hockey world !!!

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    It does seem to me like Little is not really effective so far this year, especially compared to last year, when he closed out the year quite strong.

    What I'd like to see is when Perrault gets back, send Little down to the 3rd line, and have Perrault center Ehlers and Laine. I'd like to see that second line start producing. I don't see no harm in Maurice doing a little line shuffling.
     
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  3. Daximus

    Daximus Aces Charles Sponsor

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    Perreault has stated before he doesn't like playing C and we've seen he's not very effective there. I can't see the coach putting a player in a position he doesn't feel comfortable in. Especially after the Trouba and Buff debacle.
     
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  4. ATLbound

    ATLbound Registered User

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    Doubtful. He is still only 29. He finished last year very strong, I don't think he just lost a step. There have been maybe 2-3 games this year where I liked his game and he was one of our better guys. He is in a rut. Talk to me about this is 10 games if it is still going on. Last night for example, I thought he was just ok, but he created some chances. Where Laine was standing still and Ehlers was a turnover machine. And people blame Little because he can't make 2 guys show up to play. I want to see this line broken up, but after a 7-1 win it is not happening. Like I said, my bet is Little eventually heats up and his current hate club dissapear and don't give him the praise he will deserve as always
     
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  5. HPsauce

    HPsauce Registered User

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    For the record, I'm a fan of Little. I was pointing out the fact that he has "looked" different even while preforming well some nights. Mostly his inability to move like he used to, by that I mean his mid section mobility seems very limited. That wasn't always the case with him, he was always able to get very low and use his legs and back to win battles.

    Hopefully he is just in a rut. I've always been a huge fan of Little.

    I will never forget that goal he scored in the playoffs against Anaheim, game 3. Something like a minute left in the 2nd period and Little got the puck in the high slot, just him and a clear look at Andersen who was staring him down, Little didn't move at all, just wound up and took at clapper that beat Andersen over the blocker. I remember thinking at that moment, "ok, he wants this." They lost in OT after Pav let in a stinker from the blue line with 1 min left in the third, but Bryan went on the score in GM 4 and looked like he was driving the bus.
     
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  6. DashingDane

    DashingDane Registered User

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    I think he has looked like his good consistent self. IMO the blame has been on Ehlers and Laine. It's not easy being a responsible C playing next to those two. I agree that they aren't the best fit but I don't think it's littles fault. The youngsters don't necessarily play typical NA hockey so their movement isn't as easy to read. Put Little with Wheels and Connor and I think folks see the "old" Little. The only person on the L-L-E line that can win a corner/board battle is more or less Little. That doesn't make it very easy to have sustained pressure.
     
  7. Festinator

    Festinator Registered User

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    Ehlers more or less killed that line himself last night with his turnovers and giveaways, same with Laine to a lesser extent. And yeah, Little is normally the only one on that line consistently involved in board battles and that's not gonna fly.

    I haven't noticed him playing poorly, more he doesn't seem to have any support because Laine and Ehlers are weak on the cycle which you need for sustained pressure. Same problem that ESL had last year, but ESL was lethal on the rush.

    All that being said, I think this line starts to do well again. Ehlers just had a couple of particularly bad games handling the puck, but he's going to bounce back sooner rather than later
     
  8. Shazzam

    Shazzam hey coach har someboty put a fart at you backstage

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    Little is one of those guys that you don't notice much unless he's scoring, which usually comes in bunches. Playing with two young guys may skew your perception maybe. Both Laine and Ehlers haven't been all that great lately with lots of turn overs and poor defensive play. Little has looked pretty consistent to my eyes throughout.
     
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  9. DashingDane

    DashingDane Registered User

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    Couldn't agree more!
     
  10. Festinator

    Festinator Registered User

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    Exactly, it's been said many times before by teammates and coaches, little is a player you don't really notice until he's not there, then you realize the importance he has.
     
  11. Afterburner

    Afterburner Jet Fuel Sponsor

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    Yeah his absence was noticed big time last year
     
  12. mcpw

    mcpw WPG

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    I heard they burned Little effigies in Finland :naughty:
     
  13. Pongs21

    Pongs21 Registered User

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    The man needs his Wheeler. I say do it.
     
  14. Arthur Fonzarelli

    Arthur Fonzarelli "aaaaay"

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    Perreault, Maurice & Chevy have all confirmed Perreault is seen as a winger within the organization.

    With the Jets in need of a 3C it speaks volumes when he's not being cast in a that role when it's clear he's the best option.

    Further, comments were made during the preseason that included references to him having long standing back issues from years of taking face-offs. I think that likely plays a much larger role in the decision to play him at wing. He's been brittle enough without adding that pressure onto him.
     
