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State of the Line Up

Mr.53

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This is what I would do with our lineup. I actually think it could be a playoff lineup. It's not awful.

My Lineup

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata

Shawn Matthias - Nick Bonino - Zack Kassian

Chris Higgins - Linden Vey - Alex Burrows

Derek Dorsett - Brad Richardson - Jannik Hansen

(Tom Sestito-___________)

Dan Hamhuis - Chris Tanev

Alex Edler - Frank Corrado

Luca Sbisa - Kevin Bieksa

(Ryan Stanton)

Ryan Miller

Eddie Lack

Sedin – Sedin – Vrbata: 18 Minutes

I love this line. Vrbata seems to be the perfect complement. All of ten play a high IQ game, and Henrik has two snipers as options. Vrbata also takes pressure off Daniel to score goals. I have no doubt this line can put up a solid amount of points, but I guess we will see. If this line can get going, it definitely be one of the better first lines in the NHL.

Matthias – Bonino – Kassian: 15 Minutes

Matthias and Kassian played well together in the last part of the season. That was with third line minutes and with Brad Richardson as their center. Now they get second line minutes to do the same thing, with a more offensively talented center in Bonino. This is a pacific division type line, one that can play hard and physical, and still have enough skill to score. This line would be real tough to play against. The perfect second line to follow the Sedins. The Sedin's hit them with immense skill, and this line hits them with size and strength.

Higgins – Vey – Burrows: 15 Minutes

Higgins and Burrows both are solid two way forwards. Both of them would be good 2nd liners, but they would be awesome third liners. They can help ease Vey into the league giving him Veteran support. This line could definitely put up their fair share of points as well as play solid defense. Burrows and Higgins also have some chemistry in the past. Both are workhorses on and off the field, and would be the perfect fit for Vey's playmaking. Burrows shot also get's turned in for one timers, and quick releases. This line is more line a line 2b.

Dorsett – Richardson – Hansen: 12 Minutes

If you are going to roll 4 lines, you need a line that supplies a solid defensive base. All 3 of these players can play defense well. Richardson showed last year he also has the ability to put up about 20 points a season, and Dorsett was able to do that back in columbus, add that with Jannik Hansen's speed and they can be one of the better fourth lines in the league. Speed, defense, grit, etc. All great qualities for a 4th line, plus a little bit of offensive production from Jannik Hansen and Brad Richardson.

(Sestito - ______): 13th/14th forward

We know what Sestito brings. He's not a terrible player, but he fits the 13th/14th forward role better, bringing in muscle when we lose a guy from injury. The '______' spot is for whichever big man young guy wants to step up and take it. No point in giving it to a top prospect when they need to get their minutes, but it would be a great spot for a Kellan Lain, Ronalds Kenins, Darren Archibald, Alex Grenier etc Someone ready to play bottom 6 minutes while our top enders get more minutes in Utica to develop their craft. They all add different things so it depends on what you want, but my personal choice would be Archibald, but let them compete for it. If you want, you can even give it to Yannick Weber. Has it's benefits. Interesting option)

(Minutes allocated are not exact due to line changes and special teams, but rather a basic template)

Hamhuis – Tanev: 1st Defensive, 2nd Offensive, 3rd physical

This line will be charged with shutting down opposing teams top lines. They play the most in defensive situations, rather than in offensive situations, in case the 2nd line in tired. We know Hamhuis and Tanev can defend, and we know they can shut down top lines. Why change one of the few things that's already working. Plus, it allows Kevin Bieksa to move elsewhere in the lineup, balancing lines.

Edler – Corrado: 3rd Defensive, 1st Offensive, 2nd Physical

Plays against weaker lines to maximize Edlers offense. Corrado is the perfect line mate for Edler. He's a steady PMD who is composed and plays reliable defense. He is much like Tanev as he knows defensive positioning, and the couple of times he get's caught, he can recover. He also has a physical edge which could work well alongside Edler's. They can pour on the offense. We have been looking for a suitable line mate for Edler to play with for a while. Corrado is the perfect fit. Seem's like a match made in heaven. Question is, is he NHL ready, and I personally think he is.

Sbisa – Bieksa: 2nd Defensive, 3rd Offensive, 1st Physical

The second deployed line when needing to shut down top lines. They give a more physical edge than the first line so they can play against bigger opponents. Sbisa brings everything Garrison brought, minus the shot. Sbisa is a strong, defencman who is heavy on the boards. His style really fits well with Kevin Bieksa. This pairing is the stronger, more aggressive line. Plus also, we have seen Bieksa turn on some offense before, but that didn't really work well with Garrison's offensive style. Maybe Sbisa's more defensive style will be a better fit.

(Stanton): 7th man

Stanton is the ideal 7th man. He brings physical aggressiveness, as well as a decent all around game. He already has chemistry with some of the team, namely, Kevin Bieksa, so he can ease right back into the lineup when needed.

