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2014 - Canada Roster Discussion (Part IV)

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Old
03-08-2013, 12:33 PM
  #951
86Habs
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Originally Posted by landskronala View Post
Chris Kunitz, if he keeps it up, should get a look.
No, I don't think so. He's a pretty good player, and kudos to him for finishing-off many of the scoring chances that Crosby's creating, but the fact of the matter is that he is feeding heavily off Crosby. The problem with a guy like Kunitz is that he'd essentially be on the Olympic team for one reason purpose - to play on the wing, with Crosby. If he dries up (which frankly is bound to happen at some point, if history is any indication) and the coaches want to try someone else (we have a plethora of better players available) on Crosby's wing, what are they going to do with Kunitz? He can't play on another line, really. We certainly wouldn't count on him to kill penalties or play in a defensive role. So basically he'd be a guy that's penciled into one roster spot in the forward group. And bringing players that have chemistry together is great and all, but it has to make sense. Crosby has shown time and time again that he can play outstanding hockey with absolutely anyone.

Aside from Crosby and Stamkos, who are the #1 and #2 scoring options, I'm a very firm believer that the remainder of our forward group should be reasonably be able to perform successfully on any of our four forward lines, and I just don't see that with Kunitz.

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03-08-2013, 12:48 PM
  #952
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Originally Posted by landskronala View Post
Chris Kunitz, if he keeps it up, should get a look.
its funny how people from outside Canada, want Canada to take one dimensional, flavour of the day type playes.

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03-08-2013, 02:56 PM
  #953
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Iginla - Crosby - Neal/Nash
M. Richards - Toews - Giroux
Tavares - Stamkos - MSL
Benn- Bergeron - Perry

HS: Neal/Nash; Getzlaf, J. Thornton, Hall.

Doughty - Weber
Keith - Letang
Seabrook - Pietrangelo
HS: Staal, Subban

Price
Luongo
Fleury


PP1:

Stamkos - Crosby - Neal/Nash/Tavares

Letang - Weber

PP2:

Perry/Iginla - Giroux/Toews - Nash/Benn

Doughty/Subban - Pietrangelo/Keith

PK1:

Bergeron - Crosby/Giroux

Seabrook - Weber


PK2:

Toews/Tavares - M. Richards/Benn

Keith/Staal - Letang


4v4 duos
Crosby - Iginla
Giroux -Tavares
Toews - M. Richards
Stamkos - MSL
Bergeron - Perry
Benn - Neal/Nash


Shootout lineup.
Crosby
Giroux
Toews
Tavares
MSL

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03-09-2013, 07:12 AM
  #954
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I have to vote a NO to Kunitz as well. That makes very little sense to me. He can play on the B team at the World Championships if he so wishes... and given the way Pitt is going, can't play D, terrible goaltending, then Kunitz Crosby Neal to the WHC...looks like a possibility but Olympics? No.

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03-09-2013, 08:43 AM
  #955
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Originally Posted by Mr Writer View Post
I have to vote a NO to Kunitz as well. That makes very little sense to me. He can play on the B team at the World Championships if he so wishes... and given the way Pitt is going, can't play D, terrible goaltending, then Kunitz Crosby Neal to the WHC...looks like a possibility but Olympics? No.
I wouldn't even take Kunitz on the WC team. If Crosby is there, he should play with potential Olympic linemates like Tavares.

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03-09-2013, 09:11 AM
  #956
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I wouldn't even take Kunitz on the WC team. If Crosby is there, he should play with potential Olympic linemates like Tavares.
I see your point; and while I don't wholeheartedly disagree with it, given the challenges Hockey Canada faces in getting players to commit to the WHC in normal years, this year will be especially challenging as the NHL season ends just 6 days before the start of the WHC. I don't think HC is in any position to be too picky on who agrees while at the same time giving consideration to possible Olympic scenarios using the WHC as a trial run. I think HC should try and win one tourney at a time and put off planning for the Olympics until the summer...
HC has thrown away far too many of these tournaments since Vancouver. It's time for HC to get its head out of its a$$.

