Bottom six, energy players, high character players or role players.
You call or label them whatever the hell you want, but in many cases they are the difference makers on teams with Championship aspirations.
The Moncton Wildcats are getting amazing performances and contributions from their depth players and it’s one of the main reasons why they are having so much success as of late.
Sure everyone sees the highlight reel goals, fancy plays, power play goals and the skilled players doing their thing, but very few see or appreciate the contributions the Cats depth players are making on this year’s squad.
It’s easy to label or typecast players, but in many cases your depth or role players are vital if you want to have success.
The Cats 3rd and 4th line may not be logging big minutes, but they are creating tremendous momentum and playing a very solid simplistic style of game.
It’s clear Wildcats bench boss John Torchetti is a big believer in depth and using all four lines.
The true formula of success at any level.
It’s cliche, but you are only as strong as your weakest link.
Torchetti’s ability to roll all four lines is paying dividends for a Cats team currently tied for 1st place overall in the QMJHL.
The rule of thumb for any depth players or your bottom six, it’s about earning the trust of your coach, playing the right way, creating momentum, doing the little things right and probably the most important aspect of all staying disciplined.
Jake Stewart, Kyle Foreman, Francis Langlois, Alexandre Parent, Philippe Daoust, Ozzie King Jacob Hudson, and Mark Rumsey have all seen time on the Cats bottom six at times this season.
Every single one of those players at one time or other have played up in the line up.
Is there a method to the madness that is John Torchetti’s system?
You better believe it.
Torchetti has given everyone of those players time and an opportunity to prove their worth and showcase their skill.
That’s just great coaching.
By trusting those players and identifying their roles Torchetti has strengthen not only the character and depth of his team he’s added to the chemistry of the group while creating a competitive environment.
Countless times this season, many of the teams bottom six have been scratched, not because of poor play just because of the Cats depth and let me tell you that’s a good problem to have.
We can talk match up game, shut down strong forechecking line and get into defensive and offensive zone face offs assignments, the technical and tactical aspects a strong bottom six has to offer to team success, but let’s face there’s not enough ink for that.
The Wildcats depth has been the difference.
It’s providing much needed consistency, grit and character to the Cats line, nevertheless, there is still some room for improvement.
If the Cats want to go to the promise land, they will be more than likely in market for another two skilled gritty forwards that will bring scoring touch and sandpaper to the lineup.
When all hands are on deck after the Q Trade Period the Cats bottom six will be stronger than ever and in many ways will provide a shut down role, physicality, grit and scoring touch.
They will do it all.
The Cats depth will be the difference between winning and losing.
The true value and ultimate success of any team can be measured by its depth and willingness to buy in and play as a team.
The Moncton Wildcats have all the makings of a very special team, a team that understands their role and identity, a team that appreciates the collective contributions of all its players.
1. The reaction of the Cats bench after Francis Langlois’ 1st goal last night says it all. The Moncton Wildcats are a very close knit team that supports all of their teammates.
2. Jake Stewart, Jacob Hudson along with Ozzie King and Kyle Foreman have really led the way creating an identity and culture in the Cats bottom six, game in game out their contributions to team success is immeasurable.
3. Save the best for last!
Kyle Foreman is one of the most underrated players in the Maritimes Division and potentially the league. Foreman has been outstanding this season and without question has been one of the most consistent Wildcat performer’s this season.
Foreman like many others in the Cats bottom six does everything the right way. You can win a lot of hockey games with players like Kyle Foreman in your lineup.