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01-10-2013, 10:42 AM
  #294
SERE 24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
It's not just a question of offense — it's balancing the lines, as well. We saw what Hagelin-Richards-Gaborik did together. That's because each had a role, knew it and did it. Break up Nash and Gaborik and you have two lines that, at least on paper, have that same balance. Again, put Nash and Gaborik on separate lines creates match up problems for opposing teams. Which line do you match your checking line against?

Why have a 1-2 punch when you can have a 1a-1b punch?

Moreover, not only did Hagelin, Richards, Gaborik work very well together with their defined roles, but I see Callahan as being very similar to Hagelin, Stepan as being a similar player to Richards, albeit not as far along in his development (obviously) and Nash, while not a similar player to Gabby, is that dynamic offensive superstar to finish the line. You have a quick, aggressive, grind it out, space creater on one wing, a cerebral, intuitive playmaker in the middle and an offensively dynamic goal machine on the other wing. I think having:

Hagelin - Richards - Gaborik
Nash - Stepan - Callahan

or

Nash - Richards - Callahan
Hagelin - Stepan - Gaborik

are our best bets. Very balanced, very strong lines. If Hagelin can maintain or improve on his play from last year it's a seriously good 1-2 punch.

EDIT: The only problem with all of this is that I see Kreider as being wasted in a bottom six role that he's not really suited for while either Hagelin or Callahan, although deserving and beyond capable of playing on the top two lines, are far more versatile and would do much better on a shutdown/forecheck line. It will be interesting to see how it shakes down.

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