It seems like Yzerman and Boucher are going to give Smith every oppurtunity for smith to be the starter but i believe that its whoever wins the job in training cammp will play about 50 games while the loser plays about 30. Good or bad year though, smith is most likely gone cus if he has a good year than the money will probably be too high but a bad year we wouldn't want him anyway.
I'm starting to think that Harju,Tyrell and probably also Persson will get some big minutes in Norfolk...
I thought so too. The fourth line in yet I saw something like this: Persson - Thompson - Pouliot. And in my opinion, in the fourth line, players will often change. Given the chance would there have Harju, Persson, Tyrell, etc...
Eh, I think it does more damage splitting Malone from Vinny. Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis has proven to be a dangerous line too. Vinny and Downie don't seem to work as well as Vinny and Malone but maybe that was just because Downie was working without a role while jumping back and forth from the checking lines to the scoring lines before he got comfortable with Stamkos.
I don't think Boucher has ever said he uses 7 defensemen every game, but rather that he has done so and he's comfortable with doing it regularly. I do think the Lightning will carry 12-13 forwards, but, yes, it's quite probable there's plenty of games where only 11 forwards suit up (especially if the Lightning acquire another defenseman or if Mathieu Roy is kept as the 7th defenseman).
I, too, think the team's depth will allow Boucher to mix-and-match for chemistry purposes and also to make in-game adjustments. There are multiple intriguing combos (sans injuries) that come to mind:
Do you want an extremely talented top-6 with a fast checking line line and an energy line with interchangeable parts? You ice:
Do you want three solid offensive lines and a quick and pesky energy line? You ice:
Do you want to jumpstart Vinny while taking some pressure off of Stammer? You ice:
Do you want the absolutely most balanced lineup you can muster? You ice:
I like the last option best but I prefer Malone to be on the ice with Vinny and Purcell(though this may change) Purcell on ice with two scorers is exciting.
Downie - Stamkos - St. Louis
Malone - Lecavallier - Gagne
Bergenheim - Moore - Purcell
Harju - Poulit - Persson
Hedman - Kubina
Clark - Ohlund
Lundin - Jones
I really admire Steve Yzerman so far. IMO he did an awesome job improving this team: Good FA signings and in the Gagner trade he fleeced Holmgren awesomely.
Btw you are my dark horse for that season:
You have a very solid top six that is experienced but also has room to improve (Stamkos, Lecavalier) and one of the deepest and also most skilled bottom sixes in the entire league.
Your defense is also very solid and Ellis/Smith should also become a decent goaltending pairing, especially when they really split games.
And what also impresses me quite a lot is that you still have very much cap space.
You will definitely a team, I'm cheering for .
Lundin will be in the top two and has earned that spot. Watch him play next season, you'll be in for a treat. Hes not physical much, but he plays positionally smart, doesn't get lured out of position, and is one hell of a defenseman. Clarks minutes will be limited to prevent mistakes and keep him fresh.
Lundin - Ohlund
Hedman - Kubina
Clark - (open)
Jones... i'm not sure would get stuck with Clark. Thats a dangerous pairing. I'd imagine Clark and Smaby will be our nasty, shot blocking pairing.
Interested to see what everyone is thinking about Downie playing next to Stamkos this season. Don't want to read too much into it, but Guy Boucher apparently didn't care for his slash in Dallas and benched him for a while. Not that it has anything to do with Boucher, but if I'm not mistaken he also didn't play on a line with Stamkos this summer with Team Canada and had 2 goals in 7 games.
I don't think he'd be as effective of scoring threat without Stamkos or St. Louis on his line. Some argue his style of play increases the chances that Stamkos or St. Louis may be injured, and some argue that his gritty play compliments Stamkos and St. Louis.
Personally, I think if he continues taking unnecessary penalties he'll see a reduction in playing time, and may be playing on a different line. Boucher isn't impressed with how many penalty minutes this team accumulated last season.
Last edited by LetsNotUseNames: 09-24-2010 at 12:34 AM.