Bouillon is tough, but we have 4 other tough defenseman to fill that role. Brisebois may make some mistakes, but if his ice-time is limited, his offensive minded game is more important.
I prefer Streit at forward. He excels there and even if he's fine on defense, it keeps one of Begin or Smolinski out of the lineup hopefully.
But thats the thing, it doesn't matter how limited Breeze-by's icetime is, he is still going to feed at least 2 giveaways a game up the middle of the ice in our own end resulting in a scoring chance. Boullion doesn't make as many stupid mistakes as Brisebois does, so I think I would rather a guy who is going to be solid in his own zone over a guy who is going to give the puck away time after time.
Besides, with Markov, Hamrlik and Komisarek making nice breakout passes, we don't need Brisebois doing it too. Our 5th and 6th defencemen should be worrying more about keeping the puck out of our net and out of our zone then worrying about making long passes up ice.
Ideally, I think we should target a top 4 dman, but given the depth and up and coming dmen the organization has, I don't know if Gainey is going to target a guy for a rental or short term solution. Because the way things are going, I think if we're patient and we build from within, we should have a very powerful defense in the next few years. It won't happen this year, but over time I think it'll get there. Though who knows, Brisebois was brought in to be precisely a short term stop gap.
That said, with the players we have now, I'd line them up as such
No.1 Pairing: Markov-Komi is a dominant pairing on most nights and should be paired together. I understand what Carbo was trying to do against Ottawa, especially given the fact that Harmlik was out, but I think he was seriously mistaken in breaking up that pairing when facing a team whose no.1 line is one of the best in the league. It obviously puts a lot of pressure on them, and I think we're seeing teams really target Komisarek to try and get him to retaliate and challenge him physically, but I still think this pairing should stay together and continue to "eat up big minutes" as the saying goes.
No.2 Pairing: Hamrlik is a rock and I think everyone now realizes just how much we're missing him. I think pairing him with O'Byrne would be a fantastic decision for both players. Phaneuf really benefited from playing with Hamrlik over the past few years, and not that O'Byrne is comparable to Phaneuf in any way, but I think Hamrlik can act as a mentor and more importantly cover up any rookie mistakes that are bound to happen. O'Byrne has top4 potential in this league, and pairing him up with a responsible vet could help him reach it.
No.3 Pairing: I really like Bouillon-Gorges as no.3 pairing. They work well off each other and while they are both small and can get outmuscled by the bigger forwards, I think that based on what we have, they give us a solid solution as no.5/6 dmen. You have to give Gorges credit playing the RH side as a LH shot, though in reality only in Montreal is this seen as a fantastic accomplishment, (most teams have 5 guys as LH with a token RH shot in there.)
The obvious name missing is Streit. For me the solution would be to put him on forward. I love the guy, and I've defended his defensive play a lot, but I think that at this point he'd be more effective as a forward. His passing is excellent, but he just doesn't have the in zone coverage or the physicality to be a solid two-way defenceman. But he has to play. He's one of our most important players strictly for his contributions on the PP, so you have to slot him in there somewhere.
Maybe you could see something like this
More and more it seems we're lacking in bottom six depth. We have the bodies, but we don't have many players etched in stone, so to speak. Who knows, obviously these lines are the "ideal" and with Hamrlik out everything changes, so until he gets back we'll just have to try and put together a solid defensive crew.