Also, Marco Scandella is hurt and Pierre-Marc Bouchard has yet to be cleared from a concussion. He is feeling better and is close, but he’s missed more than a year and hasn’t cleared the last major hurdle – contact. So there’s a chance he is not ready to start the year.
Without Granlund/Zucker, Coyle would struggle
Without Granlund/Coyle, Zucker would be just fine
Don't know what that means for lines/callups.
My reasoning for Coyle on the top line is due to his style of play and mature frame. His positioning, cycle game, and ability to screen/tip shots lead me to believe he would be more effective in the NHL at this point in time.
With that said, I think Zucker has easily been the best offensive forward in Houston. His speed, shot, and ability to be effective with everyone has been impressive. I could go either way - I just happen to really think Coyle's game is going to really blossom in the NHL.
Looking at the possible #1 powerplay unit is making me frisky.....
I think its a toss-up between Coyle and Zucker. In one of Russo's earlier blogs, a few months ago, he seemed to think Coyle was NHL ready and would be in the lineup on opening day if Bouchard was still out.