Again, these are MY combinations. And here's why I made the choices that I did...
I split up Datsyuk and Zetterberg because they're both natural centers and it would be harder for teams to match-up their defensive pairs against with them on different lines. Of course, on powerplays and in a pinch - we reunite the Flying Circus. Franzen has one of the best shots in the league...Datsyuk is the league's greatest set-up man. And with Cleary (a right wing by nature), causing havoc in front...Detroit's Line 1A has the perfect combination of shooting, passing, and grinding.
The Demolition Man, Tomas Holmstrom is still the best in the business when it comes to the standing in front of the net. I put him with Zetterberg because Hank loves to shoot the puck, so having Holmstrom standing in front of Zata's four shots per game (average) - it should lead to some goals. Bertuzzi is still a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. But with age, he has become more of a passer (and a spinner). So putting Dirty Bert with the grinding Holmer and the sniper, Zetterberg - we have our Line 1B.
Let us pray that Hudler took last season's epic failure to heart. At this point last summer, I said that Hudler better have been the hardest working Red Wing in the off-season. It doesn't appear that it was the case. He had just about half as many points as we had hoped for (37) and was a -7 for the season. For the money he was rewarded before he bolted for Russia to drink and get away with his strange sexual fetishes...he better have a rebound season in a big way. So I put him with Val Filppula - our perpetual third line center and Patrick Eaves - who I'm expecting to finish the season in the 15-20 goal range.
It kills me to put The Namesake at center of the fourth line. The kid is getting better and better. But I felt like putting Filppula on the fourth line would hurt his game more than it would help Helm's game by moving him up a line...you follow? Helm is going to be Helm no matter who he plays with, if he can continue to improve his finishing touch and maintains his work ethic - I wouldn't be surprised if he hits the 40 point mark from the fourth line. Abdelkader and Miller have proved that they can be useful...but they'll have some kids from Grand Rapids breathing down their necks.
Now, I put Ericsson with Lidstrom from two reasons - Lidstrom made him look like an All-Star back in the 2009 Play-Offs. So, maybe we can capture similar results with increased time with that pair. Kronwall and Stuart have shown that they are a nearly perfect combination - so with Ericsson's huge raise in pay - he should get a shot at a huge raise in playing time...with the game's greatest defensemen. For Ericsson, it's "put up" or "shut up" time.
White and Commodore (or possibly Kindl or Smith) round out the defensive core. White's right handed shot will be tested on the first powerplay with Lidstrom. We'll see how that pans out.
And of course, Jimmy will be entering as the for-sure #1 starter with our huge Conk back him up. Joey MacDonald is the quintessential third string goalie and will play the part well.
So what do you guys think? Of course - I don't figure I have them exactly right. We pay Babcock the big bucks to make the final decision. But how comfortable are you with this roster?
I love that lineup. I especially love the Commodore-White combo, I'm VERY excited to see how those two players are going to pan out.
DetCapC19, I very much like your idea about the RHS, but I'd be more comfortable with E52 with Lids. I do like your idea though.
Pretty good. I think Hudler plays his best wtih Fil. If we do reunite the circus, I would put Mule with Fil and Happy and have Cleary-Abby-Bert as our 3rd/2b line as they played well together in Round 1 (like everybody did) but dissapeared a bit in Round 2. But Clears and Bert seemed to play well together (especially with Z in between them). I think Happy can score 25 this year. And if Mule can stay interested enough to score 30 this year and Fil pops between 15-20 goals that's between 60-70 goals from our 2nd line which is pretty solid and better than most 2nd lines in the league.
On D - before we signed White, I initially had Rig with Nik as well. But given that, for the first time ever, we have 3 d-men who prefer to play the right side, why not take advantage of that? Both White and Commie are RHS who normally play on the right, so I figure this might work:
But, I'm totally up for having Rig play with Nik and trying to regain some of that 2009 playoff form.
I still feel like we're missing something for the forwards. I mean it's good right now, I love the lines! But I feel like we need someone new. But I guess every teams needs that "top 6" guy. I hope someone can rise to the occasion or we bring in some guy under the radar. If not? That's fine too
@teddywings agreed.im betting KH and co arehoping for better years from franzen, hudler and filppula and a full healthy year of datsyuk give us extra offense.