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08-23-2012, 02:14 PM
Ignoring Idiots
bozak911's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
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The thing i just typed up... Unfinished, though, so if it seems to end without a conclusion, sorry.
Think outside of the box for a moment and recall what makes a line great.

Forward lines need;
Power Forward, one who goes to the net, gets his nose dirty.
Play maker.

Ideally, one of those roles should be defensively responsible.

A power forward isn't necessarily a big guy, but it would be beneficial. A play maker needs to be the go-to guy on figuring out where the play will develop. The shooter needs to be lethal with his shot.

Our current roster breaking it down;
Power Forward: Parise, Brodziak
Play Maker: Koivu, Bouchard, Granlund
Shooter: Heatley, Setoguchi

In putting Brodizak in this list, it balances matters. Last season, I would have put Cullen here, but Brodziak has shown that his game has grown above that of Cullen.

I would contend that it is giving him the benefit of a doubt to place Seto as a "shooter". My rationale for putting Parise in as a power forward is that is where he went in a few games I reviewed from last season.

Out of that list, the most defensively responsible are Koivu, Parise and Brodziak. Heatley really turned up his defensive game during the Wild's tank-fest, so he would be loosely thrown into that category.

Yeo has stated that he wants to go with Parise - Koivu - Heatley as his top line. If you accept the concept as outline above, this line is PF - PM - S. Going further down this conceptual path will show that putting those players on the same line will cause imbalance on the other. It also shows that maybe one of the other players needs to step down to the third line.

The line of Setoguchi - Granlund - Bouchard shows up as a S-PM-PM without a defensive minded player on the line. Moving one of the play makers in place of Heatley on the top line throws imbalance into the top line. This also plays Seto out of his natural RW slot. Introduce as the 2nd line center, and more balance shows up.

Parise - Koivu - Setoguchi = Still balanced with PF-PM-S
Heatley - Granlund - Brodziak = Newly balanced 2nd line with S-PM-PF

You could easily swap players on these lines to attempt to play to their strengths.

This puts Bouchard down to the third line, which also allows for moving Clutterbuck to the LW, where he flourishes. It also has the added benefit of Cullen and Bouchard having had chemistry early last season. Of course, Koivu-Bouchard combination has shown chemistry in the past, but we can fall back on that later.

The third line would be:
Clutterbuck - Cullen - Bouchard

My opinion on where to utilize Granlund was tossed out in this concept. I would prefer to see him start out a bit more... Sheltered. In which case, my second line would be: Heatley - Brodziak - Bouchard
I'll have to get back to it later tonight to finish my thoughts... Sorry, been swamped with things lately.

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