Breaking up the top line: Hall at Center
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01-24-2013, 06:55 PM
Red Deer Rebel
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Red Deer
I think there needs to be a shuffle.
Smyth, Horcoff, Gagner, Hemsky, Paajarvi, and Belanger can all put up more offense then we have seen over the last season or two. Having Hall, RNH, and Eberle on the same line seems redundant, since they all handle the puck so well most of the time. They should be broken up at ES, and perhaps played together on the PP.
I'd do this:
Smyth - RNH - Yakupov
Yakupov has the best shot on the team. Kurri-like canon that RNH can feed pucks into. Smyth might also flourish here. He was good playing with the kids at the beginning of last year.
Hall - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hemsky is going offside and looks awkward with Yakupov. They're just confusing each other out there. Hemsky's hard to play with, but looks the best with Hall or RNH. You can also run this line out against the other team's scorers and let Hall dish out some punishment (which he's doing more and more of). The kid is a beast and should be developing that part of his game, not playing on a strictly puck possession, play-making line. I'd love to see him light up Baertschi or Backlund come Saturday night.
Hartikainen - Gagner - Eberle
Eberle makes everybody better, and Gagner is no exception. Gags has the skills to work with Eberle, and they can really throw the puck around when they're both going. Hartikainen is playing his ass off right now, and can cause some havoc down low. Who do you check on this team? All 3 lines are dangerous.
Paajarvi - Belanger - Petrell/Eberle
Give Eberle some regular shifts on this line to see if he can get Belanger going in the offensive end. The guy has been a consistent 40pt player until he got here, so they need to give him some better linemates than the Hordichucks and Petrells. Maybe the guy has lost this part of his game, but I think linemates have been the main issue. He creates lots of possessions when he's on the ice, so having some more offensive pop playing alongside him should work.
Moving Hall to center is something they should consider in future as well. I agree with the OP. He definitely has the tools for it. Paajarvi should also be tried there for that matter.
Last edited by Red Deer Rebel: 01-24-2013 at
. Reason: typo
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