"No, no, not even crossed my mind," Trotz said. "I won't even do that. I don't think. I wouldn't break up the top line. It's gone too well. I told Sergei, 'Don't worry about your brother coming in and taking your spot or anything like that. The first line's going good. I'm not going to break that up."
I think those slotting in Smith at center are mistaken. I think the good news is that we actually are planning on keeping at center long-term. Further, we have the 3rd/4th line centers for the playoff run that can push him back out to the wing which will relax his responsibilities and put him back in the position to score more easily.
I would probably surround Gaustad with the more physical of the bottom 6 - Tootoo would be a natural fit to me.
This forward corps is so good. I don't even know where to start. I love the addition of AK and Gaustad. Tough players to move off the puck.
I think AK would benefit the most from being with Legwand. I wish Wilson could stay on that line, but I suspect we may slot Hornqvist in there with Wilson moving onto a line with Spaling/Smith (that line could score!)
Erat - Fisher - SK
AK - Legwand - Hornqvist
Wilson - Spaling - Smith
Hali - Gaustad - Tootoo
Extras: Yip, McGrattan, Borque.
There is a ton of speed in that lineup. You can add players and move around lines depending on wanting scoring vs. defensive play. I think we see almost 4 constant rolling lines there with lots of specialty minutes to even things up.