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BigTed3

2012-13 Habs Lines

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Why? :unsure:

Nokelainen showed very little last season when he played with us and White was injured for more than half the year. Blake Geoffrion is too developed for Hamilton and belongs in the NHL, IMO. I would like to see what he can do with the fourth line center position out of camp. I don't really think we NEED White in the lineup with the resigning of Travis Moen and the acquisition of Brand Prust. Both are players that should be getting ice time ahead of White and also provide a physical edge to our bottom six.

I agree that Geoffrion has developed the most he can in the AHL and should be in an NHL role. But I don't think his style of play works on the 4th line. IMO he needs to be on a secondary scoring line like the 3rd line, too bad there is no room for him there. He needs better linemates than Prust and White.

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I thought Geoffrion was a left winger...

Habs are fairly well set for 4th line center.

White plays C/RW

Geoffrion plays C/LW

Nokelainen plays C

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If we did decide to break up the DD line, I wonder how Bourque would look alongside David? As a more one dimensional goal scorer I think Bourque could be a better fit with DD than he is with Pleks. So you'd have something like this:

Bourque-DD-Cole

Patches-Pleks-Gionta

Moen-Eller-**

Prust-Noki/White-Armstrong

** = open competition at camp between Gomez, LeBlanc, Palushaj, Gallagher, etc.

Maybe swap Armstrong with Moen depending how Colby looks at camp/preseason.

Edit: Obviously this scenario assumes we do not acquire or sign a top 6 LW.

I like this scenario. But I would make your 2nd line the 1st line and the 1st line the 2nd.

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Why? :unsure:

Nokelainen showed very little last season when he played with us and White was injured for more than half the year. Blake Geoffrion is too developed for Hamilton and belongs in the NHL, IMO. I would like to see what he can do with the fourth line center position out of camp. I don't really think we NEED White in the lineup with the resigning of Travis Moen and the acquisition of Brand Prust. Both are players that should be getting ice time ahead of White and also provide a physical edge to our bottom six.

I disagree, White for me is a must have on the team. He brings such energy on the ice and is a good teammate who will stick up for others. He also has speed, can play physical, can fight and can play on the PK. He has multiple tools.

Geoffrion I see him as a AHLer right now. He needs to play on offensive lines so keeping him on a 4th line would not make much sense to me. I really hope we don't see the same things as last year such as Palushaj on a 4th line and stuff like that.

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I disagree, White for me is a must have on the team. He brings such energy on the ice and is a good teammate who will stick up for others. He also has speed, can play physical, can fight and can play on the PK. He has multiple tools.

Geoffrion I see him as a AHLer right now. He needs to play on offensive lines so keeping him on a 4th line would not make much sense to me. I really hope we don't see the same things as last year such as Palushaj on a 4th line and stuff like that.

I agree. We missed what White brings to the 4th line when he was injured last season. As for Geoffrion, I just don't know if he'll be an NHL player. He has tools, but he's not good enough defensively or physical enough to be a 4th liner and he's not quite talented enough to be on scoring line. He's very much in a position similar to Palushaj, who probably has slightly better puck skills but less size. Both guys are really going to need an injury or two to get a shot in the top 6 and then they're going to have to make the most of it.

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Geoffrion I see him as a AHLer right now. .

Good thing his last name is Geoffrion otherwise he would probably enver get this much discussion

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I disagree, White for me is a must have on the team. He brings such energy on the ice and is a good teammate who will stick up for others. He also has speed, can play physical, can fight and can play on the PK. He has multiple tools.

Geoffrion I see him as a AHLer right now. He needs to play on offensive lines so keeping him on a 4th line would not make much sense to me. I really hope we don't see the same things as last year such as Palushaj on a 4th line and stuff like that.

I agree with everything you're saying about White, but I feel like the resigning of Travis Moen and the acquisition of Brandon Prust make him a little less valuable. He's not going to get the ice time ahead of Moen or Prust and they provide a similar role to the team. It's quite possible Ryan White starts the season on the fourth line, killing penalties as well, but I also see it as possible that he's in the pressbox when the season begins.

