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10-18-2003, 09:25 AM
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Patty Roy
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Yet another take on the healthy Habs lineup...

Yeah i know, this has been done lots of times the last few weeks, but after giving it some thought, this is what i would like to see.

Jan Bulis-Saku Koivu-Niklas Sundstrom

I like Bulis on Koivu's wing. He's got the size, speed and skill to compliment Saku. I know Bulis has good chemistry with Juneau and Dackell, but neither one of those guys is part of the big picture, and neither one of them really factors into my lineup.

Playing Sundstrom on this line would be a bit of an experiement, but i think it could work. He's a responsible 2-way player who can contribute offensively. He's got experience playing on top lines in the past (with Gretzky in NY). Sundstrom hasn't really fit in on any of the other lines, but i like him as a player and would give him a shot on this line before i entertain the idea of dealing him.

I could also see this line going up against the opponents top unit.

Marcel Hossa-Mike Ribeiro-Richard Zednik

The line has played well so far; i like the chemistry so why break it up? Hossa may not be producing at a great rate, but i like his play more this year than last. He seems to be using his size more to his advantage this season, working the boards and getting the puck loose for the talented Ribeiro and Zednik.

Michael Ryder-Yanic Perreault-Donald Audette

Again, why mess with a good thing? I considered moving Ryder up to Koivu's line in Sundstrom's spot, but i think Nik would be lost on this line. These 3 have pretty good chemistry together and give the Habs 3 lines that can score on any given night.

Darren Langdon-Chad Kilger-Jason Ward

The 4th line would vary depending on the opponents. Langdon would be in against tougher teams with heavyweights. I would keep both Steve Begin and Andreas Dackell as the teams extra forwards. Dackell can play when we play teams like the Pens that arn't overly tough. Dackell could also chip in on the PK when we play teams with strong PP's. Begin is the 14th forward and could be worked into the lineup when injuries occur or when someone needs to be benched.

Anyway, that's what i've been thinking. I doubt that the Habs will actually demote Joe Juneau, but that's what i would do right now. Juneau hasn't been bad this season, but he's getting up there in age and moving him would help make the Habs a quicker team. Also i don't think Juneau would accept being a 13th or 14th forward on this club, so keeping him in the press box is probably out of the question. Begin would accept this role, that's why he stays.

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