"We find a way to get two lines going, but we never get to three. We feel like we can get more from Savage and Radivojevic, especially offensively, if we have a guy like Michel who is more of a puck control guy. For us, R.J. is so good on the boards, and he has so much tenacity towards the net, that with a playmaking guy like Richards, he can get R.J. the puck on the fly and hopefully it’s a win-win. I think the reality is that someone is going to have to play wing that is normally a center. Quite frankly, we’re not sure when we’re going to get Keith back. When we’re trying to shut a game down and get a game closed off in the last minute, I think the thing that is really evident for us is that we’re scrambling to get a couple of lines out there that have some semblance of order when we’re trying to shut a game down. That’s what Michal has done for us for two years now. He can go out there in the last minute of the game and get it closed off, and I think it’s more realistic to put him in the middle so he can do those things."
Damn, I was liking Handzus on the wing. Why not switch Richards to the wing for that last minute. I like the Idea of trying to get Umberger going but getting something from Savage and Radio offensively? I know how to do that - send them to the Phantoms when our injured forwards come back. Just kidding, I know they can't just be sent down. Also does Carter go back on the fourth line? I rather keep Zues at wing than make the kid learn a new postion before he even gets started.
I think Hitch is looking for a perfect season. Bad games happen, even more so when players aren't used to playing with each other. He needs to let some chemistry develop.
I don't know what he's going to do. I thought the way he had the lines structured was about as balanced is they could get, with the current injury situation. Handzus/Richards/Sim seemed to be working well, and I was really liking Handzus' play on the wing. I guess with Primeau out, Hithcock is wanting to take advantage of Handzus' defensive play. Perhaps that means when a healthy Primeau returns, Handzus may go back to center.
Either way, I'd really prefer to not have to whitness Richards' playmaking ability wasted on a line with Donald Brashear.