But to your point, of course I want Olympic Gold above all else and I don't give a flying **** about the WHC.

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03-09-2013, 10:20 AM
  #957
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Originally Posted by Mr Writer View Post
I see your point; and while I don't wholeheartedly disagree with it, given the challenges Hockey Canada faces in getting players to commit to the WHC in normal years, this year will be especially challenging as the NHL season ends just 6 days before the start of the WHC. I don't think HC is in any position to be too picky on who agrees while at the same time giving consideration to possible Olympic scenarios using the WHC as a trial run. I think HC should try and win one tourney at a time and put off planning for the Olympics until the summer...
HC has thrown away far too many of these tournaments since Vancouver. It's time for HC to get its head out of its a$$.

But to your point, of course I want Olympic Gold above all else and I don't give a flying **** about the WHC.
While I know that things will change, if you look at the teams currently out of playoff position Canada could have:

Tavares, Giroux, Duchene, Kane, Ladd, Stamkos, St. Louis, Hall, Eberle

All of them could be potential linemates for Crosby at the WCs should Pittsburgh be eliminated early, and all are far superior to Kunitz. Unless there is a serious injury, I can't see any of those guys turning down Hockey Canada so close to the Olympics either.

Still though, due to scheduling I can't see Canada leaving more than 2-3 forward spots open for players who get eliminated in the first round. Crosby is pretty unlikely.

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03-09-2013, 11:16 AM
  #958
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
While I know that things will change, if you look at the teams currently out of playoff position Canada could have:

Tavares, Giroux, Duchene, Kane, Ladd, Stamkos, St. Louis, Hall, Eberle

All of them could be potential linemates for Crosby at the WCs should Pittsburgh be eliminated early, and all are far superior to Kunitz. Unless there is a serious injury, I can't see any of those guys turning down Hockey Canada so close to the Olympics either.

Still though, due to scheduling I can't see Canada leaving more than 2-3 forward spots open for players who get eliminated in the first round. Crosby is pretty unlikely.
All very true, but the point is moot, as even if Pitt missed or were eliminated early, I doubt we'll ever see Crosby at another World Hockey Championship... insurance costs and the risks involved for a B-level tournament? But it's interesting to speculate... lets hope a team shows up this year. Although in fairness to Hockey Canada, other than a few selections which peeved me off last year, it wasn't an entirely bad team and if not for Getzlaf's gaff, then Canada looked good to get to the gold medal game...at least after the Finland game I thought they were in good shape. But oh well...lets see what happens this year.

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03-09-2013, 12:09 PM
  #959
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Originally Posted by Mr Writer View Post
All very true, but the point is moot, as even if Pitt missed or were eliminated early, I doubt we'll ever see Crosby at another World Hockey Championship... insurance costs and the risks involved for a B-level tournament? But it's interesting to speculate... lets hope a team shows up this year. Although in fairness to Hockey Canada, other than a few selections which peeved me off last year, it wasn't an entirely bad team and if not for Getzlaf's gaff, then Canada looked good to get to the gold medal game...at least after the Finland game I thought they were in good shape. But oh well...lets see what happens this year.
Yep, the quality has been there the last few years. I am guessing that this year will follow the tradition of recent years with a loaded group of forwards, and a lacking group of defencemen.

As far as Crosby at the WCs, I fully expect him to participate in the tournament sometime. His best ever international performance came at the tournament, and I suspect that he would want to win it at least once given his competitiveness.

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03-09-2013, 01:56 PM
  #960
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I don't like Eric Staal on the wing and I don't think MSL at 38 will be on the team unless he continues to defy his age. Benn is a bit of a wildcard, he's very skilled and very versatile but not as proven or experienced as many other options. He also likes to hold on to the puck a lot and make plays and we have a lot of those types of guys. Getzlaf/Perry are two of my favorite players in the league but I'm uncertain about their skating. Perry being a natural winger has a much better chance of making the team.

