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04-04-2012, 12:17 PM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Like I suggested in post#646, I wouldn't go out of my way to make an Eller-Koivu-Leblanc 3rd line, but I don't see a problem with it so I wouldn't mind seeing it, either. With the right 4th line to follow them up, and "proper" defense present in all three defensive pairings... I dunno, could work. Swap Koivu and Eller if you prefer, but I like the idea of Eller and Leblanc working with Koivu every day as his wingers.

Ultimately at least one of them will likely become a full-time centre for the Habs in the future, but not where they "need to be" while DD and Pleks are here, so why not learn what they can from Koivu next year? I think they're exactly the right players to get the best out of Koivu, and it leaves Max with DD (and probably Gionta) and Cole with Pleks. Part of my reasoning, also, is that I think Leblanc looks ready for more than just 4th line duties next year, but finding somewhere in the top 6 for him would also be jumping the gun big time.

I don't think Eller is ready to move up to the top 6 unless he's transitioned to wing (only Pleks' line has a "vacant" LW position), and if that's the ultimate plan, then I REALLY like keeping him on the 3rd line beside someone like Koivu for a year first. As long as the third guy on that line isn't deadweight, and actually contributes to both ends of the ice like you know the other two will, Koivu wouldn't be asked to do too much.

So, if you follow that reasoning, you can see how I end up with that 3rd line IF Koivu was brought back. Don't know if that'd be the best way to seriously compete for a Cup either next year OR farther in the future, but I can envision the merit and entertainment of bringing back a player who could very well re-assume the captain's role after the leadership void that resulted this year from both injuries and disappointing performances. But again, I don't even think Koivu will leave Anaheim, so...
i see what your saying...

i like the "idea" of Eller-Koivu-Leblanc on many levels, though I'd probably lean toward Koivu taking faceoffs but Eller taking on more of the C "role" once the play was live, & this only if in the pre-season Eller didn't show a noticeable improvement on the draw (something that, simply from a "gut" pov, I think he will be working his arse off on in the off-season... strikes me as the kind of athlete who will diligently focus on improving his weaknesses).

aside from being a potentially positive "fit" between/with those 2 young players, he'd be coming in pretty cap-friendly I imagine, allowing us to be aggressive in adding a top-4 dman (Suter... Stuart... Jackman).

MaxPac- DD- Cole
Eller - Koivu- Leblanc

maybe not "contending" on forward strength alone, but with a bolstered defense and a stellar season from Price, certainly a roster that could do some damage come playoff time.

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