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10-05-2003, 06:58 AM
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how many times can we do this.......?

assuming that the injury/day-to-day list on opening night still looks like this: Koivu, Zednik, Kilger, Bouillon; this is my take on the opening-night line-up:

Hossa – Ribeiro – Audette
Bulis – Perreault – Ryder
{ (Higgins / Plekanec) / Ward } – Juneau – Sundstrom
Langdon – Bégin – { Ward / Dackell }

this may look a little complicated but it's not.

with all the injuries and Ryder's pre-season performance, let's say Ryder's won the 2nd-line RW spot for now. so the top 2 lines are pretty much a lock, i think.

on the 3rd line, Juneau and Sundstrom are there to stay, and the other winger will be either Ward or one of Higgins or Plekanec, one of the two being sent down, while the other is kept on the team until the injured players return. since the development of the young players appears to be on the team's active concerns, if one of Higgins or Plekanec is kept on, i can see them getting 3rd-line duty rather than a "prove-yourself!" 4th-line job. otherwise i'd pencil Dackell in as another 3rd-line candidate, though he may be more useful on the 4th line, as i discuss below....

on the 4th line, Langdon is a lock and Bégin will center the line at least until Kilger can play. the other winger on the line will be either Ward or Dackell, depending on who ends up on the 3rd line and how much Julien trusts the duo of Langdon and Bégin not to get scored on; in other words, Dackell and his defensive skills may be more useful than Ward's game on a line with 2 bruiser/energy players like Langdon and Bégin. Dwyer will either be sent down or maybe he'll be lucky enough to be a healthy scratch.

Markov – Rivet
Souray – Brisebois
Quintal - Komisarek

on defense, i think Komisarek gets the nod over Hainsey, and only one of them will be kept on since Bouillon's injury probably isn't a long-term thing.



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