If I were picking the team I'd want
a) players that can play in multiple situations
b) natural wingers, and centers should have prior experience where possible when moving over
c) past olympic or playoff success
d) excellent skating

Tavares - Crosby - Perry
Benn - Stamkos - Carter
Nash - Toews - Giroux
Richards - Bergeron - Seguin

Keith - Weber
Staal - Doughty
Letang - Pietrangelo
Seabrook

Price
Luongo

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03-09-2013, 02:05 PM
  #961
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Guys any thoughts on Patrick Sharp for Sochi? I think Sharp is one of the most underrated guys in the league. He is a versatile player who can play several positions, can kill penalties and would look good next to Toews on the 4th line. He always has played very good hockey on the big ice playing for Canada in the World Championships. I am a fan of the guy, and i think he should be one of the guys in the mix. I have him right now on my projected 4th line with Toews and Bergeron. Any thoughts on Sharp?

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03-09-2013, 03:16 PM
  #962
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Originally Posted by Nihiliste View Post
I don't like Eric Staal on the wing and I don't think MSL at 38 will be on the team unless he continues to defy his age. Benn is a bit of a wildcard, he's very skilled and very versatile but not as proven or experienced as many other options. He also likes to hold on to the puck a lot and make plays and we have a lot of those types of guys. Getzlaf/Perry are two of my favorite players in the league but I'm uncertain about their skating. Perry being a natural winger has a much better chance of making the team.

If I were picking the team I'd want
a) players that can play in multiple situations
b) natural wingers, and centers should have prior experience where possible when moving over
c) past olympic or playoff success
d) excellent skating

Tavares - Crosby - Perry
Benn - Stamkos - Carter
Nash - Toews - Giroux
Richards - Bergeron - Seguin

Keith - Weber
Staal - Doughty
Letang - Pietrangelo
Seabrook

Price
Luongo
I agree with a lot of your thoughts, but I hate that second line. Stamkos and Carter are pure snipers, and it seems redundant to have both. Having Benn as the playmaker on the LW makes little sense to me, as Stamkos' one timers generally come from the left side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehar View Post
Guys any thoughts on Patrick Sharp for Sochi? I think Sharp is one of the most underrated guys in the league. He is a versatile player who can play several positions, can kill penalties and would look good next to Toews on the 4th line. He always has played very good hockey on the big ice playing for Canada in the World Championships. I am a fan of the guy, and i think he should be one of the guys in the mix. I have him right now on my projected 4th line with Toews and Bergeron. Any thoughts on Sharp?
Sharp is very interesting to me, and was included on my last projected roster. I like his versatility and his experience killing penalties with Toews. A line of:

Sharp Toews Nash

Could be very effective, with Toews and Sharp doubling as the #1 PK unit.

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03-10-2013, 12:42 AM
  #963
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I agree with a lot of your thoughts, but I hate that second line. Stamkos and Carter are pure snipers, and it seems redundant to have both. Having Benn as the playmaker on the LW makes little sense to me, as Stamkos' one timers generally come from the left side.

To be honest I kind of agree with you even though I suggested it. My thought process there was that Benn likes to make a lot of east-west plays when holding on to the puck and likes cutting into the middle of the ice a lot to make passes. I've seen him do it a lot with Jagr or Eriksson and that tactic of the center and winger switching spots with regularity works really well for some guys (saw it on my Avs with Duchene/Fleischmann and Duchene/Mueller). My thinking was that Benn and Stamkos would be free to interchange while making plays and Stamkos could still set up for shots from the left side. I agree that having Carter on that line perhaps doesn't' work though. The thinking was that he doesn't like to hold on to the puck much and is good at getting into the slot accept some passes and to go and get second opportunities on rebounds generated by Stamkos/Benn. However I agree that it probably doesn't work in practice.

Perhaps a simple solution would be to switch Tavares and Stamkos, as Stamkos may perhaps be better suited to a winger type of game than JT anyways.

Stamkos - Crosby - Perry
Benn - Tavares - Carter

Might be more balanced.

