Well, I don't think many of us are happy with the big three playing together. What do you guys want to see tomorrow? McLellan might split them up:
There weren’t many line rushes, but McLellan did keep Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley together for today’s practice. But when I asked the coach afterward if he was considering a break-up of the Big Three, he simply said, “We’ll see tomorrow” or words to that effect. If they’re on separate lines, I wouldn’t be shocked.
I'd like to see the big three separate. But maybe joe and heater are worth keeping together and then marleau goes down to hope he gets his game going with another line.
heater-thornton-seto?(seto seemed to have a nice edge to his game, maybe thornton's sweet passes can get him going)
marleau-pavs-clowe (clowe and pavs should both have motivation, marleau has the skills to boost that line)
couture-malhotra-mitchell (couture's game has leveled off, but maybe it was just first playoff game jitters
mcginn-nichol-demers(don't know if I liked demers here though... but it is just 5 mins.)
I've said this in other threads but I'll say it here:
Recall how the Sharks got out of that big slump: They split up Marleau, Heatley and Thornton among THREE lines. Then Thornton got hurt and for no good reason when he came back, they reunited the three. Before the playoffs started I said TMac better go back to spitting those three among THREE lines the way he did before, but sadly he doesn't want to make changes and probably won't do it until we are down 3-0 or something.
Those top three lines are 1a, 1b, 1c, all have playmakers and goal scorers. That's probably why it worked so freaking well when it was put together.
Thornton and Clowe is a duo tons of people want here on hfboards. I don't mind it, but I don't mind it less when you combine with the sick speed of Mitchell.
MMP is flat out sick. Malhotra is the best faceoff man in the game and great 2 way. Pavs is too plus he can playmake and score. When you put Marleau here I think he's better than M-T-H (in what we saw for the few games MMP was a line).
Heatley-Couture-Seto is a really exciting line too. Couture is awesome and works well with Seto. Heatley provides a sniper for the line.
For those you haters to this idea and you happen to tape games, go back and watch these lines in action. You'll see how awesome it looked. Then you'll wonder why TMac forgot about it when Thornton came off the injury, and you'll REALLY wonder why TMac didn't go with this set of lines for Game 1.
Because those three lines are so good I am advocating for Ortmeyer in the 4th line RW role so we have a defensive forward on our checking line.
I don't think TMac has the balls to split them up. Todd's strength and weakness is he leaves the play in the players hands. But even the best teams need a coach on occasion. I hope I am wrong here - but I think we see the lines unchanged to start the game and he's going to change only when he has to ... probably in the third period if we are down again.
That said - if it was me, I'd sit Murray and insert Ortmeyer. Wallin may be hurt and that might make me sit him instead. I'd like to see Patty work with the young guys and smoke down the ice. Mitchell's game may remind Patty that the long things on his feet have a purpose. Top line in this set is the #1 PP I send out.
I think they need to give Couture and McGinn a legitimate chance to prove themselves and do it together since they've done it for a good portion of their careers. Throw them with Marleau and make him carry that line since he has to lead the rookies...there just isn't any other way for him to look at it. Thornton plays best with a right handed shot.
There are a lot of acceptable ways to do this but they have to do it the right way. Have a speedster on each of the top three lines and give the 3rd line more time to do something.
put marleau on the 4th line and only play him 4 minutes a game, till he learns to compete, something he hasn't done since the olympics ended. who would of thought that the olympics would have a affect on thornton, for the way the sharks fans want, but the reverse affect on marleau.
I think the top line stays together. I don't see him breaking up the second line. So unless he wants to put Marleau or Heatley on the third line I don't see drastic changes.
thats the thing, if they do split up the top line, then it doesn't really make 1-3 any different from each other. which it was like before thornton got hurt. and i wouldn't mind taking pavelski away from the face off circle either, he was absolutely horrible in the 1st game. clowe took 8 face offs in the 1st game, and was better then pavelski, who took 10 face offs.
I don't think he takes Murray out. And after this game I don't think he splits up the first line. They played decently in terms of controlling the game, just didn't finish well at all. But were at least crashing the net and skating hard to pucks (different than game 1).
2nd line, Colorado has no answer, and 3rd line is also generating chances. If we actually get a two goal lead in this series, he can then roll the 4th line a little more consistently. They're playing fine too, but TMac just doesn't want to take the risk they'll get somehow matched up against a top line due to the run of play.
And please, don't start Greiss. Not in an away game for his first game ever. Nabby will be fine. And if he is TERRIBLE for two games and has some injury, MAYBE you see Greiss in game 5 to avoid elimination, but I highly doubt that. I don't think you see greiss in this series, period.
After yet another 0 goal game for the first line do you think that things will get split up? The only problem would be breaking up what we have going on the second line, so maybe keeping the second line together and shuffling the other lines around a bit to try and spark some life into M-T-H...