Those top 2 lines are near locks to start the year at least IMO, and that 4th line is that veteran defensive line that Martin can trust to be responsible. That wing spot on Ellers line is the where there will be serious competition for. I could see Palushaj or Pacioretty getting a crack at it, or maybe even an Avstin, with Darche sitting, though most likely it'll be Laps or Darche or Moen...
On D, I could very well see Hammer being moved at the deadline much like Rivet was a couple of years ago to make room for O'Byrne once Markov is healthy...
Just watched some footage of the Pens/Habs series on the NHL network, and noticed, once again, how decently O'Byrne played. He was playing with alot of confidence in that series, making heads-up plays all over the ice and even jumping into the offence at appropriate times. It baffles me that he was benched for most of the Philly series, but i guess Martin got really obsessed with MAB chipping in important PP goals. Either way, I think that O'Byrne is going to be good this year, and will be ready to chip in bigger minutes. As long as Hammer and Spacek are split up, I think the D will be okay until Markov returns. Hammer and Spacek are too similar in that they both have average foot speed and neither them really like to play physical. Subban and O'Byrne as their respective partners makes up for what they both lack: speed and size. Both are good defensemen, but i found that they overworked themselves last year. Having fresher legs besides them will help keep them fresher as the year goes along, IMO.
I'd like the following :
Cammalleri - Gomez - Gionta Alexstream - Plekanec - Kovalev
I'm 80% sure that by mid season, Eller is playing wing on one of the first two lines and that one of the cream puff whippet supposedly good young wingers (if not both of them) will be in the coach doghouse if not traded.
Given Martin's philosophy of duos, I thing it's a given that G-love and Gio will be on a line and Cammy and Plek on another. Also, I hope and think that they will try to give a young winger with offensive potential to Eller to try to develop another duo with chemistry, and I believe Boyd and Pyatt have played together at the WJC so they maybe another duo Martin would consider. So I come up with this :
To be honest I can't wait for the season to begin. I know I'm like this every year but for some reason this year I'm extra excited. There are some question marks but the biggest one from last year was whether or not any of these new players would play good for us. I think with the group we have we can put that idea to rest. This year goaltending might be a question mark but if Price is even half the goalie he could potentially be we will have a good season barring injury. Too much talent on our team to say otherwise. We might be underrated but you know what, I like having a team that proves all the haters wrong.
The habs often times seem to be able to do it while teams like the leafs get laughed at. We may have not won a cup in a while but right now I can feel it, we have one hell of a team this year.
I know Boyd is a center , but he is the most offensive in the bottom 6 ( expect eller) and I don't want eller to play with darche or moen.
Gill with OByrne!! Way too slow, not enough mobility and puckmoving skills, they will be eaten alive.. Gill started to play well when paired with Gorges, a guy able to move the puck well in his own zone..
How do the powerplay's line looks like for this year ? Cammy, Gomez and Gionta together with Markov and Subban for the full PP ? Do you think Eller will see some powerplay at the beginning of the season ?