Quote:
Sharp is very interesting to me, and was included on my last projected roster. I like his versatility and his experience killing penalties with Toews. A line of:

Sharp Toews Nash

Could be very effective, with Toews and Sharp doubling as the #1 PK unit.
I actually really like this idea. Taking that into account I might adjust my projected bottom 6 to

Sharp - Toews - Nash
Richards - Bergeron - Seguin

Moving Giroux up into the top 6 and knocking Carter down to 13th forward or off the roster if carrying a more versatile player makes more sense in case of injury.

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03-10-2013, 11:56 AM
  #964
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Sharp is very interesting to me, and was included on my last projected roster. I like his versatility and his experience killing penalties with Toews. A line of:

Sharp Toews Nash

Could be very effective, with Toews and Sharp doubling as the #1 PK unit.
I absolutely agree. I have mentioned Sharp in the past in this forum before the season, and many were saying no. Sharp has won me over with his play the last couple of years, ever since the Blackhawks run to the cup. His versatility and ability to kill penalties, and his strong play for Canada in the World Championships merits his name being considered. Sharp is on my roster right now, and was on my roster several months ago when i listed my projected team.

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03-10-2013, 05:10 PM
  #965
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What do you think about Francois Beauchemin ? Has he a chance to make the summer camp ? His play is solid, I donīt think he has any chance to make the olympic squad though.

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03-10-2013, 05:23 PM
  #966
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I absolutely agree. I have mentioned Sharp in the past in this forum before the season, and many were saying no. Sharp has won me over with his play the last couple of years, ever since the Blackhawks run to the cup. His versatility and ability to kill penalties, and his strong play for Canada in the World Championships merits his name being considered. Sharp is on my roster right now, and was on my roster several months ago when i listed my projected team.
Sharp is a great pick I think. I would definitely not be against a roster whith him. Itīs a question who would play with Toews and Sharp. Rick Nash ? Eric Staal ? John Tavares ? If he makes a good play-off run, then is no doubt he should be considered as a near-lock.

I love the depth we have


Last edited by True Hockey Fan: 03-10-2013 at 05:37 PM.
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03-10-2013, 06:38 PM
  #967
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What do you think about Francois Beauchemin ? Has he a chance to make the summer camp ? His play is solid, I donīt think he has any chance to make the olympic squad though.
No to Beauchemin, in any capacity.

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Originally Posted by True Hockey Fan View Post
Sharp is a great pick I think. I would definitely not be against a roster whith him. Itīs a question who would play with Toews and Sharp. Rick Nash ? Eric Staal ? John Tavares ? If he makes a good play-off run, then is no doubt he should be considered as a near-lock.

I love the depth we have
I think that both Nash and E. Staal would be good picks to play with Toews/Sharp. My preference is Nash. With that three man group, Canada has an effective combo from the 2010 Olympics (Nash/Toews) and more importantly an effective combo from regular NHL hockey (Toews/Sharp). All three can be very effective defensively, Nash and Sharp are natural wingers, and all are goal scoring threats. I think they would be great on the forecheck and pretty dominant in terms of puck possession. It helps that Nash is playing his best hockey in years for New York.

Given the playmakers available Canada is going to have a few lines acting as scalpels. A Sharp - Toews - Nash line could be a complimentary hammer.

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03-11-2013, 09:42 AM
  #968
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No, I don't think so. He's a pretty good player, and kudos to him for finishing-off many of the scoring chances that Crosby's creating, but the fact of the matter is that he is feeding heavily off Crosby. The problem with a guy like Kunitz is that he'd essentially be on the Olympic team for one reason purpose - to play on the wing, with Crosby. If he dries up (which frankly is bound to happen at some point, if history is any indication) and the coaches want to try someone else (we have a plethora of better players available) on Crosby's wing, what are they going to do with Kunitz? He can't play on another line, really. We certainly wouldn't count on him to kill penalties or play in a defensive role. So basically he'd be a guy that's penciled into one roster spot in the forward group. And bringing players that have chemistry together is great and all, but it has to make sense. Crosby has shown time and time again that he can play outstanding hockey with absolutely anyone.