Miller: – 50(ish) starts

Lack: – 30(ish) starts

Power Play Units

Sedin-Sedin-Kassian

----Edler----Vrbata----

The format is a little different. You have both Sedins on the sides, Kassian in the center causing havoc in front of the net and screening, with Edler and Vrbata on the points. You can either turn their shots in, or keep them on the outside, either way they can get plenty of sniping opportunities.

Burrows-Bonino-Vey

-----Hamhuis----Bieksa---

This line is more of an up pace type of PP units. Keep the pace up and tire out their defense. Produces a lot more shots rather than passes.

Higgins-Mattias-Hansen

-----Corrado---Tanev----

Try and develop Corrado's Quarterbacking skills. I would imagine this line would do more cause havoc in front of the net, and with Corrado on his offside, Tanev can feed him for one timers. Tanev also supplies responsible d, to make sure we don' get caught on an offensive rush.

PK Units (Not much reasoning other than I think they can defend)

Richardson – Burrows

Hamhuis – Tanev

Bonino – Dorsett

Sbisa – Bieksa

Mattias – Hansen

Edler – Corrado

Let the rest of the prospects go back to juniors or spend a year in the AHL. No need to rush them. The only ones that are for sure ready are Corrado and Vey. Even Jensen and Horvat should go back and get one more year. I know theres no such thing as models, like the Boston model and stuff like that, but what is real is scouting and development models. The teams with the best prospect pools all consistently follow a the same scheme. Let them develop. Even if it takes them 4 years of development and they enter the league at 22, it's best they enter when they are at their best.

Overall recap

  • Solid First line. Last year the Sedin's were in a funk, and I think mostly due to Torts. This year will be different. They were at their best when they played 17 minutes a night. Torts had hem playing 21+, and especially at their age? Come on. This year Desjardins will make sure they bounce back, and on top they have a new line mate who has the ability to put up 50-60 points along with them.
  • We don't really have a second line. The second line is definitely our weakspot; however, we still have 2 lines that can roll as 2A, and 2B. They're composed of a series of players that are all third-second line tweeners. At least that's the conservative estimate. Arrange them in this style creates 2 lines with chemistry and the ability to produce.
  • The fourth line is actually one of the better fourth lines in the league. Hansen has third line capability, and Richardson played great when plugged into 3c last year as well. Dorsett is an energy, heart and soul, enforcer. Strength, speed, and a fair amount of offense. What can you ask for.
  • We have one line that can defend and shut-down top lines. One line that can defend and shut down, bigger stronger lines. And one line that can play offense. I like Kevin Bieksa coming off the bench and not starting with Hamhuis as well. It gives much added depth down the right side. All 3 of our defense pairings can roll.
  • Our goaltending is great. Ryan Miller is a great goalie, and Eddie Lack is already showing he may be too good for backup. We can roll either goalie any night and we will be covered in net.
  • Sestito and Stanton being scratches are perfect. They're good enough to be either 4th line or 6th defencman, so having them be depth players is a bonus.

Honestly, I think this team can compete in the division. I see one of those wildcard spots calling our name. Jim Benning retooled and gave us a team that can still contend for the playoffs. Vrbata, and Miller were huge, as well as getting Bonino and Sbisa to replace as much of Kesler and Garrison as they can. Don't count the Canucks out yet.

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Utica comets Lineup

(And potential mid season call ups)

Hunter Shinkaruk---Cal O’Reilly---Nicklas Jensen

Dane Fox---Brendan Gaunce---Alex Grenier

Ronalds Kenins---Dustin Jeffrey---Ludwig Blomstrand

Brandon Defazio---Kellan Lain---Darren Archibald

(Patrick Kennedy, Mike Zalewski, Alex Freisen, Alex Mallet)

Peter Andersson---Bobby Sanguinetti

Henrik Tommernes---Alex Biega

Evan McEneny---Yannick Weber

(Jeremy Blain, Kane Lafranchise)

(Jacob Markstrom) if he clears waivers or whatever

Joacim Eriksson

Joe Cannata

(Keep in mind that if this lineup goes through and Bo Horvat does not crack the lineup, most likely, one player from this lineup will get moved up onto the roster)

Notes

  • Shinkaruk and Jensen start developing chemistry immediately. Their styles complement each other so might as well get them used to playing together. Speed and playmaking one side, and speed and sniping the other. Put Cal O'Reilly in the middle and it could be a great first line. He will do nothing but further their development.
  • Gaunce and Fox also start building chemistry at the pro level. They already played on steam together, and now they can do it again, accompanied by 6'4 200+ pound Alex Grenier. Looks like a talented top 6, or at least more talented than last year.
  • Great third line. All three of these guys can put up a good amount of third line scoring in the AHL level. They're pretty fast and still have some size too.
  • I am a firm believer in you need a good base before you can build. This 4th line consists of 2 guys who have shown they can be at least decent 4th liners on the NHL level, which means they can surely do it on the AHL level. I would argue Zalewski also showed it, but that was in like 3 game stint. Not enough to prove anything yet.
  • Our Defense actually looks fairly good at the AHL level. Not great, but still good. They're a little small, but still kind of skilled. The core has a solid mix of defensive play as well as offensive play, but it is still the weak point of the team if you ask me.
  • Eriksson is a great AHL starter, and Cannata is a capable backup. Alltogether, not bad in goal.

