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04-22-2013, 03:00 PM
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On the defensive side, not much is needed. Streit would be a terrific solution to our second pairing although he is on the backside of his career and not wt he once was. For the life of me, I cant see why Poile kept Gill as he looks worse by the game, isn't solidifying our PK and has no chance to use his mythical beast mode if aren't in the playoffs. I would jettison him and kep working with Blum and Bartley. Blum looks to be on the same development path as Kevin Klein and I would not give up on him. Trade Ellis or let him develop... whatever.

For goaltending, we need a very solid backup and Mason aint it.

Trotz is correct, our forward corp is a mess of redundancy.

At center, Spaling/Legwand/Fisher are fighting over the #3 center role.

Yip and Clune are neck and neck as the energy reject from the Stanley Cup champ.

SK and Smith are fighting it out for the ineffective floater role.

Hali/Gaustad/Mueller/Butler all want to be the best "wishful thinking" Poile move in the last 5 years but something has to give. Besides, Hali/Mueller/Butler are all fighting to be the guy that Trotz never likes even when they do ok.

In all seriousness, though, we could be set at center- agree with Trig that you need Fisher/Legwand as 2/3 not to trade them. Wilson/Fisher/Legwand/Gaustad could be adequate down the center.

For my taste, Spaling/Butler/Yip are redundant and any replacement needs the speed to forecheck relentlessly- that's the key to generating turnover for scoring and protecting our D. I think a lot of our problems this year can be attributed to not being able to apply that pressure (Ward/Fiddler/Tootoo/Smithson were all fast and hard on the puck in a way that Smith/Yip/Butler are not).

To end the rambling, there are a variety of interesting and mostly untried line combos including my personal favorite:

Fisher-Spaling-Legwand (the mother of all shut down lines aka the "go ahead and throw me out of the faceoff circle... see if I care" line). Stay with me here. If Wilson plays C on the first or second line and Gaustad keeps the 4th line, then we only need to add one center (Roy perhaps) to make this work. It might just make the most of our screwed up situation with these three. I think it would free up some goals from the two playing wing as well.

Other potential untried lines:

Beck-Wilson-Bourque (power/speed, altough it requires Bourque to flip to RW)
Smith-Wilson-SK (the pass it to Smith line... Drouin would be a nice Smith replacement on this line)
Beck-Fisher-Hornqvist (3rd line crashers)
Bourque-Wilson-FF (I'm willing to try almost any Bourque/Wilson combo).

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