I started typing a response to a reader’s comment on this morning’s post about Bertuzzi being slotted to play on the top line with Datsyuk heading into this season.
The response got to be so lengthy that I figured it might be best to put in a full post so we can have a nice little thought-provoking discussion on possible line combinations and keep the Nyquist post centered on Nyquist. So here we go…
Bertuzzi – 6th in Points last season
Franzen – 4th in Points last season
Datsyuk – 2nd in Points last season
Hudler – 5th in Points last season
Filppula – 3rd in Points last season
Zetterberg – 1st in Points last season
…seems to me that Bert was pretty much in line with the trend.
Make the jump for more.
I’ve always said that the best line combos are a grinder, a passer, and a shooter. Bertuzzi isn’t the hard-nosed bulldozer that he once was…but he still goes into the corners to get pucks. Datsyuk will make the first (or second…or third) guy miss and dish Franzen who loves to shoot. Nyquist could fit in as the shooter on either of the first two lines.
OR…we could move Filppula back to 3rd Center and have Brunner play wing with Zetterberg and Nyquist (or Franzen if Goose went to the top line). Either way – I think you almost have to put Bert on a line with Datsyuk – it”s been that way for an entire season + and I would NOT call it a failure up to this point.
Abdelkader-Helm-Miller (or Emmerton or Eaves or whoever)
No matter what way you look at it – we’re going to have 20+ goal scorers all the way through the third line and possibly spilling into the 4th line. In my opinion, Drew Miller has done NOTHING but prove he deserves a spot on this roster. He has scored no less than 10 goals per season (14 last year). Eaves when healthy can be inserted anywhere in this lineup…and we’re all wishing him a full recovery sometime soon.
Filppula is an interesting “wild card” if you will. Because apparently Brunner is supposed to be in the top six which means someone has to be bumped. Mikael Samuelsson has to be a third liner. So who drops down? Do you put Flip back at center after his career season on Zata’s wing? Do you drop Todd Bertuzzi from the first line to the third line? My fear is that if Bert drops to line three – then he’ll be extremely less effective and then people will be calling for his head despite the fact he could be playing with guys that he just doesn’t mesh with.
On the contrary – slotting Dirty Bert on the third line could make things interesting for the opposition as well…
Cleary-Abdelkader-Miller (or Emmerton or Eaves or whoever)
…actually…as I look at that – that is one HELL of a lineup…danger all the way down to the fourth line.
We’ve got options and plenty of them. What’s YOUR ideal lineup for our forward corps?