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Thread: Laine Opens Up About Deep Struggles with the Blue Jackets

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    Laine Opens Up About Deep Struggles with the Blue Jackets

    Laine has truly gone sideways, with just 1-3-4 and a minus-10 rating over his last 16 games. It is true that the Blue Jackets have no playmaking centers who can bring life to Laine’s game — there’s a tugboat joke to be made here, isn’t there? — but it is also true that Laine isn’t doing enough to help himself or the Blue Jackets.

    He has 33 shots on goal in those 16 games, barely two per game.

    “I’ve always told everybody, I’m not worried as long as I’m getting chances,” Laine said. “So I feel like this is kind of new. I’m not even getting chances. That’s something I’ve never had before. I guess that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

    “(I) still have to play the same way, play just as hard and hopefully find a way to do your best and hopefully score every now and then.”
    By mid-to-late February, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella began commenting publicly about his desires to turn Laine into a more complete player, noting that his 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame could do more than bomb one-timers from the left faceoff dot.

    “I’d like to see (Laine) go with the puck more,” Tortorella said. “I envision him as an unbelievably skilled power forward. I’d like to see him bring some power into his game, and that’s skating with the puck, taking people on one-on-one.”
    Laine’s body language can be tough to read. But that, along with his play and recent comments, paint a picture of a player who’s not exactly enthused by the coaching he’s getting.

    In several recent games, Laine could be seen skating the puck directly into one more defenders and immediately turning it over without much of a fight. It happened multiple times in the Blue Jackets’ dreadful weekend losses to Detroit.
    “Every player in this league has to be a 200-foot player if you want to be on a winning team,” Kek?l?inen said. “I don’t think that’s too much to ask of anybody. You see some of the most talented guys in this league, and they haven’t won a championship yet. It comes down to understanding that everybody has to buy into the team concept and be a 200-foot player in order to win a Stanley Cup.

    “Based on my conversations with (Laine), he understands exactly what’s asked of him and nobody’s trying to make him into a grinder. Being a power forward certainly doesn’t mean that. It just means you use your size to an advantage to stay on pucks. You’ll create more if you have the puck more.”
    https://theathletic.com/2486528/2021...-blue-jackets/
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    He needs a change of scenery from his change of scenery.

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    I might be crazy, but maybe trying to completely change a player's playstyle is not the best idea in a shortened season when said player is in a contract year. Or maybe it is the best idea, if you want to lowball him because of a bad contract season.

    Look for Laine to take his talents elsewhere. Remember when CBJ won totally won the trade before PLD even played a game for WPG?

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    This guy is completely killing me in my pool with his barren stretch. Ugh was really banking on him getting going once he got adjusted. He's actually been getting a decent amount of ice time too but utterly unproductive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphinity View Post
    I might be crazy, but maybe trying to completely change a player's playstyle is not the best idea in a shortened season when said player is in a contract year. Or maybe it is the best idea, if you want to lowball him because of a bad contract season.

    Look for Laine to take his talents elsewhere. Remember when CBJ won totally won the trade before PLD even played a game for WPG?
    There is no player in the NHL who ends their career exactly how it started. Maybe Ovechkin is the closest. You have to evolve. Every player does this, if they want to win. Crosby works on something every off season. PK88 needed to shoot more, Stamkos is not the same guy he came into the NHL as.

    You may be right about the timing (new team, short season) but Laine is going to fizzle out because he's easy to defend and he doesn't play hard.

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    Panarin leaves via agency and then they lose this guy. Tough for Columbus with the big offensive players.

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    Fire Quinn...I mean Torts

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    There is no player in the NHL who ends their career exactly how it started. Maybe Ovechkin is the closest. You have to evolve. Every player does this, if they want to win. Crosby works on something every off season. PK88 needed to shoot more, Stamkos is not the same guy he came into the NHL as.

    You may be right about the timing (new team, short season) but Laine is going to fizzle out because he's easy to defend and he doesn't play hard.
    Especially as he ages and slows as a byproduct.
    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If you're a good loser, you're a loser."
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    - Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Long live the King View Post
    Fire Quinn...I mean Torts
    He's a free agent this summer.
    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If you're a good loser, you're a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."
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    CBJ just has a very odd mix of personalities, IMO.

