Dvorak - Jokinen - Doan
all three of these players compliment each other very well. Dvorak was great for the Oil two years ago in the playoffs, and he has wicked skills. Jokinen is a true two-way center, who will be top 10 in a year. Imo, he is the perfect type of player for the playoffs, gritty, and can score goals. He may be young, but inexperience within my top 6 isn't such a problem once I fill out the rest of my lines and defense. Doan is proven to be a top power forward, leading the NHL forwards in hits for the past few years. All there of these players mesh very well.
Bell - Legwand - Cheechoo.
I am not set on this line yet. I may bump Bell down a line. They are all young, maybe too young, I might nap an older winger and slide Bell down to the 3rd line. Legwand and Cheechoo are great two-way players with speed and skill. Legwand will be a Selkle finalist in his career.
Lehtinen is a premier checker, probably the best. I plan on getting some tested vets to play with him.
Same goes for my fourth line.
Foote - Johnsson will be amazing together, as with Foote back there Johnsson can take advantage of his offensive skills.
Kubina needs a defensive partner to let him get his goals.
Hammer is already a very good NHL'er and won't have to play huge minutes on the bottom pairing.
On the second pairing of a great team, no higher. Perhaps a #3 guy, more so than Zhitnik at this stage of their careers. (Zhitnik had the WORST +/- of all seven defensemen on the lowly Sabres, part of the team's problem - weak defensemen, especially for heavy minutes).
Great pp though, admittedly.
Sergei Zubov is still a #1 and elite defenseman in the NHL. He's among the best playoff performers of his position. A #3? That's pitiful for a guy who had 55 points, played outstanding defense and had 15 points in 13 playoff games in 2003. The Stars had an off year in 2004, Zubov included. Try to watch Zubov a bit more.. he's a #1 no matter what. He scored 42 points last year, how many defensemen can say that 42 points is considered one of their worst years in their career?
He and Zhitnik are 2 completely different players.
I agree on the last part, but I just don't see Zubov as a #1 defenseman. He is very, very good, but that is just my opinion.
He's always has been, I don't see how one flukey year (by his standards) makes any difference. It does becomes a different story if he sucks it up next season. Same goes for Mike Modano. Sergei Zubov logs 25 minutes a night, he's a horse and he will continue to be a good defenseman since his game never relied on physical aspects or speed.
Awesome, but perhaps a tad soft (for playoff's standards) first line. Love Handzus, but not so much as a 2nd line center, Recchi is getting up there in age but still a very reliable producer.
Blake needs no explenation, Timonen is one of those quiet, solid types, a decent #2 IMO. Lydman and Salo are a very nice pairing for a 2nd unit, both have a hard shot and are solid two-way defensemen, though nothing spectacular.
You could've done better than Denis though. He's never played a playoff game in his career. Not to say he will stunk it up, as he is very talented, but there were better options than him at the moment of the pick.
Also I took Recchi cause he and Handzus played on the same line last season and they played well.
I know my top 6 is so far a bit soft, but TB also didnt have a physical top 6 (Lecavalier, Richards, St.Louis, Modin, Stillman and somebody) and won the Cup. Not saying they were soft, but they werent power forwards.
Markus Naslund(C) - Brendan Morrison - Todd Bertuzzi
Steve Sullivan - Vincent Damphousse - Trent Hunter
XXXX - Kris Draper(A) - XXXX
Wade Redden(A) - Adrian Aucoin
John Micheal Liles - XXXX
The 1st line is great, the 2nd is good also, but isnt Sullivan a natural RW? Damphouse may be a bit old, but good nonetheless. Draper is a great no.3 C.
Defense is so far good but Im not sold on Raycroft. He has only had 1 good season so far and he MAY become the next Jim Carey.
Mike York - Peter Forsberg - Petr Sykora
Ryan Smyth (A) - Mario Lemieux (C) - Jeff O'Neill
Jamie Langenbrunner - xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx - xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Jason Smith (A) - Barret Jackman
Paul Mara -
A nice team. Both C's are injury prone but I like the wingers. The top 2 D's are a bit too defensive minded for my liking (for the top pairing I mean). Theodore is a good G, although inconsistent at times.