I agree. We missed what White brings to the 4th line when he was injured last season. As for Geoffrion, I just don't know if he'll be an NHL player. He has tools, but he's not good enough defensively or physical enough to be a 4th liner and he's not quite talented enough to be on scoring line. He's very much in a position similar to Palushaj, who probably has slightly better puck skills but less size. Both guys are really going to need an injury or two to get a shot in the top 6 and then they're going to have to make the most of it.

Yes, we missed White last season, but the addition of Prust makes his role less relevant IMO. I believe Geoffrion has what it takes to play on a defensive minded line in this league.

Good thing his last name is Geoffrion otherwise he would probably enver get this much discussion

I'm not discussing him because of his last name. I'm just thinking that he deserves a shot at center on the fourth line because he's too developed to play in Hamilton. In an offensive role he had 12 points in 9 games for the Bulldogs last year. He then played 13 solid games for Montreal.

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I agree with everything you're saying about White, but I feel like the resigning of Travis Moen and the acquisition of Brandon Prust make him a little less valuable. He's not going to get the ice time ahead of Moen or Prust and they provide a similar role to the team. It's quite possible Ryan White starts the season on the fourth line, killing penalties as well, but I also see it as possible that he's in the pressbox when the season begins.

Yes, we missed White last season, but the addition of Prust makes his role less relevant IMO. I believe Geoffrion has what it takes to play on a defensive minded line in this league.

I'm not discussing him because of his last name. I'm just thinking that he deserves a shot at center on the fourth line because he's too developed to play in Hamilton. In an offensive role he had 12 points in 9 games for the Bulldogs last year. He then played 13 solid games for Montreal.

I would give Geoffrion a shot at the 2nd line left wing, if we don't adress this need until the season opener. For this to work though i would try a top line combination of Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gionta

Geoffrion-Plekanec-Cole

All this of course, if he comes at camp and amazes everybody. Its up to him. As for White, i think that with good offseason training at face offs, he can be a decent shut down 4th line center in an amazing 4th line with Moen and Prust.

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I would give Geoffrion a shot at the 2nd line left wing, if we don't adress this need until the season opener. For this to work though i would try a top line combination of Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gionta

Geoffrion-Plekanec-Cole

All this of course, if he comes at camp and amazes everybody. Its up to him. As for White, i think that with good offseason training at face offs, he can be a decent shut down 4th line center in an amazing 4th line with Moen and Prust.

If you have a fourth line of White centering Prust and Moen who is on your third line?

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I don't see why we can't put Geoffrion on the 4th line, he's too developed for the AHL. He not overly physical but he does hit enough and hes got size and speed. Geoffrion is younger, more physical then Nokelainen, also I see Geoffrion with more offensive upside then Noke.

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If you have a fourth line of White centering Prust and Moen who is on your third line?

I would assume Bourque-Eller-Armstrong.

As for Geoffrion, I dont really know enough about him to decide whether or not he can be a good 4th line centre, or even an NHLer at all, but I don't see why we can't at least give him a try at that position. I think the main thing that will determine whether White or Geoffrion is the best fit, is faceoff percentage. With Armstrong, Eller, Prust and Moen in the bottom 6, White does lose some value for us. But we need to get better in the faceoff circle, so this should be the determining factor between the two.

Of course, we could (likely) end up starting with Noke in that role.

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There are quite a few forward combos that make sense and could work and I think we've covered alot of them. I think I'd start the year like this:

Patches-DD-Cole

Bourque-Pleks-Gionta

Gomez-Eller-Moen

Armstrong-White/Nok-Prust

Depending on how Bourque and Eller each look maybe we switch to:

Patches-DD-Cole

Eller-Pleks-Gionta

Bourque-Gomez-Moen

Armstrong-White/Nok-Prust

I think it's actually the defense that may be most interesting though. Who gets that #4 defense spot is an interesting question. I think I'd like to just stick Emelin there and live through the growing pains as long as his confidence isn't getting destroyed.

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Since next season is a rebuilding season, I think the priority should be to maximize the trade value of the players we want to trade. The secondary priority is putting the youth into good development roles.

