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10-12-2008, 05:34 PM
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My problems with the current top line, and issues surrounding them:

First, there's no transition game (problem for every line), which means basically all of their scoring chances will come from plays developing in the offensive zone, rather than on the rush (which is when Umberger and Huselius, ideally, would be more involved).

The problem with that, thus far, is Nash seems to always be the one with the puck. That's how he operates in the offensive zone. Rimer praised him for trying to do it all all night long; but, when Nash has the puck, he's rarely thinking "pass," which tends to make his linemates extraneous, thereby allowing the defense to key on him. It's been my complaint for a while now, but he needs to utilize his linemates better. Huselius and Umberger look better when they're making plays together, and not skating around watching Nash bull through the entire team to get a scoring chance.

I think the big guy needs to learn the first lesson of being a captain: You don't have to do it all on your own. In fact, it's usually counterproductive to try.

At the same time, Huselius needs to step it up big time. I haven't seen much in the way of the proverbial "sense of urgency" out of him. Umberger looks strong along the boards; I have no complaint about his work ethic. Right now, though, he's reminding me of Chimera, in that he looks like he's too high in the lineup.

Nash has always worked best with pure playmakers (Cassels/Vyborny). Give him one player to feed him the puck, and the third member of the line could even be a utility player (like Murray) and the line would still be effective.

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