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10-22-2012, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I agree with most of what you say, particularly about the forwards who won't be returning. My projected group of forwards is almost identical to that posted by 86Habs, with the only difference being line combinations. I see Toews, Richards and Nash coming together again. I am also guessing that E. Staal and Bergeron are in the bottom 6. I have Seguin filling out that last bottom six spot instead of Benn. Seguin's speed would be a great asset, he's proven in the last year that he's a competent player defensively and he can clearly work with Bergeron. I have Eberle or Perry as 13th forward, and I don't think Benn beats either out.
Yep, to explain my thinking on the line combos - essentially, I want two dynamic scoring/offensive lines that give different looks to the opposition (ie, the Crosby line - creativity and hockey smarts, and the Stamkos line - speed); and two balanced 2-way lines that can present an offensive threat while taking care of business in their own zone, but also offered some physicality/energy (keeping in mind the international ice context) and flexibility to create a pure "shutdown" line.

I broke-up the Toews-Nash-Richards line and dropped Perry down on the right side to create a sort of "energy" line with great physicality, scoring ability, and defensive awareness. Perry could be moved up to the Crosby line, or at least used with him on the PP. The Bergeron line is obviously also a great two-way line, with loads of international experience and flexibility to be used in a shutdown role (or alternatively we can move Bergeron or Nash up on the right side with Toews and Richards to matchup against the Malkins, Ovechkins, or Sedins of the world. Seguin can be moved up and down the lineup to inject speed say, to the Crosby line, or to take advantage of his chemistry with Bergeron.

Overall, my fundamental belief is that we should be able to roll four lines at even strength, and have all four lines present an offensive threat, including the shutdown line. If we're matching-up Bergeron/Toews/Richards/Nash against Kovalchuk/Malkin/Ovechkin, I want them to be just as worried about us as we are of them, and I think this depth was a deciding, critical factor for us in 2010.

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