Who takes Wellwoods Spot?

This is for the Leafs board. If it is on the main page i am sorry to the anti-Leaf fans, who will take offense for some reason.

So how do you replace a Kyle Wellwood? You can’t, but as the old cliche says, one mans misfortunes is another mans opportunity.

Do you break up the Sundin-Antro-Blake line, which has enjoyed some good chemistry thus far? No. Another line which has enjoyed some chemistry is Stajan-Steen-Gamache. So who centers Tucker, and Ponikarovsky?

Well the most talented forward on the Leafs without a sure spot is Jiri Tlusty. Why not put Tlusty between Poni, and Tucker to see what he can do. It would be temporary until Wellwood or Bell return to the lineup, but i think the experience at this level would do him wonders. Do you put him on the Marlies right away to be the go to guy or do you put him centering the second line watching and learning from arguably the best center in Leaf history? He has been as good or better than the rest of the bubble boys, and definitely has not looked out of place.

My proposed lineup to start the season

Blake Sundin Antro
Tucker Tlusty Poni
Gamache Stajan Steen
Kilger Pohl/Devereaux/Battaglia/Newbury/Salmelainen……..

Once Bell, and Wellwood get back

Blake Sundin Antro
Tucker Wellwood Poni
Bell Stajan Steen
Kilger ? ?

We’ll know whether Gamache, and Tlusty are ready for the big time, and whether they will stay up with the big team or go to the Marlies. There are also plenty of pieces to chose from for fourth line duty. Either way there will be a ton of Marlies with NHL experience when its all said and done, and that will be very valuable down the road.

So should Tlusty get a shot for the first 15 games or is he better served down on the Marlies? I’d like to hear some thoughts on this.

Please keep this civil!

10 Responses to Who takes Wellwoods Spot?

  1. Carlton60 says:

    My initial response would be Chad Kilger – he's not flashy but he is one of the Leafs most dependable 5-on-5 five players.  Lines would look like this:

    Antropov / Sundin / Blake
    Ponikarovsky / Kilger / Tucker
    Steen / Stajan / Devereaux
    Belak / Pohl / Battaglia

    Another option would be Antropov at centre on the second line, although this would create some really odd line combinations.  Lines might look something like this:

    Ponikaroksy / Sundin / Blake
    Kilger / Antropov / Tucker
    Steen / Stajan / Devereaux
    Belak / Pohl / Battaglia

    Wellwood's absence could also create an opportunity for Steen or Stajan to move up to the second line, but I have a hunch that Devereaux might turn out to be a hidden gem…

  2. mojo19 says:

    Looks good hoondog. I have to say that Devereux should not be in the Dev's/Pohl/Battaglia etc. category. He's on the team for sure.

    And I like Tlusty too, if Maurice decides not to put him in there I was reading he was considering moving Kilger over to centre that line temporarily saying that "Kilger plays his best hockey with Tucker." Kilgers comments to this kind of bothered me though because he said when he plays centre he doesn't forecheck the same way, and I love the way Chad forechecks.

    Here's my opening day line up:

    Blake – Sundin – Antropov
    Poni – Steen – Tucker
    Dev's – Stajan – Gamache
    Kilger – Pohl – Salmelainen/Battaglia

    I'd like to see Steen get a lot of ice time this year and have a good year.

  3. Hoondog2 says:

    Yeah, agreed about Devereaux.

  4. phat_cat says:

    Just a question, but I have watched every pre-season game of the leafs so far and deveraux has been no where to be found. Is he even still a part of this team?

  5. I-BE-LEAF says:

    foot infection

  6. 92-93 says:

    right now the lines should be:

    [Salamanien or Newbury]
    Bell – suspended
    Wellwood – injured
    Tlusty or Williams = the first to be called up
    oh, as for last night's game – thankfully it was just a preseason game … but you look at this:
    or you look at the Sundin goal that didn't count and you hope that all of these crummy calls are done and over with in the preseason.
    the photo of McCabe is as blatant a hit from behind and leaving your feet to hit as there can be. 
    Sundin did no kicking motion – simply a redirection and the rules allow for that.
    Leafs win 4-3 (possibly more with the boarding call on Neil that was never called).
    but again, thankfully, this is just a preseason game.
    Tlusty is impressing me and surprising me more and more. 
  7. the_word says:

    I think the best option in terms of winning games is putting Antropov at center on the 2nd line, maybe between Poni and Steen. Antropov did have a really good season under Quinn as the second line center so he the most has LNH experience at the position outside of Sundin. If he plays well, he could even force Wellwood to the wing when he returns (I think Blake – Sundin – Wellwood would be worth taking a look at).

    If the Leafs are going to evaluate their talent, then give the spot to Steen. Whether or not Steen has earned it, he needs to play a bigger role with the team this year, to see if he'll sink or swim.

  8. Hoondog2 says:

    I am usually a big fan of McCreary, but there were some bad calls (noncalls) in that game.  Hopefully preseason is just an adjustment for the officials as well as players.

  9. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    one word: everybody.

    mark my wards, 10 gam4es into the season at least 4 guys will have played 2nd line center.

  10. FarFromFreedom says:

    My opinion .. Johnny Pohl! this guy was giving a shot late last season and finished the year with 26 points in 47 games. he had a rough start simply because he was playing 4th line minutes lucky to hit the 9min mark .. then started playing 13 minutes a night and produced. He's definatly deserved it so far in pre-season having 5 points and 2 goals in 4 games. Now i know stats in preseason means nothing but this guy has impressed me.

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