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10-12-2009, 02:03 PM
David Singleton
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Originally Posted by SLake View Post
I'd have to guess lineup would be something along the lines of:

Sullivan - Arnott - Hornqvist
Santorelli - Legwand - Erat
Jones - Wilson - Ward
Smithson - Goc - Guite

Although there are several questions to ponder. Legwand and Erat had their best offensive shift of the night in the third period against Buffalo when Ward was on their line. Jones appeared to be demoted to the fourth line in the third period (he was not moving his feet without the puck on his stick), and then you have the question of whether or not you want an agitator or enforcer in the lineup?

Will be interesting to see how the lines shake out...

Edit: Trotz was quoted this morning by Glennon saying that if Wilson could give them 12 minutes he'd be happy with that. I assume he'll get PP time (he was called into the PP meeting on Saturday) and if so, that might only mean fourth line even strength minutes for Wilson or a rotation with Goc (who'll get PK time) on the third line...
SLake, I think you are more correct with the latter. Wilson will get the start on the third line and Goc will be rotated with him in some fashion. That said, if Wilson is immediately dominant and continues to feel good he might inch above 12 minutes.

That second line is an enigma. Mike Santorelli has looked pretty good offensively. Legwand has looked decent offensively. Erat has looked incredibly bad offensively. For the most part, Legwand has looked his typical excellent self defensively. Erat has looked pretty good defensively. Santorelli has not been too much of a liability defensively.

Now, all that said, Trotz has openly put the second line into a defensive role. That says to me that the top line, while playing "responsibly", has the ultimate priority to produce and (as such) has the freedom to take more chances in an effort to produce. It seems to me that the second line, however, must play defensively first as opposed to playing as a normal scoring line with responsibilities.

Given that, I wonder how much that limits the effectiveness from that line offensively. During camp and preseason, with an obvious concentration on offense, that line was incredibly effective. The regular season is certainly a different animal, but I think that this focus change has thrown the line off. Legwand is fine with that focus change- he's used to playing shut down hockey. Erat can play decent defense, but it really hampers him offensively. In my opinion, Santorelli needs to play a role unfettered from the primary focus (in other words, play a style equivalent to our top line) of defensive play. We see glimpses from him, because that line can only show small glimpses. I don't think they can establish any offensive momentum to let them shine. It doesn't help that Erat isn't playing very well right now.

When Dumont returns, and assuming no other injuries occur, there will be some significant line questions to be answered. Patric Hornqvist has earned some playing time. I don't think Mike Santorelli has played poorly and don't think he should lose his spot. That said, should Trotz continue putting the second line into the position of playing as a shutdown line (a typical third or fourth line's job)? If so, then I don't think that Santorelli is best served playing that role (nor are the Predators best served).

Given the goaltending of late, I wonder if Trotz will open things up a little bit. If nothing else, being more aggessive should help the constant fatigue of playing on tilted ice.

If it were me, and I'm certainly no coach, when everyone was healthy, I'd do one of two things: set Jones and move Hornqvist to the third line or set Erat and move Hornqvist to the second line (temporarily). Regardless, I'd give that second line more freedom to take chances. They have the speed to recover from some of those chances where the first line doesn't.


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