2014 - Canada Roster Discussion (Part IV)
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02-13-2013, 09:23 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Originally Posted by
With Eric Staal's re-energized play this season, 8+8 16pts to go along with a + 12 you see him as a possible 2nd line center with Stamkos (LW) and Giroux (RW)
Previously I had him on the 3rd line LW with Towes and Nash. but thinking now for the sake of "chemistry" having Sharp on LW. (if sharp has the numbers to back it up) I just don't see Richards amping up his game. Granted I have only seen one period of LA hockey this season, but his lack of production is worrying.... 1 goal and a -5. I know stats don't always tell the whole story...but at this point, Richards is not there.
I'd still really like to see Stamkos at center - he's always played there, he's comfortable there, and he's had fantastic chemistry with St. Louis playing on his RW throughout his career. I don't recall Stamkos ever playing wing (power play time notwithstanding; a Crosby-Stamkos combo on the PP would be lethal). MSL would obviously make my team right now too, and if he's playing at this level come December he should be a lock, IMO.
Eric Staal should be a lock at this point too; he's playing great so far this year (after an off-year last year), and typically heats up in the 2nd half so the best may be yet to come for him this season. The beauty of having Staal there is that you can slot him from lines #1 to #4, either C or LW.
I tend to agree re: Richards, though I think he's the kind of guy that will get the benefit of the doubt from Hockey Canada for what he brings to the table, stuff that can't be measured on the scoreboard. I'd hate to lose his physicality, defensive play, and international experience but realistically there may be better guys available who play a similar style of game (Benn and Couture come to mind) and are on the upswing. Still too early to write him off though, IMO. The Kings as a whole are off to a terrible start, and Richards is coming off an outstanding playoff run.
I've always liked Sharp for this team, but the fact is he's not good enough to be a lock, and there are a bunch of young guys at his heels that can do some of the things that Sharp does, only better. He's kind of an ideal guy to have as your 13th forward, though, as he's versatile and can pretty much do anything or play anywhere you need him to. I'm not sure if chemistry with Toews will get him over the hump, as Toews found great chemisty with two unfamiliar players in 2010 fairly quickly. In my opinion, for Sharp it will come down to which of the young guys are at the top of their game in December, and consequently team needs.
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