Projected lines for Thursday evening
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10-08-2003, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
100% agree with Waveburner's comments...
watching Linden all season, it was clear to me that he isn't the same player at center as he is on the wing... he's just better on the boards... seems that he thinks too much out there as a center taking care of his defensive responsibilities and loses a step in his game.
IMO it would be a bad move to have Linden play center next season... he should still take the majority of faceoffs, but slide into the wing, like he did last season, when the lineup was healthy.
Cooke and Arvedson are also both natural left wingers... Cooke, as Wave mentioned, hasn't played center since his junior days... he had a few shifts there last year, and didn't have much success at that spot... no different than Bertuzzi, who was a center in junior, started off in the NHL as a left winger (with the Isles, and until late 2001 was a left winger as a Canuck), but has since moved to the right wing, and has exploded into a dominant offensive player at this spot... just like Bertuzzi, moving Cooke from the position he's best (and dominant in his role) at, doesn't make sense to me.
My projections on the bottom six, taking the big assumption that King can play the 2nd line and won't be this year's version of Fedorov, would be as follows:
The 3rd line I would have as:
Cooke - Chubarov - Linden
I don't think you lose much offensively here not having Arvedson play on this line.. Cooke and Linden can provide enough offense for a 3rd line, and Chubarov is better in a shutdown role as a center than Linden is...
The 4th line I would have as:
Arvedson - Lindgren - Ruutu/May
Arvedson and Lindgren obviously have some history together, so I don't see how Arvedson wouldn't want to play here with him... also a 4th line role doesn't mean he's not going to get icetime... Lindgren was #7 among forwards last year in average game icetime, ahead of all wingers except for Linden (who spent time at center as well) and the top line... I think that we will see Arvedson still get about 13-15 mins a game as a 4th liner in 5-on-5 situations... same as what guys like Cooke or Klatt got last season.
I would alternate between May and Ruutu giving the hot hand the chance to play the next game (also putting in May when there is an obvious need for an enforcer)... this is the one area where King is kinda messing things up, as both these guys right now deserve to have a fulltime role on the 4th line.
Arvedson and Lindgren would also both get PK time, probably on the top unit, or following Linden/Chubarov and Cooke... Morrison's PK time could drop, increasing his 5 on 5 time and PP time, if available.
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