Call me silly but I like to see the goon line with a defensively responsible center. It was sad last year watching the Leafs loose AND get beat up. At least this year when they lose they don't get beat up. Also, think it makes some players an inch taller with Orr in the lineup.
I've been thinking this since 2011, Reimer needs to be meaner. Komisarek should be in the lineup tonight, not only has he been great all season, he always plays well against the Habs (besides that one game, Cammo).
Gotta say, I like those lines. I prefer McClement on the 4th line, and as an occasional important defensive center. We have a lot of potential offense in this lineup, we should take advantage of that. Good to have a vet like Mac with Frattin and Kadri.
It needs to be remembered that Lupul and macArthur going down; along with the Gunner injury (even Komi was good before the idiotic accident); Carlyle has not had much of a choice spreading the team the way he did.
I think Carlyle is showing that he is understanding and learning from deficiencies in the roster. It's been years since we've seen the right people rewarded with ice time (Kadri, Frattin, Holzer); while those that do not deserve it are not getting it (Lombardi, Connolly, the MacArthur slide). He has a vision for what each roster spot should look like and he attempted some players in spots many would not have agreed with; but it set up a belief that you will be given chances and it's your fault if you blow them. Slowly the roster is becoming solidified; the players we want to see as fans; are being put in the places we feel they should be. The perk of it all is that they earned those spots; Carlyle didn't give it to them.
Things to watch:
- Kostka should continue to fall from top pairing/PP
- Kadri/Frattin should be given more minutes
- MacArthur will be on his way out; with Lupul returning
- Holzer will remain with this team
- Frazer/Franson will have to be consistent; as one of them is about to drop from the lineup
- Reimer needs to prove he is still the starter
- Komarov will remain in the top 9; as long as he continues to be the hardest working player on the ice (I can't wait to see him share a line with Kulemin; get ready for some open ice Grabo).
- JVR will have to prove he should stay in the top line; when Lupul finally returns
- Kadri/Frattin need PP time
Those are all things we are currently seeing in progress; I trust Carlyle in continuing to assess the perks and shortfalls of this team. It's time to breathe; we have a competent guy at the helm.
Our AHL team isn't meant to be a place where players go to get buried, it's a place where younger players are taught what is expected of them in the NHL. If anything, we should look at it as a positive that guys can step in from the AHL and look decent.
pretty much this
AHL is not bad
it's our farm team
and Holzer Fraser did their part last game
NHL'ers have come from the AHL