In the System

  1. Bo Horvat ©
  2. Jake Virtanen (RW/LW)
  3. Jared McCann ©
  4. Thatcher Demko (G)
  5. Ben Hutton (LD)
  6. Cole Cassels ©
  7. Nikita Tryamkin (LD)
  8. Anton Cederholm (LD)
  9. Jordan Subban (RD)
  10. Gustav Forsling (LD)
  11. Joseph Labate ©
  12. Mackenzie Stewart (LD)
  13. Kyle Petit ©

  • Great center depth coming in. You build from the center out and we have a number of 2-way Centers.
  • Only 1 Right handed defenseman. As I stated, we may want to address that but it's really not something to be too worried about given that Corrado and Tanev are really young.
  • Lots of Left handed defensemen (5). Lots of variety too.
  • Only 1 winger. He's one of our best prospects but still only one.


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13 Comments


Nice post. I want it to look something like this though,

Sedin - Sedin - Vrbata

Kassian - Bonino - Burrows

Higgins - Horvat - Mathiass

Hansen - Richardson - Vey

I made my lines assuming Horvat goes back to Junior, as I think that's where he's likely headed. My read from Benning, is unless a prospect really blows them out of the water, they will finish their time in juniors. I figured I would just make the lineup assuming only Corrado and Vey make the jump as I feel they are almost locks for the team. Any other young guys, including Jensen, is just a bonus

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For the forward line-up I would move Burrows to 2nd LW, Hansen to 3rd RW, and Matthias to 4th LW.

Sedin - Sedin - Vrbata

Burrows - Bonino - Kassian

Higgins - Vey - Hansen

Matthias - Richardson - Dorsett

Sestito

But if a rookie (Jensen/Gaunce/Horvat) makes the team maybe something like this:

Sedin - Sedin - Vrbata

Burrows - Bonino - Kassian

Higgins - Vey/Horvat/Gaunce - Jensen/Vey

Matthias - Richardson - Hansen

Dorsett - Sestito(waivers/AHL)

I like your D pairings.

Hamhuis - Tanev. Solid shutdown pairing, proven chemistry.

Edler - Corrado. Having a rookie playing with him could force Edler to be more responsible and stop taking so many risks.

Sbisa - Bieksa. Two physical defenseman that can match up very well against other teams bottom 9.

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For the forward line-up I would move Burrows to 2nd LW, Hansen to 3rd RW, and Matthias to 4th LW.

Sedin - Sedin - Vrbata

Burrows - Bonino - Kassian

Higgins - Vey - Hansen

Matthias - Richardson - Dorsett

Sestito

This lineup is assuming the rest of the rookies don't make it. And I see what you're saying with that lineup, and I used to agree until it hit me what an awesome combo of Mattias Kassian would be. Some would argue Mattias has a more legitimate claim to even Kassian in the top 6. I just think it spreads out the talent nicely and giving people chemistry that works. But I like you're lineup too

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This is a well rounded solid line up. When I saw Matthias on the second line alongside Bonino/Kassian.. I was like whoa! Kassian and Matthias had good chemistry near the end of the season. And now they have a playmaker in Bonino.

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this is if there are no more trades invloved I think the lineup will look like this:

Sedin Sedin Jensen\Vrbata
Burrows Bonino Vrbata\Jensen
Higgins Matthias Kassian
Vey Richardson Hansen
Dorsett Sestito

Hamhuis Bieksa
Edler Tanev
Sbisa Corrado
Stanton

Miller
Lack
Markstrom

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This is a well rounded solid line up. When I saw Matthias on the second line alongside Bonino/Kassian.. I was like whoa! Kassian and Matthias had good chemistry near the end of the season. And now they have a playmaker in Bonino.

Exactly what I was looking for. Before I thought about putting Mattias on the 4th line, but when you think about what Mattias and Kassian were able to do with Richardson near the end of the year. That was possibly one of our best lines at the time, and maybe all season. Give them a huge upgrade in skill with Bonino, and they could be magical. Also, that is a big tough line to play against for anyone. Kassian and Mattias can throw guys around easily while Bonino adds skill to feed them pucks.It also allows Burrows to move to the third line, which gives them a sure added boost in offensive and defensive prowess, he shows chemistry with Higgins, and it would be fantastic for Vey's development. Hansen also on the fourth line seems like a must to me, as it gives us 4 lines that can actually play and and be depended on. Burrows may be more skilled than Mattias, but a balanced lineup is more important than 'stacking' our top 6 with talent.

