I think everybody, deep down, knows that we're eventually going to have two lines with a Staal each. This talk of playing them together makes no sense. It dilutes the depth of the center position and it puts them both in a position of not being able to watch each other and critique each other the way we want. I want a dog fight between those two for who can have the more impressive shift each time they jump over the boards. If they have to play together on the PP, then that is well and good.
You know, I really like the way you think.
From a team-chemistry standpoint it makes a TON of sense to separate the Staals at even strength and put them together on the PP.
For ~30 minutes a game we have the brothers coming over the boards, skating their normal shift knowing the other is watching, and then coming back to get feedback.
Then on the power play, both of them come out with that feeling of "OK, let's go to work"... which is a normal feeling for a PP unit, but in this case almost Sedin-like. They get 60 easy seconds with a lot of space to work with each other in the offensive zone. And damned if we don't have an actual RHS sniper waiting to pull the trigger on the other side, keeping at least one defender honest the whole time.
Ideally, the whole game ebbs and flows between the Staals competing/encouraging, then coming together. It actually sounds fun to be part of that.
Jokinen is pass-first and not the best fit, IMO, to be paired with EStaal and Semin. Though he's not a prototypical L1 talent, Ruutu would be the better fit in that he can be the physical forechecking force. They need that kind or presence to effectively cycle whereas Jokinen is better suited to a more wide-open, transition style scheme like the old Caps.
I agree with this version of Xlyo's lines:
Semin - Eric - Ruutu
Jokinen - Jordan - Skinner
Tlusty - Welsh/Dalpe - LaRose
Dwyer/Bowman - Brent - Dwyer/Nodl/Samson
I not so sure that Skinner and Semin will be slated to play on the opposite wing.
I have two trains of thought on this front. One is the overload top 6, with the offensive talent being consolodated there for the most part and us basically telling the other team "go ahead, try and stop both lines". The other is along the lines of what Vagrant suggested.
Top 6 Overload:
Jokinen - E Staal - Semin
Skinner - J Staal - Ruutu
Tlusty - Welshy - LaRose
Nodl - Brent - Dwyer
In a more balanced lines formula, I prefer Juice in the top 6 over Tlusty. However, the depth chart on the site is almost exactly how I would like it. Barring an experienced shutdown center on the 3rd of 4th line of course. I feel like Welsh could fit into this role soon, but would be better served off with some AHL time. With maybe Jason Arnott added, I could see a very different team formula going in this year. Different, but with an emphasis on player chemistry.
Line 1: Staal-Staal-Semin (Top line with a lot minutes, also best shutdown line.)
Dpairing 1: Gleason-Corvo (Banking shots off the glass for rebound goals)
Dpairing 2: Pitkanen-Mcbain (For a little play-making)
This is a true top line with the ability to shutdown the other team's top players. (Unlike we've seen in the past, this will wear down the opponent particularly well.) I agree with the premise that the Staals observing eachother from the bench is a good idea, however they could also benefit by limiting their mistakes when playing with eachother.
Line 2: Skinner-Jokinen-Ruutu (Cherry picking, scoring line)
Dpairing 1: Pitkanen-Mcbain (Talk about getting points)
Dpairing 2: Harrison-Faulk (No way in hell we send out Gleason-Corvo for such defensive responibilites)
Lethal, especially in the offensive zone.
Line 3: Tlusty-Arnott-Larose (Shutdown line #2, Arnott would be perfect example for Welsh.)
Dpairing 1: Harrison-Faulk
Dpairing 2: Gleason Corvo
Not exactly a true shutdown line, but enough defensive responsibility and goal scoring to go around when Line 1 is tired.
Honestly, you could switch the "energy line" and "shutdown #2" by switching Centers. We could gauge Brent's importance to this team on his last year as UFA, while not necessarily setting him up to underachieve. Lining up Brent and Tlusty on the 3rd line could bring back preseason memories as well. Nothing could go wrong with an Arnott signing.
I thought about putting Semin on his natural side (left) if being lined up with the Staals. This would please Sasha, but maybe troublesome for Eric who would be learning how to play a new position anyways.
-1st line is a little soft, but I'm convinced that Jokinen's playmaking presence is needed on a line with two natural goal scorers.
-2nd line is pretty nifty in that you get a bit of everything and the size and physicality of Staal-Ruutu opens up a little room for Skinner.
-3rd line, Welsh at center seems to be the overwhelming consensus, but Brent is more of a known and has shown the ability to create offense with much worse linemates.
4th line, I say get rid of all the riff-raff. Sutter's going to be a fourth-liner here long term so just let him play there now. Put Welsh on the wing where he can use his size and hitting to stir things up, at least until he proves he belongs higher up in the lineup.
Well, originally I had put Ruutu on 1st line RW and Jokinen on 2nd line LW, then I switched them around. Realistically it doesn't matter much since they're all lefties (except Semin who supposedly prefers the off wing anyway).
Nothing seems more obvious than playing Staal and Staal at 1c and 2c. Yet Plan A seems to be to move Eric Staal to wing. Which is a pretty extreme change, particularly when you could just play them both as your top 6 centers.
I maintain this is because Skinner and Jordan are not a good pairing.
The same reason Brandon Sutter never got a real shot at 2c. Because playing him with Skinner doesn't make sense.
In a perfect world, Skinner and Eric develop chemistry and we get:
Well, we have no idea whether or not Skinner works with Staal11, and two coaches tried him with Staal12, to less-than-stellar results.
Their offensive chemistry was fine, it was that they combined to be very poor defensively. That wouldn't be a problem with JStaal and I think they would mesh well offensively too. JStaal is not all that creative with the puck whereas Skinner is. You could even flip-flop them on certain shifts from C to W.
A good question is: how many of these players will score at least 30 goals?
I've got to agree that if the first 2 lines are centered by the Staals, it's better to stick the snipers with Eric. Quite frankly, I think that the Staals will be too good playing with eachother that they won't be seperated for some time. Anyways, Jokinen and Skinner shouldn't be seperated at all really, and Jordan's defensive prowess should offset any of that lines weaknesses
EDIT: JStaal has a strong chance at reaching 30 goals IMO. He won't offset any weakness in compete level however.
Last edited by Yes We Cam: 08-01-2012 at 05:06 PM.