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06-29-2004, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Mooch
I partially agree with your lines.

I think the Zednik - Koivu - Kovalev is an obvious one, not much controversy there. This is only assuming we resign him of course. If we don't, I wouldn't mind to see hossa play with Koivu and Zednik or sign an other offensive winger on the UFA market.

Hossa - Ribeiro - Ryder works, we've briefly seen it last year, but I think a Higgins - Ribeiro - Ryder would work better. You would at least have 2 players on that line working their butts off night in night out which is something Ribeiro does not do, and Higgins is sound defensively, meaning he'll be able to cover for Ribs and Ryder a lot of times. If Hossa is ready to work hard and be responsible defensively, great, but I'm far from convinced. Honestly, even though I feel Hossa might still pan out, I really think there's no room left for him on this team (unless we don't sign Kovalev or any other top-6 UFA).

I don't like your 3rd line. I think Bonk and Bulis should play together, there's no question about it, but Bulis is a LWer, so is Higgins, they cannot play effectively on the right wing (at least they never did in the past). Plus I'd rather have a righty on the RW of our defensive line. It's much easier to play in the defensive zone to clear the puck. Being a lefty playing the right wing means you get a better shot on net but since this is our checking line, I'd rather have the safest combinaison on defense.

My 3rd line would be Bulis - Bonk - Ward. That way, you kind of offset Bonk's tendency once in a while to float around by matching him with two high energy players. You also get a player (Ward) that plays a crash and bang style and even though he's not a bone crusher, he usually finishes all his checks, which is a thing I feel is important in a defensive role to at least take your man out of the play. I feel those 3 would complement each other perfectly, on defense as well as offensively.

Finally, like everyone else, I would love to see Begin play with Laperriere on the 4th line. I feel Laperriere's an upgrade over Dowd at center because he's as good defensively, while also being physical and good on face offs. He's also a righty. If we can't sign him, Dowd could still do. They want at least one righty down the center, Gainey and Julien have said so all last season long. So Begin - Laperriere - ? (could be Langdon, could be Sundstrom, could be Plekanec to ease him in, could be an other right-handed enforcer we could acquire via a minor trade like Lessard or an other UFA like Barnaby, Marshall or Drake).

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