I know how much people hate the Leetch-Poti pairing, but I suggest we go back to it. Further, keep M&M together and play deVries and Kaspar to go against top lines. Further, allow Kaspar to play his game - bone-cruching/agitating. a five-man unit consisting of those two and Holik's checking line is worth a shot, I believe (especially going into Colorado Thursday night). Further, in PITT, Kovalev often went against top lines (and I believe Kaspar was out there with him, so it ain't new for him). Why am I saying this? Because all the focus has been on the forward lines while this team gives up 35-40 shots per night and opposing forwards run rampant in the Rangers' defense. Further, there is no true pairing to go against top lines - although Kaspar has not proven he can play against anybody good (I think he's had a solid season against third and fourth liners) I think it may be time to ride some of his success.
If Lindros were back and Kovalev (and Lundmark) were with him, with Leetch and Poti out there to complete the unit of five. There would be less pressure on the defense with those guys out there as a result of going against checkers, and hopefully from some offensive pressure.
Leetch-Poti is not ideal, but it worked to some degree last year.
We keep on looking for Beuk#2 for Leetch, but we don't have one.
No, we don't have another Beuk because SLATS refuses to bring in defensemen that only play defense. Cale Hulse, Todd Simpson, Jon Klemm, Denis Gauthier - all these guys could've been had, at a relatively low price & they wouldve fit in nice with #2. They all have some offensive instincts, but mainly they do what they do best - keep the pucks from getting to the goalie. Nope, jack*ss rather have 'mobile' defensemen that can join the rush once we recover the long rebounds our goalies let loose....problem is the other team usually gets there first.
Fletch, my problem with your pairings is that Bouchard is still not in the lineup. At this point with Leetch struggling to get 100%, is it really such a stretch to say that Bouchard (when in the lineup) has been our best defenseman all year? I do not see how this guy is still not dressed for games. It no longer makes a difference to me who sits, so long as Bouchard is one of the top 6.
and thinking long-term. Bouchard is a seventh defenseman and will likely remain as such. I was just working within those parameters.
Meaning that you think that Bouchard is nothing but a 7th defenseman or that that is what he is in the world according to Sather? I agree that with Sather at the helm, it would take an act of God for Bouchard to displace one of the current top 6. However, I think that in reality, Bouchard has played much better all year than anyone who has been dressing as our defensemen in the last several games.