I can honestly live without Begin's stupid penalties at the worst possible time. I love some elements of his game (shot blocking, penalty killing), but IMO Dandenault brings more value as a speedster forechecker.. and can fill in on defence if needed. Along with his 3 Stanley Cups.
That Hockeyville game I thought Maxwell was very impressive and last night in Ottawa, Chipchura and O. Latendresse were very fun to watch. Max-Pac had some good shifts too, but still needs a little more grooming and wish D'Agostini was in the line-up like originally posted. Ryan White looked very promising from what I saw of him. Dandenault was good last night, but everyone knows that he is the odd man out on this team. I only wish I could have seen Stewart play, because I really like him too.
So I guess...
Plus, some of those D-men looked very good back there too.
I won't rate them, but Laraque-Chipchura-Lappierre should definately be our last line wherever they are rated, they bring absolutely evreything you can expect for a 4th line, speed, roughness, good defensive play, heavyweight fighter, some offensive game, leadership, really what can you ask more?
Dandy and Kosts could be cut and it wouldn't hurt us. Lapierre is valuable but he doesn't have a nailed down position. Begin is great but always gets hurt. Chipchura needs a lot of time as a fourth line center to develop, and Laraque was a big aquisition who needs to play a fair amount of time to police the ice.
The top three (for me) would be, in no particular order, Lapierre, Chipchura, and Laraque. After them, Kostopoulos and Dandenault as reserves.
Bégin and Lapierre are just too similar to have both on the team. Some could make the same case for Kostopoulos, but I've found the latter to play a much better defensive game than Bégin. Lapierre also seems to be producing at Bégin's pace from 2003-04 (or whenever it was when he put up 20+ points)...
I think using Laraque or Kostopoulos would be situational. If we need a fighter, use Laraque; if you need someone with a stronger defensive presence (and somebody to lose a fight :p), you go with Kostopoulos.
In case of injury, you always have Dandenault, or D'Agostini (is he waiver eligible?) if the injuries are deep.
Of course, this would require moving Lapierre to the wing... a Lapierre - Chipchura - Laraque combination would be nice. I just feel Bégin is a huge redundancy on this team.