Aside from Crosby and Stamkos, who are the #1 and #2 scoring options, I'm a very firm believer that the remainder of our forward group should be reasonably be able to perform successfully on any of our four forward lines, and I just don't see that with Kunitz.
Why couldn't Kunitz play a defensive role or kill penalties? He skates well, hits and plays well defensively. He's shown throughout his career that he can compliment skill plays (Crosby, Malkin, Getzlaf, Selanne, etc)

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03-11-2013, 09:42 AM
  #969
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No to Beauchemin, in any capacity.



I think that both Nash and E. Staal would be good picks to play with Toews/Sharp. My preference is Nash. With that three man group, Canada has an effective combo from the 2010 Olympics (Nash/Toews) and more importantly an effective combo from regular NHL hockey (Toews/Sharp). All three can be very effective defensively, Nash and Sharp are natural wingers, and all are goal scoring threats. I think they would be great on the forecheck and pretty dominant in terms of puck possession. It helps that Nash is playing his best hockey in years for New York.

Given the playmakers available Canada is going to have a few lines acting as scalpels. A Sharp - Toews - Nash line could be a complimentary hammer.
I love the idea of Sharp-Toews-Nash on the 4th line for the reasons you mentioned. Great to see Nash playing great as well. A lot people were discounting Nash for Sochi just a couple of weeks ago. Nash to me is a lock for Sochi. Guy played very good hockey in Vancouver. People have short memories.

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03-11-2013, 11:30 AM
  #970
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I love the idea of Sharp-Toews-Nash on the 4th line for the reasons you mentioned. Great to see Nash playing great as well. A lot people were discounting Nash for Sochi just a couple of weeks ago. Nash to me is a lock for Sochi. Guy played very good hockey in Vancouver. People have short memories.
Nash should be considered a lock, Eric Staal too at this point. Sharp is unfortunately out for about a month with a shoulder injury; he'll make or break his case for Team Canada during the playoffs anyway. I haven't included him in my previous lineups, as I felt that him and Staal were competing for similar bottom 6/7 spots, but with Staal raising his game this year, I now think he's more cut out for a top 6 type role and thus Sharp would make perfect sense. If that line goes (Toews, Nash, Sharp), it will be interesting to see where Bergeron ends up (I consider him a lock, too). Maybe RW on the Crosby line as the doing the grunt work and providing defensive cover?

Another 5 points for Kunitz last night, and Sid is looking absolutely dominant out there - great news for us. I still think Kunitz will taper off somewhat, though still end up top 5 or so in points. Combined with a strong playoff run, I'd have no issue with him getting vetted at the summer camp. He'll need to prove he's more than just Crosby's wingman. Generally speaking, the same holds true for James Neal.

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03-11-2013, 11:36 AM
  #971
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Why couldn't Kunitz play a defensive role or kill penalties? He skates well, hits and plays well defensively. He's shown throughout his career that he can compliment skill plays (Crosby, Malkin, Getzlaf, Selanne, etc)
He can do those things, but can he do them at an Olympic level? I don't want Kunitz out there agianst Malkin or the Sedins, I can tell you that. Agreed on your second sentence; the guy's a pretty good player, but we need to put him in a position to succeed. Crosby's played with him a few years now, so they've developed some good chemistry, but a superior player (think Tavares) would probably produce better results and also give you flexibility if that pairing doesn't work out. With Kunitz, you don't really get that same versatility.

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03-11-2013, 12:27 PM
  #972
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He can do those things, but can he do them at an Olympic level? I don't want Kunitz out there agianst Malkin or the Sedins, I can tell you that. Agreed on your second sentence; the guy's a pretty good player, but we need to put him in a position to succeed. Crosby's played with him a few years now, so they've developed some good chemistry, but a superior player (think Tavares) would probably produce better results and also give you flexibility if that pairing doesn't work out. With Kunitz, you don't really get that same versatility.
He's not going to be one of the main PKers (why would he when guys like Toews, Richards, etc are going to be there) but he could still do a job in the PK rotation. Kunitz plays with Crosby on the Pens so he has been matched up against strong lines before so I wouldn't be too worried about that.
What you give up in flexibility (personally I don't think it's much given the other players Canada will be carrying) you gain by the fact you know he has established chemistry with your best player (and Kunitz would still be the 3rd wheel on the line). Obviously Kunitz's going to need to be putting up at least a 60 point pace to get considered but I definitely think it's worth a look given how they struggled to find a guy to fit with Iginla and Crosby in 2010. Kunitz - Crosby - Perry would be a line I look as I think both fit well with Crosby's game well (though it might be slightly different as it's Olympic size ice).