    Kekalinen has a different personality than Torts who has a different personality from Laine. There just seems to be a total disconnect as to what the identity of the Jackets actually is and I think it's possibly hurting the entire organization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    There is no player in the NHL who ends their career exactly how it started. Maybe Ovechkin is the closest. You have to evolve. Every player does this, if they want to win. Crosby works on something every off season. PK88 needed to shoot more, Stamkos is not the same guy he came into the NHL as.

    You may be right about the timing (new team, short season) but Laine is going to fizzle out because he's easy to defend and he doesn't play hard.
    Sure. I have no problem with challenging a guy to change. But the timing is the issue. Especially for a player you just traded for and is known to be a bit of a head case.

    Sounds like more of a project to start in the off-season and build on in the beginning of a season.

    You know they had a power forward type player... I wonder what happened to him...

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    Winnipeg just understands how important Centremen are.

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    Wow, Laine not working under Torts.


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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    Wow, Laine not working under Torts.

    Yeah, this was always destined to fail. Then again, it really does feel like Tors' shelf life is up in Columbus.
    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If you're a good loser, you're a loser."
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    "Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."
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    There are going to be a lot of teams for whom getting Laine on the cheap would be a good move. The fact that he is not a good fit with Torts does not mean that there isn't somewhere where he would be a good fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    Yeah, this was always destined to fail. Then again, it really does feel like Tors' shelf life is up in Columbus.
    I was thinking the same thing even before all of this. The Laine situation is the icing on the cake. It's been hard for Columbus to keep good, offensive talent there.

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    With the way he's played and the salary cap situation i think he might have to follow the taylor hall model and sign a 1 yr prove it contract next season. I could almost see the devils jumping on something like that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sod16 View Post
    There are going to be a lot of teams for whom getting Laine on the cheap would be a good move. The fact that he is not a good fit with Torts does not mean that there isn't somewhere where he would be a good fit.
    This is true, but Pete brings up a really important point about player evolution, and Torts is probably right about him even if the results suck right now.

    It's the classic Charlie Conway argument - Laine thinks he's a goalscorer, and Torts thinks he'll be even better at that if he figures out the rest of it. History generally shows that Torts is right - even players like Mikko Rantanen, Alex Barkov, and Mika Zibanejad needed someone to whack them on the head and show them how to be complete players.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G1000 View Post
    This is true, but Pete brings up a really important point about player evolution, and Torts is probably right about him even if the results suck right now.

    It's the classic Charlie Conway argument - Laine thinks he's a goalscorer, and Torts thinks he'll be even better at that if he figures out the rest of it. History generally shows that Torts is right - even players like Mikko Rantanen, Alex Barkov, and Mika Zibanejad needed someone to whack them on the head and show them how to be complete players.
    It’s just that specifically Torts being the guy to say so just doesn’t seem right. Torts is a fantastic coach but he’s a 5-6 year type guy before he wears out his welcome usually or his style just gets too hard to consistently do. Plus having him be a lame duck resonates with the players whether they admit it or not. Laine is immature. He’s always been immature. But he also knows he’s an rfa and torts is not under contract next year. Recipe for disaster for an immature player who probably still thinks it’s the rest of the NHL and not him that is the real problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    It’s just that specifically Torts being the guy to say so just doesn’t seem right. Torts is a fantastic coach but he’s a 5-6 year type guy before he wears out his welcome usually or his style just gets too hard to consistently do. Plus having him be a lame duck resonates with the players whether they admit it or not. Laine is immature. He’s always been immature. But he also knows he’s an rfa and torts is not under contract next year. Recipe for disaster for an immature player who probably still thinks it’s the rest of the NHL and not him that is the real problem.
    I don't get the Torts thing here. Year in and year out, in spite of an absolute parade of talent leaving Columbus at every goddamn position, Torts has them RIGHT THERE EVERY TIME. For all intents and purposes they should be in the basement of a difficult division and yet they're....right there, as always. Not their best season - sure, but they're three points out of the playoffs in a very winnable four-way race.

    Torts asks two things - give 100%, learn from your mistakes. Laine does neither and that's going to seriously impact his game until it sinks in that he has to do more than score goals.
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