Cole - Gomez - Bourque

Gionta - Plekanec - Pacioretty

Armstrong - Eller - Moen

Prust - Noke - Blunden

Subban - Gorges

Markov - Emelin

Kaberle - Bouillon

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Since next season is a rebuilding season, I think the priority should be to maximize the trade value of the players we want to trade. The secondary priority is putting the youth into good development roles.

Cole - Gomez - Bourque

Gionta - Plekanec - Pacioretty

Armstrong - Eller - Moen

Prust - Noke - Blunden

Subban - Gorges

Markov - Emelin

Kaberle - Bouillon

Gomez on the first line, no White and DD doesn't even crack the lineup? It'd be nice for Gomez to raise his trade value but I'm not willing to hand over the keys to the kitchen after his season last year

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Gomez on the first line, no White and DD doesn't even crack the lineup? It'd be nice for Gomez to raise his trade value but I'm not willing to hand over the keys to the kitchen after his season last year

Agreed.

He's had plenty of time to put in the effort. I honestly saw that he tried last season, but with the injuries he had, he just couldn't get it together. Unfortunately for him, he waited until last season to contribute and i think for the organization they've run out of patience. That money could be better spent somewhere else.

Fans have completely ran out of patience. My business partner bought a Gomez jersey last season when he switched to #11. So he got the jersey and 1/2 price, you wouldn't believe how many dirty looks, comments and verbal fights he's gotten into just for wearing the Gomez jersey-Almost as if people are talking to Gomez himself.

I see our top line as it was last season:

Cole-Dd-Patches

2nd:

?-Pleks-Gio (need to acquire another winger for pleks, maybe LL could fill in)

3rd:

Bourque/Moen-Eller-LL/white (LL if they find someone else for the pleks line)

4th:

Armstrong-Nokie-Prust

Blunden unfortunately for him was a depth signing in case of injury. Which imo was a smart move by MB given Armstrong and White's injuries last season.

For our bottoms lines we're set. Even if injury hits, we shouldn't have any issues.

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I agree with everything you're saying about White, but I feel like the resigning of Travis Moen and the acquisition of Brandon Prust make him a little less valuable. He's not going to get the ice time ahead of Moen or Prust and they provide a similar role to the team. It's quite possible Ryan White starts the season on the fourth line, killing penalties as well, but I also see it as possible that he's in the pressbox when the season begins.

I understand what you mean, although I don't think you can ever have enough hard competitors and players of the type Prust/White/Moen on your bottom 6. We all saw what hapenned last season when Moen was all alone trying to police the entire team. Having 3 guys like that would be a big plus (checking, fighting, etc.) imho.

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Working the night shift, favorite thread, here we go a different spin for fun:

Pac - DD - Cole

Bourque - Pleks - Gionta

Moen - Eller - Gallagher

Prust - White - Armstrong

Noke

Gorges - Subban

Markov - Emelin

Beaulieu - Bouillon

St-Denis

Price

Budaj

Gomez in the AHL. Kaberle and Weber each traded for picks.

I'm bored.

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I'll break the situation down to see what the options are for forming ideal lines:

- DD is a small, play-making center. To be successful, he needs to have at least one player who has size and can be dominant at puck retrieval (Pacman, Cole, or Eller) and a second winger who has some capacity to score (Pacman, Cole, Gio, Bourque, Armstrong)

- Pleks just needs any two guys who can keep up with his level of play and score when they're fed the puck(Pacman, Cole, Gio, Eller, Gallagher, possibly Bourque)

- if Eller plays center, he needs guys who can score a bit and carry the puck to some degree but they don't need to have size necessarily (Pacman, Cole, Gio, Gallagher, Leblanc). Ideally, this would be a good place to tuck in a small forward (Gio, Gallagher) and at least one guy should be a vet (Cole, Gio, Bourque).

