Lineup changes needed.....
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11-17-2003, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Lineup changes needed.....
bottom line is we need to start scoring more goals and generating more offense to relieve some of the pressure from playing in tight games every night and making it so that our goalies have to be top notch with no room for error being that we don't score many.
We have way too many guns for us to be this bad offensively and the only line combo's that have shown any chemistry is the Simon-Mess-Barnaby line as well as the Rucinsky-Holik-Carter line so it's is all too obvious that we need to get the lines that are suppossed to be our best offensively going and in order to do that we'll need to shake them up from their current format and see if we can put something together that makes some sense.
Simon-Lindros-Kovalev---if we are to go anywhere we will need both AK and Eric to lead the way offensively and niether has gotten it going(Lindros b/c of injury-AK b/c no chemistry and just struggling) and being that each guy has been paired with every other guy on the team it is an absolute no brainer to put them together and see what happens as if it works it can lead to some much better play from the team and it's 2 most important forwards and if it fails it's no different then the results we're getting now on a daily basis with who they are currently grouped with.
The BS about them not clicking last yr is just that being that Eric didn't click with anybody the way he played last yr and Kovie was equally as ineffective regardless of who his center has been since his return so it's time to give it another try IMO.
Simon's only shortcoming on this line is his lack of wheels but he will be a good addition to the Lindros line in that he'll give Lindros the other big body to create havoc with and to work the boards and the front of the net with.
Lindros has been skating well and has been getting his nose dirty infront of the net and having Kovalev added to the line would bring good results as Kovalev can handle the puck and do his solo act while Lindros-Simon would be much more effective in going to the net and clearing out space, something Nedved-Hlavac don't do.
Kovalev also is one of the strongest guys in the NHL on the puck so a line with those 3 would be big and strong and tough to stop on a down low cycle.
If it works the sky is the limit as both AK and Eric could rebound in a huge way which I think Lindros will do regardless if he can get a stretch where he stays healthy.
--The other plus in this is we absolutely need Nedved to play as he did last year and need his 25-28 goals 60-65pt production if we are to become a better than average team.He and Kovie have done nothing togther and I think it's b/c Petr needs to be the catalyst on his line if you are to get the most out of him.Having AK play this role on his line renders him ineffective as he's standing around watching AK doing his dispy doos and controling the puck.
Being that Lundy has looked significantly better of late and has good jump in his legs I'd make a 2nd line of Hlavac-Nedved-Lundmark.
I think Petr would start getting more accomplished having the puck on his stick the bulk of the time and I think he'd make better use of his linemates in this setup then what Kovalev currently does as the guy with the puck.
Hlavac would be more involved and start contributing more and I think Lundmark could really blossom if he uses his speed and shot on a speedy skilled line such as this as long as he was willing to do alot of the dirty work on this line and go into the high-traffic areas to score.
Most importantly I think Nedved plays significantly better with him being the focus on the line.
---Rucinsky-Holik-Carter-Holik is finally starting to be the player we wanted and has played fantastic.Nothing needs to be said about how well he's doing except to say keep on doing EXACTLY what you've been doing for the last dozen games.
Carter has played noticably better when put with Bobby and I think he feels more confident with the puck on this line as well as he takes the body more when playing here.Leave him here and see if he can get something going.
Rosie has played very well of late and is playing a nicely rounded game.He's taking hits to make plays, he's skating well and he's carried the puck well as well as backchecking hard.Fits in nicely on this line w/the other 2 and he rounds out the makeup of the unit nicely.
Keep them together matched against the other teams top unit and they excel and even add some pressure to the other teams top unit as this line can be physically punishing as well as having the ability to generate some offense themselves.
---Moore-Mess-Barnaby- Mess' line has been our best and while I don't want to move Simon up if we don't get both AK and Eric going we are going nowhere so you have to make the move in the hopes that it works.
I'd even maybe use Matty on LW with a Lindros-AK pairing as he has a higher skill set and better skating that Chris while not being the immovable force that Simon is down low.I'd give each a look there and see how it worked out.
Mess has to keep playing it simple and continue to be ready to pounce when an opportunity presents itself as he's been able to do this year.
Replacing either Matty or Simon w/Morre shouldn't be a big deal as they do lose some size but add speed, hustle, heady play and more skill with Moore's addition to the line.And being that this line would get the least amount of minutes if the above lines worked properly I think this line would continue to be very good, especially if it's getting to go against 3rd-4th lines and 2nd-3rd pairing of d-men.
Drastic moves have to be made to keep this squad from going into a tailspin and getting both Lindros and Kovalev with linemates that will give them their best chance at success should be the #1 priority IMO.
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