Hi all, I was thinking earlier and my thinking gave way to writing on this here topic, lines for the upcoming season. These lines and defensive pairings are based on the current roster, with injuries factored in. First off I will be speculating/analyzing on lines for the beginning of the season. These lines will be balanced, therefore having ice time all round in the beginning of the season and not having guys be exhausted or injured in November from too much ice time. Quick note on these lines: I tried to have one or two players who could be a puck mover/playmaker, essentially a scorer, one player who could screen the goalie or stand in the slot area, and one tough/scrappy player on each line (not to say I'm playing Tom Sestito, I'm talking about players like Simmonds, Hartell, etc.) I also tried to not make a line full of defensive liabilities.
Line 1: Hartnell-Giroux-Voracek: No brainer here. Hartnell and Giroux are magic together, Voracek is a young Jagr. I'm exicted to see these guys play, and I'm sure you are, too. Giroux and Voracek can score, Hartnell can screen and fight. Slightly above average defense for all of them.
Line 2: B.Schenn-Briere-Simmonds:Briere is going to have to slowly start giving way to the duo of Schenn and Couturier, and it starts by having Schenn on his wing. simmonds is a solid second line piece, but I wouldn't be suprised to see Read in this spot, either. Schenn and Briere are playmakers. Simmonds can screen and fight. Average defensively (that's where Read can help out, if he's put here.)
Line 4: Wellwood-Talbot-Rinaldo: A typical fourth line. Talbot and Wellwood can be your offensive pieces, and Rino can screen/fight . With that being said, I wouldn't expect this line to generate much offense. Average Defense.
I tried to have a Defensive D-man paired with a puck mover on each pairing, but it was kinda difficult. You'll see.
Pairing 1:Timonen-Coburn:I would love to give Kimmo second pairing minutes, too. But with Mez's recent injury, we just can't do that. Coburn isn't bad offensively, but I'd say his defense is his strong point.
Pairing 2: Grossmann-Gervais: If your screaming at your computer screen right now, hear me out. Gervais is an average puck mover, but he's our second offensive defenseman right now. Another reason I did this is that if we put Bruno on the third pairing, it means he's going to be paired with a young defenseman like Gus, DSOD, MAB, Manning or maybe Lilja. Doing this strengthens the bottom pairing, improves the defensive depth, and means Kimmo won't have to take those hard minutes in October and November.
Pairing 3: L. Schenn-Syvret: Luke Schenn may deserve better minutes, but he'll have to prove it first. If he plays very well here, maybe he'll be playing in Nick Grossmann's spot. I think Syvret is the most NHL-ready defenseman of him, MAB, Gus, and Manning, but it's a toss-up, really. Here is how I see it working out: The best of Syvret/Gustafsson/Bordoun/Manning will take the 6th spot on the team, and Lilja will be the 7th defenseman. The other players will start the season in Adirondack. Shit, I just realized we have 3 #26's on the team.
So we have too many defensive defenseman and the only developed/good offensive defenseman we have is 37 years old. I would reccomend some sort of trade or signing, but that's not what I'm here for.
Special Teams PP1: Simmonds-Giroux-Couturier, Timonen-Voracek Last year we had a double screen format on our number 1 power play, but I'm going to split Hartnell and Simmonds up.
PP2: Hartnell-Briere-Schenn, Coburn-Read I trust Coburn more than Bruno Gervais on the power play.
Alternate PP: Hartnell-Giroux-Simmonds, Timonen-Voracek The double screen that we used last year could be an alternate option, or could be used in key situations.
PK1: Talbot-Giroux, Grossmann-Coburn
PK2: Fedetenko-Couturier, L. Schenn-Timonen
Other forwards that could be used on the PK: Read, Wellwood, B. Schenn, Briere (just kidding)
Shut down line: Fedetenko-Couturier-Talbot: Used when we need to shut down a player like Crosby, Malkin, or Stamkos.
Scoring Line: Hartnell-Giroux-Voracek: If these guys get split up at some point, expect them to be back together late in the game. If they aren't split up, you might see Briere replace Voracek.
Energy line: Rinaldo-Schenn-Read: We've seen Dan Carcillo on a top line with Mike Richards, so this wouldn't be a strech
Energy line: Simmonds-Briere-Wellwood: I actually really like this combonation for some reason.
With these combonations, the Lines would be as follows:
1. G's line
2. Coots' line
3. Briere's line
4. Schenn's line
Because these lines are so mixed, I would expect just about even ice times all around. S
Shut down: Grossmann-Coburn: we've seen this before.
2nd: Timonen-L. Schenn
The third pairing would be Gervais-Syvret, unless Syvret's spot is taken by saomeone else. Mez would replace Gervais when he returns.
That's all I've got to say, folks. Please comment if you agree or disagree.UPDATE Another injury. Fantastic. Well, with this new injury, I expect The second-most impressive of Bourdon, Gustafsson, Manning, and Syvret to take the spot of Lilja. If two of them are exceedingly impressive during camp, don't be suprised to see Gervais be the 7th and see (most likely) one of Gustafsson or Bourdon on the second pairing/