- Gomez needs two guys who can finish his passes (Pacman, Cole, Bourque, Eller, Gio, Gallagher, Leblanc, Armstrong)... at least one guy should be a veteran scorer (Cole, Gio)

Using this, I don't see an ideal fit for putting Gomez on the wing in the top 9, so I'm going to use him as the 3rd center for now and try Eller's fit on the wing. Gionta and Gallagher are small guys that I wouldn't want to place with DD, so they necessarily have to go with Pleks or Gomez (and no together). Bourque seems like less of a fit for Plekanec because he doesn't play the puck with the same degree of skill and I'd be hesitant to play him with Gomez with so many questions surrounding each guy's ability to bounce back. So that leaves Bourque on the DD line. It still means that DD needs a guy who can be stronger on the puck than Bourque and if we decide to use Bourque on the left side, then the only right winger who fits the criteria for DD's other side is Cole. So that gives us

Bourque-DD-Cole

???-Plekanec-???

???-Gomez-???

Pacman could fit onto either remaining line well, but I'd want to play him on the line that's going to get more ice to maximize what we get from him, so he goes next to Pleks. It would leave Eller as the 3rd LW lining up next to Gomez.

Bourque-DD-Cole

Pacioretty-Plekanec-???

Eller-Gomez-???

If we want Gomez to succeed, we really do need to give him that vet who can score and take some pressure off of him. Who's left? Gionta. It leaves the question of who we can slot into the last spot next to Plekanec. I'd want a guy who has both the skill and speed to keep up with Plekanec, and looking at the remaining options (Armstrong, LL, Gallagher), the guy who best fits the bill to me is Gallagher. So that gives me

Bourque-DD-Cole

Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gallagher

Eller-Gomez-Gionta

That line-up also leaves some flexibility to swap Eller and Gomez as needed. It also gives us the chance to evaluate talent in camp, and if Gallagher clearly isn't ready, we have other options for who to slot onto the right side in his place (LL, Palushaj, Armstrong). In addition, if we really do find that Galchenyuk is ready, there's an easy way to slide him into the line-up by displacing Gomez. I really do think that by splitting up the DD line and using Bourque in place of Pacman and by committing to starting the season with Eller on the wing, it opens up possibilities to put one or two of our younger talents in a position to succeed and it helps to distribute the skill to maximize what we get out of all our centers.

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I quite like that, Ted. Our true top line would be Pacioretty-Plekanec-Cole, but it'd not be beneficial for the other lines, so I think we're better off spreading our top end talent a bit, as per your suggestion.

It'll not give us a clear cut first line, but instead a balanced 2A, 2B, 2C approach.

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I'll break the situation down to see what the options are for forming ideal lines:

- DD is a small, play-making center. To be successful, he needs to have at least one player who has size and can be dominant at puck retrieval (Pacman, Cole, or Eller) and a second winger who has some capacity to score (Pacman, Cole, Gio, Bourque, Armstrong)

- Pleks just needs any two guys who can keep up with his level of play and score when they're fed the puck(Pacman, Cole, Gio, Eller, Gallagher, possibly Bourque)

- if Eller plays center, he needs guys who can score a bit and carry the puck to some degree but they don't need to have size necessarily (Pacman, Cole, Gio, Gallagher, Leblanc). Ideally, this would be a good place to tuck in a small forward (Gio, Gallagher) and at least one guy should be a vet (Cole, Gio, Bourque).

- Gomez needs two guys who can finish his passes (Pacman, Cole, Bourque, Eller, Gio, Gallagher, Leblanc, Armstrong)... at least one guy should be a veteran scorer (Cole, Gio)

Using this, I don't see an ideal fit for putting Gomez on the wing in the top 9, so I'm going to use him as the 3rd center for now and try Eller's fit on the wing. Gionta and Gallagher are small guys that I wouldn't want to place with DD, so they necessarily have to go with Pleks or Gomez (and no together). Bourque seems like less of a fit for Plekanec because he doesn't play the puck with the same degree of skill and I'd be hesitant to play him with Gomez with so many questions surrounding each guy's ability to bounce back. So that leaves Bourque on the DD line. It still means that DD needs a guy who can be stronger on the puck than Bourque and if we decide to use Bourque on the left side, then the only right winger who fits the criteria for DD's other side is Cole. So that gives us

Bourque-DD-Cole

???-Plekanec-???

???-Gomez-???