  15. Zhamnov5GoalGame

    Zhamnov5GoalGame Director of GDT Operations

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    Disagree with your assessment.
    I think he hasn't played great yet.
    When he and his line mates aren't gelling it doesn't look great.
    He can play better so can his line mates.

    If Little's shot or the 3 on 1 had gone in last night would we be reading this thread?
     
  16. Mortimer Snerd

    Mortimer Snerd Deregistered User

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    Just a thought to toss out there - Over the years LLW was broken up several times to try and spread out the talent. It never worked and LLW was always reunited. So .... to what extent does Little's success depend on Wheeler?

    Or, from another POV, I've thought that Little and Laine just lack chemistry. Who knows why? Chemistry on a hockey line has always been a bit of a mystery. Players who appear to have complimentary skill-sets sometimes don't have it and other players who appear mismatched sometimes do.

    Scheif and Wheeler have had 2 big games together this year out of 10. Are we required to keep them together because of those 2 games? Maybe they would have had the same big games playing apart. Whatever the answer, the fact is that we have been largely a 1 line team this year despite having a lot of talented F's.
    Ehlers - Scheifele - Laine
    Connor - Little - Wheeler
    probably gets us at least 2 lines producing.
     
  17. antiqueslivers

    antiqueslivers Registered User

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    Little needs his wheels and Laine needs his Fefe!
     
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  18. Duke749

    Duke749 Formerly "BigTuna49"

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    How many times has Little’s line been scored on this year?
     
  19. Gm0ney

    Gm0ney Unicorns salient

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    Ehlers-Little-Laine have played 56.73 minutes together and have 3 GF and 3 GA at even strength.
    Perreault-Little-Laine have played 45.45 minutes together and have 4 GF and 1 GA at even strength.

    All other line combos featuring Little have been on the ice for < 10 minutes at ES (but two of those combos resulted in 1 GA each - Ehlers-Little-Wheeler, 0.98 minutes TOI and Matthias-Little-Armia, 0.73 minutes). Overall, Little's lines are 7 GF / 6 GA.

    xGF% was higher for PLL at 57.45, compared to ELL at 55.08, so PLL's been a bit lucky and ELL has been a bit unlucky in terms of actual goals for and against. For lines with 50+ minutes TOI, ELL is the 16th best (out of 52 line combos) in the league in terms of xGF%.
     
  20. Jetsfareast

    Jetsfareast #werisetogether

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    Little is a good player, he is a different kind of player than Ehlers and Laine. It looks like they don't go together.

    Little will pot in bunch of goals and points for a few games, then he will stop, then he will go again and pot in few games in a row.

    He is the right C behind Scheifele. Jets just needs to figure out what will work for all the lines, not 1 line; ie wheeler and Schiefele.

    The goal of the coaching staff is to make all the lines work.
     
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  21. ATLbound

    ATLbound Registered User

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    I agree. Good observation. Little played best with Ladd and Wheels. And obviously all 3 have skill but none are flashy, Wheels can be from time to time. They are all push the puck north up the ice, battle in corners and keep it simple. Scheifele has a lot of skill and plays a game closer suited to Laine and Ehlers. Its just one of those chemistry things. Not that Little is not skilled, you don't score 20+ goals/ 50+ points every year being not skilled.
     
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  22. Jet

    Jet Patty Cilantro

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    I'm not seeing it at all (the lack of mobility in his core, problems reaching back, losing a step etc.) I'll look closer but I think Little has been effective this year if not cool to start. I'd say Laine is dragging Little down more than the opposite. As someone else said - Little scores in bunches and when he gets hot this talk will go away (though I don't think the OP is basing his observations on production).

    Little is quietly very important to this team and if we are to be successful this year, he will have a big say in that. As for whether he should be moved to Wheeler's line and Scheifele up to Laine's? I think you do it to get both Patrik and Bryan going.
     
  23. YWGinYYZ

    YWGinYYZ Administrator

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    Agree with this. Little is a good centre - I'd still place him as a low-end 1C / high end 2C, but shuffling things up to get Little and Laine going couldn't hurt. We know that Little and Wheeler work well together. My concern at that point would be Schiefele's ability to get both Connor and Laine pointed in the right direction. Perhaps put Connor with Little and Wheels, and simply go back to ESL to see if Schief can make both of them more effective, as many have suggested?
     
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  24. KingBogo

    KingBogo Admitted Homer

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    I think that is ultimately how we need to go. Then when MP and Lowry are back we have pretty nice balance in the lineup.
     
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  25. Shazzam

    Shazzam hey coach har someboty put a fart at you backstage

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    I've often thought that Mo should try flipping centers this way to see if we can get Ehlers and Laine going without sacrificing much on the other line. If it doesn't work, then you can always go back. I tend to agree that Little's style is more complementary to Wheeler's. But at the same time, with all the talent on the ELL line, I would think they would figure it out at some point.
     

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