Now I realize that two preseason games don't mean much but I've been impressed with Foligno's play. In the past he's shown chemistry with other guys in our top six (Fisher, Spezza) and two years ago in his sophomore season he did score 17 goals. The question is who do we put on the third line in favor on Nick? Mods feel free to move this onto the line combo thread
Doesn't force a player who isnt at all ready into the top 6, gives us a good 3rd line and a still amazing and far more physical 4th line. RKN are good together but theres no reason why Smith can't replace Kelly in a situation like this.
Winchester. I love to keep Foligno and Fisher together. I like those, lots of chemistry already there.
It was doing well until Folingo broke his leg. You never know what line is going to have success in the regular season. Sometimes something works one year but fails another year and vice versa. Better to not worry about line combos to much and wait to see what happens IMO.
The reality is that line combos aren't static. They will try one thing for a while, then switch it up every ten games or so to find a bit of chemistry. The way I see it is we have 5 legitimate top six forwards (Alfie, Spezza, Michalek, Kovalev, Fisher). I know a lot of people think Fisher is a third liner, but in terms of his salary and role on the team - like it or not, he is our second line centre. I personally have no problem with that because I like his overall game.
Guys like Regin, Foligno, Shannon (again, like it or not) and maybe one of the rookies are going to cycle through that 6th spot all year. All of those guys are young and are going to be hot and cold from time to time, and will move around in the depth chart.
As for the original post here - it would be awesome if Foligno could take that next step and become a legitimate top six forward. He looks good so far this year, he plays hard and has some good skill. Its easy to forget that he is still only 22 years old - younger than Regin, Butler and Wick.
This is the tangled web you have to get through to make that happen:
1.You have to figure out where Regin can play that can be as effective - because Fisher isn't moving out of the top 6, nor is Michalek, Kovalev, Alfie, Spezza. So there's one option and it's Regin to 3rd line center.
2.Except...there is no room on the 3rd line. The 3rd line is Ruutu - Kelly - Neil - and don't let anyone say that's the 4th line, it's not. They get 12-15 a game.
3.If CC can juggle the times on ice so it's 18 minutes for Line 1, 18 for Line 2, 12 for line 3, 12 for line 4. Then he can manage the ice so there's no 4th line, just 3a and 3b, but it's ridiculously hard to do when there are penalties, powerplays etc.
As far as I'm concerned this is the make or break year for Foligno if he wants to make the top 6.
I like the kid but he's been at it for a while now, he needs to make the jump or else I'd advocate trading him while he has value.
Foligno's top 6 spot would come at the expense of Regin. That seems obvious...
If I had my way, I'd put Regin At center in the preseason to see how he looks with Michalek and Kovalev. Fisher could play his suited role on the third line with guys like Smith and Winchester.
Smith-Fisher-Winchester reminds me a lot of the old Schaeffer-Fisher-Neil line, which was awesome. Our bottom six would really be able to thrash their opponents around. This line could be ELITE defensively as well.