Pacman could fit onto either remaining line well, but I'd want to play him on the line that's going to get more ice to maximize what we get from him, so he goes next to Pleks. It would leave Eller as the 3rd LW lining up next to Gomez.

Bourque-DD-Cole

Pacioretty-Plekanec-???

Eller-Gomez-???

If we want Gomez to succeed, we really do need to give him that vet who can score and take some pressure off of him. Who's left? Gionta. It leaves the question of who we can slot into the last spot next to Plekanec. I'd want a guy who has both the skill and speed to keep up with Plekanec, and looking at the remaining options (Armstrong, LL, Gallagher), the guy who best fits the bill to me is Gallagher. So that gives me

Bourque-DD-Cole

Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gallagher

Eller-Gomez-Gionta

That line-up also leaves some flexibility to swap Eller and Gomez as needed. It also gives us the chance to evaluate talent in camp, and if Gallagher clearly isn't ready, we have other options for who to slot onto the right side in his place (LL, Palushaj, Armstrong). In addition, if we really do find that Galchenyuk is ready, there's an easy way to slide him into the line-up by displacing Gomez. I really do think that by splitting up the DD line and using Bourque in place of Pacman and by committing to starting the season with Eller on the wing, it opens up possibilities to put one or two of our younger talents in a position to succeed and it helps to distribute the skill to maximize what we get out of all our centers.

Good analysis, I like it :)

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A solid analysis, using the center as the focal point.

However, now we have a surplus of expensive 4th liners in Moen, Armstrong, Prust, White, Nokia (Heck, and Weber if MT learned from the count).

I don't see a reason to rush any youth into the line-up, when this year is looking mediocre at best. If Gallagher, Leblanc come in and look dynamite, then fine. However, it would probably be benficialf or them to get the Patches treatment and atleast sit in the AHL for half a season till they are dominating, then move up.

Your line-up does attempt to get Gomez going. However, I don't like the idea of sacrificing Eller's developement, to try and boost a veteran's play. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Sacrifice a Vet to develop the youth? Not to mention, next year we truly need Gomez's salary gone to be able to afford PAtches/ DD's raises... so why try to build a line-up around him? Even if he has what we would consider a successful rebound to say 40 points, no one is going to trade for a 7.5M, 40 point aging center.

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I don't really love Pacioretty on the Plekanec line, he'll get poor OZone starts at ES, he'll end up facing the other team's top line quite often and he's quite bad defensively IMO. I think it's probably a leap Gallagher is ready, he's not an elite prospect and skipping the AHL probably isn't the greatest of ideas, I'd be more inclined to go with Leblanc if that were the route we were going to take. Leblanc did have a summer to train (after being hurt the previous one) and at least has pretty close to a full season of pro hockey under his belt. TBH, I still think Palushaj in the top 9 is worth 1 last shot. I know it won't be a popular opinion but he's smart, crafty and he has skill + he's produced in the AHL. I know you mentioned the possibility of those 2 if Gallagher isn't ready and given his size and the fact that he's not an elite prospect having him skip by the AHL probably isn't a great idea IMO.

Also, Eller would have to be the center on the 3rd line, I know you mentioned it but I'd rather flip flop Gomez around than Eller.

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I don't see a reason to rush any youth into the line-up, when this year is looking mediocre at best. If Gallagher, Leblanc come in and look dynamite, then fine. However, it would probably be benficialf or them to get the Patches treatment and atleast sit in the AHL for half a season till they are dominating, then move up.

Your line-up does attempt to get Gomez going. However, I don't like the idea of sacrificing Eller's developement, to try and boost a veteran's play. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Sacrifice a Vet to develop the youth? Not to mention, next year we truly need Gomez's salary gone to be able to afford PAtches/ DD's raises... so why try to build a line-up around him? Even if he has what we would consider a successful rebound to say 40 points, no one is going to trade for a 7.5M, 40 point aging center.

If it ends up being Palushaj or Geoffrion who wins a spot, then so be it. Bu as Bergevin said, if Gallagher or Leblanc comes in and wins the spot, then so be it. Gallagher came quite close to winning a spot last season, so I don't think it's impossible that with another successful year in junior, he might be able to reproduce what he did in camp last year. I'm fully aware that this by no means guarantees he'll be able to produce in the regular season, but we have the option of changing him out if he struggles.

