Game 56: @ Columbus, 2/16
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02-17-2009, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Originally Posted by
In a tight game where you need both points why do you bench a guy that can actually score? Brunnstrom didn't play the final seven minutes of regulation or in OT. Barch got shifts. Sutherby, Peterson and Lundqvist all got shifts but the kid who has shown he can score sees the bench. Why haven't we fired Tippet again?
If Richards is out for six weeks, who do you call up? Let's assume Wandell is out. His Swedish team probably won't let him go for that long. Conner? Oh god please no. Lindgren? He's back in Finland and can't score there. Sawada? Maybe, but has he shown he deserves to be called up? There's no way they'd bring back Avery, right? What do you do and what are your line combinations going forward?
You don't play Brunnstrom because he's still very rough around the edges defensively and, as Razor pointed out, he sucked in puck battles tonight. You need both points, but you certainly can't give both up either. That said, I have no idea why they continue to play Barch so much late in games unless he's just a dynamo in practice and they're hoping it comes through in the games.
The other three you mention are average to above average defensively and they won't get you the goal necessarily, but they will more than likely keep Columbus from scoring. It's the same logic as to why Fistric and Grossman played over Niskanen and Sydor.
As far as lines, Sutherby and Lundqvist are both centers (as is Ott, but I think they like him on the first line for now). I think you go something like...
Ott-Ribeiro-Lehtinen <- why break up what's been working?
Eriksson-Modano-Neal <- poor man's Lehtinen combines to make a halfway defensively responsible, very dangerous second line
Brunnstrom-Sutherby-Lundqvist <- Sutherby has a history at center, and it keeps Brunnstrom with guys who can bang to get him the puck and have shown offensive flashes
Parrish/Conner-Petersen-Wilson/Barch - Rotate the four wingers however you see fit
Wilson and Conner can both jump up to the third line or even the second (since Modano and Conner seemed to click earlier this season) if the Stars want to spread the scoring out a bit.
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