Likely line combinations to begin the season: left winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard with center Sergei Zholtok and right winger Jeremy Stevenson, Andrew Brunette-Jim Dowd-Jason Marshall, Laaksonen-Walz-Burns, Brandner-Chouinard-Daigle. Darby Hendrickson and Matt Johnson skated Sunday on a fifth line with no right winger.
Is PM Bouchard a left winger? I always labeled him a center.
He is a center, but was used quite a bit on the wing last season. Lemaire uses guys wherever they work. Jason Marshall, for example. It's been said that Lemaire's system expects more from a center, so for a guy like Bouchard it makes more sense to use him on the wing until he can handle all the responsibilities of a center. One of the reasons I've never been overly worried about the apparent extra depth at center we've got; a lot of those guys would probably be moved to wing for a while anyway.
Yeah, I've heard the same thing about Lemaire and the center position. The center needs to be the most defensively responsible of all the forwards. My guess is that Lemaire is sending Bouchard out on the wing because a) Bouchard isn't ready for that much defensive responsibility and b) allows PM to focus on offense of which we are in desperately short suppply.
I noticed the same thing as TSK about the lines. We've got several playmakers, but no real finishers. Who's gonna finish Brunette's great feeds, or Bouchard's. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brandner move up the charts if he can show some offensive punch in the first few games. He's the only dark horse on the roster who we can hope turns into a finisher. (I don't see Daigle doing it).
Well, the first few weeks of the season should be interesting, at least.
I'd guess Lemaire will do a fair bit of line juggling to see who works together best. Daigle and Brandner both skated with Bouchard and Zholtok in preseason, if I recall correctly. I could see Stevenson moving to the Brunette-Dowd line if one of those two guys really starts to click. 'Course, Bouchard-Zholtok-Daigle may get beat up a little too much, and Brandner's not exactly physical yet, so maybe Stevenson's size is too vital.
If it can work at all, Lemaire will probably find the way.
So I guess Marshall is playing forward this year. It said on Wild.com he was defense this year, wouldnt have made sense to keet 9 defenseman.I guess im kinda suprised about Daigle, I thought they might pair him with Bouchard, so Daigle could get help with PM's playmaking skills. Choiunard is a solid player though from what I saw in preseason. I guess I thought Brander might have been put on a scoring line, but prolly none of those lines will stick together weve got Jacque for a coach.
Marshall is still listed as a defenceman. He does play a lot of forward though.
There are still only 8 defencemen on the team.
Exactly. So there you have it- Marshall will play forward, Brown and Roche rotate in and out. If there is an injury, Marshall sees some time on defense. I'm not his biggest fan, but I gotta admit that his versatility is a big asset to us. Sometimes I'm really glad we have a guy like that. Last year in one of the games Zyuzin went through his usual puck-in-the-face routine, left the game, so instead of finishing the game a D short, Marshall took his spot. I believe that's the biggest reason why he is still here.