From today's practice it seems like
I like those lines a lot! Halischuk and Yip are victims of circumstance right now with both Smith and Bourque scoring in Carolina, they weren't coming out. However, that also fuels their passion and pushes them to work hard to be ready for their next opportunity because it shows them that results equal rewards.
We know what the Fisher line can do. I like the AK-Leggy-Smith combination because it reminds me again of the 33-11-15 line we saw earlier this year. While AK is a shooter, he also has very underrated playmaking skills as he showed Tuesday night. With Smith on that line he has a finisher and hopefully Legwand can get back to the production we saw from him earlier this year surrounded by youth.
Gaustad was acquired not only to replace Smithson, but also to bump Spaling down a slot to the fourth line. The Wilson-Tootoo combination has been working well for a couple of months now and with Gaustad in there they get a little more size and gumption to add to their cycle game. Only time will tell, but I think we'll see some good things from this line as they gain chemistry down the stretch. They will be a difficult line to play against come playoff time...
Lastly, Bourque-Spaling-Hornqvist. Fact of the matter is that both Spaling and Hornqvist should be receiving bottom-six minutes at ES and making it up on the PK and PP respectively. Bourque has found his niche as a little sparkplug that makes things happen with his speed and tenacity. If they can get the puck to the net, Hornqvist will be in his glory. Overall, this is the line I think you'll see continue to change as the season wears down. If Trotz can find a combo that works...it's golden!
Overall, this is a first shot at finding chemistry and putting people into positions to succeed. I like it for that purpose, but we'll have to wait to see how it looks on the ice prior to passing judgement.