: Line Combos:
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02-22-2012, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Originally Posted by
From what I see, we have 3 needs:
1 - a goalscoring center with size.
2 - a power forward at wing in the top 6
3 - a 3rd pairing punishing defenseman
Numbers 1 and 3 can be solved this year. Draft Galchenyuk or Grigorenko, whoever is more of a goalscorer than a passer. Sign someone like Allen for the 3rd pairing to help out Emelin with some extra toughness in the lineup.
Plekanec is the only player we have of value in a trade. If we can keep him and still land that top 6 power forward, we should. But if we can't, he has to be dealt for one. There's no other way to land one unless Kristo makes it in the next 2 years.
I haven't inserted this player into the lineup but he would take Gionta's position if we're successful in acquiring him. We'll have to address how this affects the 3rd and 4th lines. Maybe shifting Plekanec to Washington for Kuznetsov, a late first rounder, with Backstrom out long-term is an option.
This is what I'd do:
Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Desharnais
Desharnais shifts to the right wing to set up two scorers. He's been our best playmaking center this year. He deserves his first line role but we need size at center. Galchenyuk is a franchise center. Check his scoring prowess here:
Cole - Eller - Gionta
Eller brings size down the middle with two scorers on his wings. We can switch Gionta and Cole to distribute the lack of size on the wings with Desharnais also on the right.
Bourque - Bournival - Leblanc
This line really excites me. I really want to see what these guys can do. A hard-working two-way line.
Geoffrion - White - Moen
The crash-and-bang line with some skill. Both Moen and Geoffrion can pop them in and we all know what White brings.
Gorges - Subban
This speaks for itself. Our two horses on the first pairing.
Markov - Emelin
This is what we've been waiting for since Emelin got drafted. Next year we'll actually be able to see it if Markov can come back healthy. Emelin has been a rock this year and deserves this.
Allen - Diaz / Kaberle
Another solid pairing while we wait for Tinordi and Beaulieu to be ready by the end of next season. See what they have in them before the following training camp.
This comes closest to how I see it. We HAVE to have at least one more strong scoring line, no matter what; if not, our one consistent line gets smothered and we remain goal-starved. Ideally, as you stated, we add a center and winger (though it could work with two strong wingers). Our template is Eric Cole -- either clone him or find players like him. Look at St-Louis -- no superstars and a low-scoring team, but with tough, relentless and fast skating on every line.
Our D is potentially in good shape for next year, depending on Markov and the development of our two best prospects in Beaulieu and Tinordi. But if we add another big, solid defenseman, great. You can never be too strong - or too deep - on defense.
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