Line 'Em Up

Just a Sens fans bored with the lack of seeing his team play trying to generate some intelligent discussion.
Just for fun, I thought I’d play coach for a minute and put together the roster/lines I would like to see the 6 Canadian teams sport.

Now, I’m not going to introduce any ridiculous trades or anything.

My conditions for a player having a roster spot are: The player must have played at least 1 NHL game for the team in question this year.

Also note that sometimes the roster and lines may be similar or identical to current ones. That’s just because they work, and I don’t think they should be changed.

Anyway, from West to East:

Vancouver Canucks:

Sedin-Sedin-Pyatt
(Played well together last year. Let’s hope Pyatt can find his form and be physical. He should be there clearing space for the Twins, as well as being a pest in front of the net.)
Naslund-Morrison-Shannon
(Shannon had 2 goals in 3 games, thought he had a horrible +/-, he was the worst on the team defensively, but the team defence hasn’t improved since he was sent out, so give him another shot)
Burrows-Kesler-Cooke
(Too good to break up)
Isbister-Ritchie-Linden
(Decent fourth line)

Ohlund-Salo
(solid all-around defenseman with some scoring upside)
Bieksa-Mitchell
(solid shut-down pairing)
Mitchell-Krajicek
(all around pairing, with an offensive guy and a defensive guy)

Luongo
Sanford
(Can’t go wrong there, though maybe Luongo shouldn’t be ridden so hard. Give him 60-65 games. More then 70 is just overkill)

Calgary Flames:

Tanguay-Lombardi-Iginla
(Good mix of speed, talent and grit. Lombardi isn’t a true Number 1 center, but look what he did with a power-forward like Nash in last years World Championships, plus, he has more points than Conroy, who I believe currently holds that spot)
Huselius-Langkow-Nolan
(Probably the best 2nd line in the game already, Huselius and Langkow have good chemistry, and should not be broken up. I considered putting Conroy on their right, because Nolan hasn’t exactly been scoring, but he seems to be providing a physical element that may be beneficial to the line)
Nilson-Conroy-Moss
(Not a bad third line. Can check and provide a bit of scoring at times.)
Smith-Yelle-Godard
(Even when Primeau comes back, I would keep Godard. He doesn’t score often, but his toughness is hard to replace)

Phaneuf-Sarich
(A hard-hitting defensive tandem with some scoring upside from Phaneuf)
Aucoin-Regher
(Again, a good mix of offense and defense)
Eriksson-Warrener
(I don’t see why Eriksson is getting a bum rap. He’s a +2 with 2 assists. His replacement, Hale is pointless and a -1)

Kiprusoff
Any one of their young goalies
(Too many young goalies to pick from. Hopefully one of them can play 15-20 games, because I really think 70 games or more is too much for a goalie)

Edmonton Oilers:

Torres-Horcoff-Hemsky
(I had actually thought of this this morning, without having seen or heard about last nights game. Then I checked last nights scores and saw that this line was awesome last night. Should be kept together)
Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson/Schremp
(Gagner and Cogliano play well together, and Nilsson and Schremp deserve a spot on the roster more then Stortini, Pouliot or Jacques.)
Sanderson-Reasoner-Brodziak
(Not the best, but not a bad checking line eh?)
Penner-Stoll-Nilsson/Schremp/Pouliot
(the U line, U standing for Underachievers. I’m not saying they deserve 4th line minutes, but they havn’r made a case for themselves being top 6 forwards. I would try out Nilsson/Schremp and see if they can get something going. If not, it would be a waste, and I would send one down to Springfield to get some top line minutes and bring in Pouliot for this line, another underachiever)

Souray-Pitkanen
(Could be a recipe for disaster defensively, but to be effective Staios needs some to set him up for a one-timer, plus at least the two defensive liabilities will be out for the same 20 minutes, cutting the chance of one of them screwing up by half)
Greene-Staios
(The stay at home pairing)
Smid-Gilbert
(All-around pairing with good measures of offence and defence)

Roloson/Garon
(Neither has claimed the spot of true number 1, so they should be given equal minutes)

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Blake-Sundin-Ponikarovsky
(Has played well so far)
Stajan-Antropov-Steen
(Have all made a case for themselves to be included in the top 6)
Gamanche-Tlusty-Kulemin
(For now, I would give these young rookies (well….Gamanche isn’t that young..) a chance to see what they can too. So far Gamance and Tlusty have played a solid two-way game)
Tucker-Pohl-Devereux
(Of these three, Pohl has played the best. That’s kind of sad.)

Kaberle-Kubina
(Leafs best all around defencemen)
Gill-White
(Have both put up some points while staying on the plus side)
Stralman-Wozniewski
(Wozniewski is getting a bad rap, but he’s a plus-3. Maybe it’s because Leafs fans are tired or trying to say and spell his name. Stralman should be given a chance.)

Raycroft/Toskala
(Definitely a platoon situation. Neither of these guys can say they’re Number 1 guys.)

Ottawa Senators:

Heatley-Spezza-Alfreddson
(It’s hard to break those guys up)
Kelly-Fisher-Vermette
(A checking line that also provides decent secondary scoring. The Kelly-Vermette tandem has been impressive, providing solid defence with the second best scoring upside on the team. Fisher has played well but doesn’t have the line-mates to be successful. He can play the same role Neil plays on that line now, only with more offensive talent)
Foligno-Robitaille-Eaves
(A line that SHOULD be able to score)
Schubert-Donovan-Neil
(Just a total hard-hitting monster fore checking line)

Note, once McAmmond returns, I would switch he lines to:

Foligno-Robitaille-Neil
(An all around line with equal doses grit, speed and some scoring upside.)
Eaves-McAmmond Donovan
(Same model as 3rd line. McAmmond and Eaves played relatively well together last year, and McAmmond and Donovan played together in Calgary, so this line should have chemistry)
I envision these lines playing equal minutes.)

