Thread: Line Combos: 2012/2013
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08-03-2012, 05:36 PM
  #89
Big Daddy Cane
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Tlusty – E. Staal – Semin
Jokinen – J. Staal – LaRose
Skinner – Welsh – Ruutu
Bowman – Brent – Dwyer
Nodl/Stewart

Pitkanen – McBain
Gleason – Corvo
Harrison – Faulk
Sanguinetti– Murphy (?)

Ward
Boucher/Peters

I’m a fan of a more balanced, 3-line attack rather than a stacked Top 6 and a weaker 3rd line. Because of the chemistry he had with E. Staal this past season and his two-way play, I think Tlusty would be a solid 3rd wheel next to the aforementioned Staal and Semin.

Almost everyone that has the two Staals on separate lines has Skinner penciled in next to J. Staal. I think it would work out well enough, but I wonder if having them on separate lines may be a better option. J. Staal is a great two-way player; a former Selke nominee. The staff should take advantage of his abilities and send him out there against the opposition’s best forward(s) every game. I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable sending Skinner out there alongside him in that role at this point. I wouldn’t call Jokinen or LaRose great defensive forwards or anything, but I thought they both looked solid enough in a “shutdown” role next to Sutter at various points in the past. Offensively, I think the line could be quite effective, so long as Jussi bounces back. J. Staal would benefit from Jokinen’s playmaking ability and LaRose’s grinder-esque playing style.

The great benefit of separating Skinner and J. Staal is that it frees up Jeffrey to face weaker match-ups and be in more offensive situations. It creates a real match-up problem for the opposition. Welsh would likewise benefit from being in those situations next to two linemates that have chemistry. Now, I’m penciling in Welsh as the 3C for now, but maybe it’s Dalpe that has a strong camp and establishes himself as a NHL player. Maybe Ruutu slides over to 3C and its Boychuk who finally proves that he belongs. Maybe it’s Stewart or Bowman or Nodl that grabs the 3rd spot on that line. There are lots of options.

The 4th line is smaller and softer than you would want, but it would be solid defensively and able to possess the puck the well. As far as the defense goes, I just went with the pairs with proven chemistry.

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