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this is if there are no more trades invloved I think the lineup will look like this:

Sedin Sedin Jensen\Vrbata

Burrows Bonino Vrbata\Jensen

Higgins Matthias Kassian

Vey Richardson Hansen

Dorsett Sestito

Hamhuis Bieksa

Edler Tanev

Sbisa Corrado

Stanton

Miller

Lack

Markstrom

If you were to assume Jensen doesn't make the lineup and starts in Utica, what would you do?I assume you would Move Vey Into Jensen's spot? Also, from what I've seen, Vey can play any position from 4th line to second line, except left wing. But in other words. I like you're defensive lineup. Obviously, I prefer my own, but I would totally be happy with that

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Sedin Sedin Vrbata

Burrows Bonino Higgins/Jensen

Matthias Richardson Hansen

Sestito/Zalewski Dorsett/Vey Kassian

Hamhuis-Bieksa

Edler-Tanev

Sbisa/Stanton-Corrado/Weber

Miller

Lack/Markstrom

First line is one of the softest in the NHL. Dire concern in the ultra-big and ultra-tough west.

Bonino-Richardson-Matthias-Vey etc. are all not ready for hard-minutes, 2nd line duty.

Jensen played well with the Sedins. Will he do so beside other linemates?

Matthias should really be up the middle. But at least we're not expecting him to be a 2nd liner.

Kassian is a total wild card. Is he ready for primetime? Not sure. A lot of wingers are still above him on the depth chart at this point.

The Sedin line is an island line. Splitting them up may help a bit, but at the end of the day they're going to play together.

We're going to miss Kesler for awhile.

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Sedin Sedin Vrbata

Burrows Bonino Higgins/Jensen

Matthias Richardson Hansen

Sestito/Zalewski Dorsett/Vey Kassian

Hamhuis-Bieksa

Edler-Tanev

Sbisa/Stanton-Corrado/Weber

Miller

Lack/Markstrom

First line is one of the softest in the NHL. Dire concern in the ultra-big and ultra-tough west.

Bonino-Richardson-Matthias-Vey etc. are all not ready for hard-minutes, 2nd line duty.

Jensen played well with the Sedins. Will he do so beside other linemates?

Matthias should really be up the middle. But at least we're not expecting him to be a 2nd liner.

Kassian is a total wild card. Is he ready for primetime? Not sure. A lot of wingers are still above him on the depth chart at this point.

The Sedin line is an island line. Splitting them up may help a bit, but at the end of the day they're going to play together.

We're going to miss Kesler for awhile.

Why is it that everyone of your posts are negative and not well thought-out.

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I like the pairings but neither Higgins or Burrows are good second liners as you suggest so keep them on the third.

Edler still has to prove he can play defence responsibly. I'm not sure Corrado has it in him or is the answer as you suggest. I think they've been paired several times before and the result has been horrible just like every other player Edler has played with in the past 3 years.

Also, Hansen has appeared to be a great guy to pencil in on the fourth line when our depth pushes him there but he never ends up these and he makes $2.5m/y so we'll wait and see on that one.

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I like the pairings but neither Higgins or Burrows are good second liners as you suggest so keep them on the third.

Edler still has to prove he can play defence responsibly. I'm not sure Corrado has it in him or is the answer as you suggest. I think they've been paired several times before and the result has been horrible just like every other player Edler has played with in the past 3 years.

Also, Hansen has appeared to be a great guy to pencil in on the fourth line when our depth pushes him there but he never ends up these and he makes $2.5m/y so we'll wait and see on that one.

Ok fair points to all. I honestly personally think Alex Edler will really bounce back. I just think almost all the factors we could point to that caused his drop have been eliminated and again I believe Corrado is the partner he needs. He's gotten better and is more ready than ever. But I understand your point.

And yes, I actually think that Hansen on the 4th line is pivotal. Or at least more pivotal than a regular 4th line spot seems. When our team is at it's healthiest, he can add offense as well as defense on the 4th line, and we all know depth scoring is a must. It takes pressure off the top line guys and makes you're team harder to play against because of constant threats. But also, he's like the 10th offensive man on the team. As soon as there is an injury, he gets moved up into the third line right wing spot along with some line juggling. He allows for a lot of depth in the lineup.

It's kind of similar to Burrows role in my lineup in that Burrows fils in the third line spot and assumes the role of first man to step in when a top 6 winger goes down with injury. Being able to play either left or right wing, he can hop in their spot and Hansen can take his on the third line with Higgins and Vey.

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I agree with the line ups it does come down to how well the new players mesh with the core players.

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