Redden-Meszaros
(Offensive pairing)
Phillips-Volchenkov
(Defensive pairing)
Schubert-Corvo
(All-around pairing)
Richardson
(I would take advantage of the option to dress 7 defenseman. Richardson is handy to have in the dressing room, and can fill in if there’s an injury.)

Gerber/Emery
(Gerber has proven he deserves a shot to be Number 1, but Emery hasn’t done anything to lose his shot at being Number 1. So, I say give them equal playing time)

Montreal Canadians:

Kostitsyn-Koivu-Kovalev
(Koivu and Kovalev have been the best forwards, Kostitsyn has been a healthy scratch, but I think he could do well on this line)
Higgins-Plekanec-Ryder
(I believe Higgins and Plekanec play well together)
Latendresse-Chipchura-Smolinski
(Mostly a checking line..)
Dandenault-Begin-Kostopolous
(A real strong fore checking line)

Markov-Komisarek
Hamrlick-Brisebois
Streit-Bouillon
(No changes really, they’ve played well enough)

Huet
Price/Halak
(Give Huet 30 games, and let Price and Halak play 16 each.)

Anyway, that’s how I see it. I’m not saying these lines are the best or they would work. Just that I would like to see them.

If you have any changes to my lines, or completely different lines, please post them.

And if you’re a fan of one of the American teams, and have an idea for lines that you like, also, please post them.


8 Responses to Line 'Em Up

  1. simplyhabby says:

    I will discuss the habs with you.

    I agree with putting Kovalev with Koivu but with the current lines by carbo are firing. Kostisyn still does not have waht it takes to be a consistent threat….he is likly a scratch tonight for a second time in a row.  The only reason I say that you can interchange Kovalev on the first line is Ryder.  RYder is a very much one dimensional player.  Great on the PP, horrible anywhere else.  If Montral could fill his winf with a power forward, I would de delighted.

    Plex and Higgins are great two way players.  They will work with any line very well. 

    I don't think Chips is ready for the third line play but I am a huge fan of him and I would not be suprised to see him playing with Smoke and Latendresse in the near future.

    I like Dandy on the forward lines.  Great for PK situations and adds a lot of speeed.

  2. habsrock99 says:

    The only thing really wrong is your assessment on Latendresse, he's not a checker but a power forward in the making.

    Otherwise, it'd be interesting but I have never held Andrei Kostitsyn in high regard. I just don't see him being a Top 6 forward. His brother on the other hand is at least 3 times better. Sergei hits, fights, scores, can QB a PP, can set plays up and has a wicked wrist shot.

  3. leafy says:

    I can only comment on the Leafs since I watch every game.

    Devereaux has been better than Pohl so far.

    Wozniewski is not getting a bad rap.  He's pretty much mediocre.  Not that he's terrible, but he's nothing more than a no. 7 defencmen, unless you've got nobody else.

    Re Toskala vs. Raycroft, if you people STILL cannot tell who's better, you're pretty much lost.

  4. Archion113 says:

    4 outta 6 of these teams won't make the play offs.

    And none of these teams will win the cup.

  5. MR40 says:

    LOL you left McCabe out (I think you did on purpose).

    I'm really disapointed with the Canuck's. 

    There top 10 in goal's for (about 4 team's tied for 10th I think), but last in the entire NHL in shot's on goal.They were averaging 23.9 shot's in per game I think (and got 15 shot's in the Detroit game).

    There defense has been horrific.

    Miller might worse then Rory (seriously). Miller is slow, lazy, doesn't score, AND make's 1.5 million per year.

    Bieksa has been bad. He hasn't been physical (probably his best skill), and he hasn't been scoring.

    Does anybody know how bad Mattias Ohlund is? He ALWAYS gets penaltie's, make's terrible pass's, isn't really that offensive, he's really lazy and slow, and shouldn't even be in the league anymore.

    I think the defense will be very good in a few year's. Edler, and Bourdon could become the best duo on the back end in the NHL. Bourdon is like Jovo (exact same), and Edler is pretty much the exact same player as Tomas Kaberle. Rahimi plays the exact same game as Brenden Witt. Bieksa will be in Vancouver awhile, and we know he's usually good.

    Luongo has been average, and nothing more. He hasn't made the big save's, and lost 6 out of 9 start's.

    Shannon, Raymond, Kesler, Grabner, and the Sedin's will be a SOLID top 6 in a few year's (yes we will resign the Sedin's, and have to get rid of our expensive defensemen). Pat White could make the team too. Hansen is good. I think Shannon, and Kesler will be good for 50 point's in a few year's. Grabner will get like 45 goal's, 20 assist's, and be -25. Raymond will get 60 point's in a few year's, maybe 4 year's, but will be good for probably just around 45 points in a year or 2. The Sedin's top potential is 95 point's.

    The future will be good for the Canuck's, but right now, there not looking good.

  6. MR40 says:

    What are you talking about.

    Ottawa is arguably the best team in the NHL, with Luongo the Canuck’s are a lock (big deal, he’s been bad for a few game’s), the Flame’s are good, and will make it, and either Montreal or Toronto will make it.

  7. leafy says:

    But I hope, Archion, that the Ottawa part of your prediction is correct.  It would make me so happy come spring time.

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