This year, meanwhile, Phaneuf has looked out of sorts, especially on the power play, and one theory is it may be because he is getting too many tough minutes with a partner (Mike Kostka) who he has to look out for a lot more than Gunnarsson.
(Phaneuf is fourth in the NHL in minutes played per game, ahead of people like Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Kostka is, incredibly, 13th, likely in part because Carlyle hasn't had Gunnarsson at full speed.)
Unless Jay Mcclement starts producing second line #s, he can't stay there. Yeah, it's nice to have someone to look up to for the young guys; a guy who works the hardest and is rewarded with increased minutes. However, it's not the time for lessons, we desperately need that Grabo line to produce more than it has, and I don't think Mcclement helps any offensive production whatsoever. He cycles well, and plays great defensively, but I just don't like him at the 2nd line LW unless he starts producing more than he has.