Thread: Confirmed with Link: Neal and Niskanen for Goligoski
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02-22-2011, 06:51 PM
Darth Vitale
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JTG makes some good points about cap space and what we get for that money with one guy vs. two. Although I am from the "Don't fix Crosby's line if it ain't broke (just upgrade the RW)" school, it would be worth trying for 2 or 3 weeks early in the season because

Neal - Staal - Malkin

has the potential to be an utterly dominant line if Staal can improve his hands during the off season. What he does now works for the third line but he needs to be a quicker response type player if he's going to line up with two animals on his wings. I love the guy but he has hands of molasses in tight quarters / when pressured, so if he's going to be slotted there the first thing he needs do is get rid of his defender's stick (Errey will be heartbroken), and the second thing is he needs to work all summer long on his hands, doing all kinds of passing and shooting drills and working with trainers to do everything he can to improve not strength but quickness and reaction time.

Effectively, the opposite of what Geno needs to do. Staal will never be nimble and Geno never a hulk, but if they can work those weak edges over the summer, then add another growing beast in Neal... Holy Neanderthals!... that could be a Evil Frankenbeast of a line. Just the shear size of those three guys would be intimidating to play against.

But if it doesn't spark pretty quickly I'd be totally fine with keeping Staal on the third line. We still might only need 1 guy to be picked up in FA, considering how well Letestu and Jeffrey have played.

"Worst Case"

Kunitz - Sid - FA (anyone even slightly more offensive than Dupuis works)
Neal - Letestu - Geno (just to take faceoffs if need be, but either way it works)
Cooke - Staal - TK
Jeffrey - Adams - Vitale

Tell me that wouldn't be a tough group of forwards to play against once they got their groove on in November or so. Also we could simply arrange the lines based on who we're playing too. A team with less D depth, then Neal - Staal - Geno could do some pretty sick damage. More depth, spread 'em out...

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