We have a big and strong 3rd line who will grind the opponents to death. All of them average 6'2, 210 and they are fast.
Winnik - McClement - Jones
And our 4th line brings instant energy and have played real well as of late
Kobasew - Van Der Gulik - Mcleod
The obvious choice and only choice really, is to send down is VDG and put Duchene on the Stastny line and Galiardi centers the 4th line.
This messes with the chemistry we have gained this past month but adding Duchene to the Stastny line could be lights out and Galiardi would really improve that 4th line although DVG has done a real nice job.
Looking at these Lines I have a strong feeling Jones is going to get traded. Theres just no where he fits. Either that or Galiardi goes back to the 4th line, which I dislike but it will probably be inevitable.
Kind of continuing from my last post, I think the first thing to decide is to do you believe in 100% healthy forward pack?
If you do, then it means you trade away the extra pieces. Fill out the positions and see who is a left over. Duchene is a first line center, Stastny is a second line center, O'Reilly is a third line center, McLeod is a fourth line winger, Winnik is a third line winger, and so on. Who's the one who is left over? Use him in a trade.
If you don't, then it means that you just stuff some Galiardi in that fourth line for time being. As soon as the injury hits, "promote" him. Also don't break working combinations, whether it is two or three players.
One option that I have always liked is to have four even lines, which could mean Duchene in fourth line but if you use the lines evenly, which is a huge plus especially in the first two periods when there's no huge rush to score or defend, that saves a lot of energy for the deciding moments. Also, if you can break up the PK and PP units so that not a single forward plays both, it again saves a lot of energy. When you go to late third period or to overtime, you gain a big advantage against your tired opponents. And I really don't think it bothers forwards that they would play less minutes in the first two periods. The problem there is to find the combinations, for example, who would be the wingers for McClement so that he wouldn't kill the line?
Trade Jones, he's too good to play in the A but he doesn't seem to play any of these guys' roles better than they already do. Teams like Carolina, Montreal, or Dallas might be interested in him, we could try and get a 2nd round pick back, maybe package him for another underachieving winger like Andre Kostityn or Tuomo Ruutu.
if 8 defensemen are used.
Of course if/when Olver is called up we could place him on Duchene's left and drop Kobasew to the 4th line RW.
This would mean either McLeod or Porter is sent down (8 defensemen)
or Elliott is sent down (14 forwards)
I want to get Duchene back to Center and with Hejduk to wake him up and start producing again.
I have heard that Jones was good with ROR last year (missed almost the entire season due to the military) so I would give that a spin, and I don't want to break up Staz's line now. Also a Winnik-McClement-McLeod/Kobasew line would be a good checking and defense-first kind of line.
You have to respect the cap-floor