As for Gomez, I think he is still a capable player. I'm treating him as such. I look at who we paired Eller and Plekanec with last season, and frankly, I'd rather have them playing with Gomez than with moen or a 4th liner. I chose to put Eller in the wing, not because I favored Gomez, but because I am hoping he can succeed there. Eller is going to have to fight to be a center on this team down the line, with Pleks, DD, Gally, and even possibly Leblanc able to play there. We have depth down the right side and we have depth coming up down the middle. But we have no real depth at LW, nor any big talent coming up at that position. I like Eller better at center myself, but I also believe it would be in both his best interest and that of the team if he can have success at LW because that will allow him to play in the top 6.

I don't really love Pacioretty on the Plekanec line, he'll get poor OZone starts at ES, he'll end up facing the other team's top line quite often and he's quite bad defensively IMO. I think it's probably a leap Gallagher is ready, he's not an elite prospect and skipping the AHL probably isn't the greatest of ideas, I'd be more inclined to go with Leblanc if that were the route we were going to take. Leblanc did have a summer to train (after being hurt the previous one) and at least has pretty close to a full season of pro hockey under his belt. TBH, I still think Palushaj in the top 9 is worth 1 last shot. I know it won't be a popular opinion but he's smart, crafty and he has skill + he's produced in the AHL. I know you mentioned the possibility of those 2 if Gallagher isn't ready and given his size and the fact that he's not an elite prospect having him skip by the AHL probably isn't a great idea IMO.

Also, Eller would have to be the center on the 3rd line, I know you mentioned it but I'd rather flip flop Gomez around than Eller.

Basically the same thing I commented on above. I can see the arguments for what you and detritus prefer and I'm open to those options as well. I would start with Eller at wing for the reason I mentioned, but if the organization's plan is to eventually trade DD or Plekanec and to use the other with Eller and Gally as the top 3 centers down the line, then sure, develop Eller as the center on that line. I was against using Eller on the wing last season for the reason you presented, but with Galchenyuk now in the organization and the absence of organizational depth at LW (with Cammy and Ak46 both gone), I see value in giving Eller a shot on the wing.

As for Pacman, again, I understand the position you're taking, but at the same time, I think we can't just give Plekanec defensively-minded linemates. Plekanec got a couple of games with Cole and Pacman last year and they did just fine. I'd like to see us give Tomas some more support and I'd like to see the coaching philosophy be that we want to take the game to the other team instead of building lines that get lots of ice time just to counter the other team's top line. I think we have some options to build 3 lines capable of scoring and doing so could make it difficult for the opposition to match up to all of them.

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As for Pacman, again, I understand the position you're taking, but at the same time, I think we can't just give Plekanec defensively-minded linemates. Plekanec got a couple of games with Cole and Pacman last year and they did just fine. I'd like to see us give Tomas some more support and I'd like to see the coaching philosophy be that we want to take the game to the other team instead of building lines that get lots of ice time just to counter the other team's top line. I think we have some options to build 3 lines capable of scoring and doing so could make it difficult for the opposition to match up to all of them.

I agree with giving Tomas more support but I just think Pacioretty is a really bad fit, he's really bad defensively and he needs a ton of OZone starts with Desharnais IMO. Unless you want to start flipping roles around a bit, which I don't. I still think I'd start with Bourque, just because it doesn't upset the apple cart too much and he showed SOME level of defensive competence but I'd have a quick trigger finger for 1 of the kids.

Again, the other alternative IMO is to try and make Eller the defensive center and give Pleks more offensive responsibility. Put Eller with defensive forward, give him a lot of DZone starts and tough match ups and see what comes of it.

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I also disagree with the idea of using Pacioretty on Tomas's line. Pacioretty is probably our worst forward from a defensive standpoint, and moreover, he's a goalscorer. Don't saddle him with two-way responsibilities that he can't handle, don't take away his OZone time, let Bourque or one of the kids ride shotgun with Tomas and Brian and let Patches loose on the top line where his prime function is to score or set up his linemates to score.

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