This is pretty much taken from something I posted in another thread, but I wanted to create a new thread, since I'm curious to find out more about people's opinions on what lines they think could work.
I think you can't afford to have guys like Samsonov, Kovalev and Ryder not producing. They're all capable of scoring goals, goals which I think we desperately need in Higgins's absence.
We couldn't break up the lines before in the name "not breaking good chemistry", but sometimes you have to break up good lines to form even better ones. I don't think the current lines are optimal. It's hard to argue that all our current lines exhibit "good chemistry". Thus, here's what I would try for next game:
- Samsonov needs Koivu to get him going
- Johnson is a very smart player, and I think he is one of the few who might be able to figure out how to play with Kovalev
- Ryder isn't producing with Koivu, so maybe a change in scenery could get him going again...I think his game is at its best when he keeps things simple...playing with Kovalev is never simple...I think Bonk and Perezhogin are more than capable of getting Ryder numerous scoring chances in the slot.
I'm not saying my lines are better than the current lines, I'm saying those are the lines I'd like to see. There's no harm in trying new lines for one game...like I said, it's not as if we can easily say that all our lines are exhibiting good chemistry at the moment. I truly believe we have one the strongest stables of forwards in the NHL; no reason why we can't be a top 5 scoring team. I have faith that we'll eventually find that out once we find the "right combinations".
I would go with ...
Samsonov - Koivu - Kovalev
Higgins - Plekanec - Ryder
Perezhogin - Bonk - Johnson
Latendresse - Begin - Kostitsyn
Why not put all the offense and your best skilled players on the same line?? The most important thing is that Kovalev plays his original position.
If that's no good then try....
Samsonov - Koivu - Ryder
Higgins - Johnson - Kovalev
Plekanec - Bonk - Perezhogin
Latendresse - Begin - Murray
Johnson can play center, plus he plays defensively so he can makeup for Kovalev's lack of defence plus he's a right handed shot to feed the 2 leftys and the main thing....Kovalev is not on the same line as Samsonov....they are too much alike to play together.
Then let the 4th line go out and bang the bodies and force turnovers, make the other team know that they have to hurry their passes or they will be hit.
reasons: johnson could be our 2nd line center. kost is doing great on 2nd line yes, but i bet him and perezhogin could have some good chemistry. i dont know why but i think they could. our top line has speed (koivu,sammy) and size (lats).
-I would like to see Koivu and Samsonov together
-I would also like to see Kovalev and Ryder together. It seems like we have never tried that.
-I don't see why we should break up our 3rd line whihc seems to be always doing good.
Latendresse - Koivu - Kovalev (not sure if he's hurt or floating, be he needs to get going...I wouldn't do this long because defensively it's not so good, but until Higgins comes back it could be ok)
Ryder - Bonk - Perezhogin (I like Ryder on the left side better. He can come off the half boards and he tends to not carry the puck as much)
Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Johnson
Begin - Lapierre - Murray
Samsonov-press box (and trade him if possible, terrible player-all perimeter)
Just too many non-aggressive players on this team. Ugh, makes me sick.
I like this too:
Samsonov - Koivu - Latendresse (I guess...)
Ryder - Bonk - Perezhogin
Murray - Johnson - Kovalev
Begin - Plekanec - Kostitsyn
Reward the guys who ARE working hard.
Maybe scratch Ryder or Kovalev for a game too. Kovalev is just floating (or hurt). And Ryder is hogging the puck and turning the puck over to the goalie with his shots (logo every time).
Samsonov turns the puck over every single time he touches it, so you need a guy who can dig it out (Latendresse) and a guy who can create (Koivu). Could work...
Last edited by tinyzombies: 11-17-2006 at 07:43 PM.
Im probably the only poster who's got Niinimaa in their lineup, but I think dressing Dandenault as a forward for a few more games while Higgins is hurt is a good idea. That line had some serious jump in TB. If Niininaa gets into his brain cramp mode Dandy can always be shifted back to D during the game and Carbo would have the choice of doubleshifting Kovy or rotating three lines. Thats what usually ends up happening anyway becasue of penalties.
Also, Lats should go back down the lineup for now, he's really not complimenting the first line (shields up) and he has shown some chemistry with Bonk this year. I don't see that he's winning most of his battles so let Bonk and Johnson do that and Lats can be the guy causing trouble in the slot.
Perez is making great strides in confidence and patience with the puck and I think he'd be a good fit with Koivu for now, giving Koivu two guys can both play takeaway, protect and pass the puck and have great shot releases.
That that leaves the second line. Aside from the obvious defensive zone lapses, it seems what Sammy and Kovy need is someone to help create a little more havoc in the opposition zone, someone with more physical presence and who also can finish. I can't think of anyone else to put there without hurting the other lines. Downey can stay in the press box and Carbo can decide either to send Kost down or keep him and take a chance on losing Murray in sending him down.