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03-11-2013, 12:55 PM
  #973
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He's not going to be one of the main PKers (why would he when guys like Toews, Richards, etc are going to be there) but he could still do a job in the PK rotation. Kunitz plays with Crosby on the Pens so he has been matched up against strong lines before so I wouldn't be too worried about that.
What you give up in flexibility (personally I don't think it's much given the other players Canada will be carrying) you gain by the fact you know he has established chemistry with your best player (and Kunitz would still be the 3rd wheel on the line). Obviously Kunitz's going to need to be putting up at least a 60 point pace to get considered but I definitely think it's worth a look given how they struggled to find a guy to fit with Iginla and Crosby in 2010. Kunitz - Crosby - Perry would be a line I look as I think both fit well with Crosby's game well (though it might be slightly different as it's Olympic size ice).
Yeah, Kunitz needs to be scoring bucketloads of points to get consideration, I think. Much like Marleau and his insane start to this season, we'll probably see Kunitz cool off here pretty soon. His career high in points is 61, so its possible that this current hot streak is an anomlay. But its also possible that this is his new standard, with the way Crosby has been playing this year.

You mentioned Perry; why not Kunitz-Crosby-Neal? A built-in Penguins line (Letang would play the point while they're on the ice), and Neal > Perry this year, and the two play a somewhat similar style. It would be interesting to think of that line and how they would perform on the larger ice surface. And I'm not a proponent of Perry on the international ice surface anyway. He's playing better now, but didn't start out the season up to his fairly high standards.

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03-11-2013, 01:15 PM
  #974
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Neal will definitely get considered but he doesn't really play with Crosby unless it's the PP, so I'm not sure how much chemistry will play into it (Kunitz - Malkin - Neal line was great last year, Kunitz's game seems to gel well with everyone). If they do take Neal will they be able to fit him onto the PP?

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03-11-2013, 01:27 PM
  #975
JackSlater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Habs View Post
Nash should be considered a lock, Eric Staal too at this point. Sharp is unfortunately out for about a month with a shoulder injury; he'll make or break his case for Team Canada during the playoffs anyway. I haven't included him in my previous lineups, as I felt that him and Staal were competing for similar bottom 6/7 spots, but with Staal raising his game this year, I now think he's more cut out for a top 6 type role and thus Sharp would make perfect sense. If that line goes (Toews, Nash, Sharp), it will be interesting to see where Bergeron ends up (I consider him a lock, too). Maybe RW on the Crosby line as the doing the grunt work and providing defensive cover?
You and I are definitely thinking along the same lines. I am willing to throw out Bergeron's 2010 performance, both because he was injured and because he is so much better now. He and Crosby dominated the 2006 WCs on the same line, with Bergeron in the role you just described. A line like:

Tavares Crosby Bergeron

Would not have any weakness, and I trust Bergeron to do a far superior job of what Dupuis does in Pittsburgh. Likewise, I think that Tavares could more than replicate the role played by Kunitz due to his hockey IQ.

I also agree that E. Staal is looking like a lock. I'm curious to see if anyone thinks he would work on a line with Stamkos and St. Louis, either as the LW or the centre. He has the size to fulfill the required board work necessities, and he's a big threat to score or set up someone else on the line. He seems to be thriving with a sniper on his line in Carolina (Semin) so I have optimism that he would work with Stamkos.

This scenario would produce something like:
Tavares Crosby Bergeron
E. Staal Stamkos St. Louis
Sharp Toews Nash

Bergeron is often listed as the fourth line centre, but clearly this would be amended in such a situation. There are loads of options for the fourth line. I would consider a speed line possibly, something built around a combination of Giroux, Duchene, Hall, Seguin, Kane. Could be dangerous, and a nice change of pace.

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