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As it stands - Part 1/Forward Line #1

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Hmmm... The ErRaEr line. The CSW line. The StaWhiCo line. Naaa don't work.

Just kidding. I like Cole and I like Whitney's play making. But I can not help wondering if Ruutu would add the needed spark for Staal with the Wizard doing his thing.

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my thought would be - didn't we try that last year and/or the year before ( as well as Samsonov as that line's "sniper") - and didn't teams beat Staal pretty much to a pulp without a tough guy on that line? That puts us with fairly small guys down the left side until you get to the 4th line.

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For something different this year, I thought it would be fun to see what everyone thought about our line up based on the http://hurricanes.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=DepthChartPage&dcid=12' target="_blank">current depth chart[/post]. We can break it down by line and pairing with each new thread.

As it stands....based on the depth chart provided by Paul Branecky, our first line is as follows:

Line #1 - Ray Whitney - Eric Staal - Erik Cole

What are your thoughts on their effectiveness, durability and the ability to work well together? Do their playing styles complement each other or would you rather see one or two of them on another line?

My first thought would be to wonder if at age 37, can Ray Whitney keep up with Staal and Cole. He has excellent playmaking ability which would complement Staal well but does he have the speed to keep up. Also, Ray isn't a very physical player and since Staal usually draws all the attention of the opposing top Dmen, I think Staal is still going to need some protection, maybe a bit more than just Cole can offer. Still, with 77 points and 82 games played last season, Ray has shown that he still has plenty of gas in the tank.

I always have concerns about Erik Cole's durability but if he can stay healthy, and now with a solid contract on a team and in a place he wants to be, I'm hopeful he'll find more consistency in his game. I'm not expecting a PPG from him but every other game would be nice.

Ideally Eric Staal should have an elite winger to play with (that one was for you Remkin :lol: ) but Whitney can fill that spot if needed which brings up another concern. Its been discussed here before that Staal tries to do too much himself at times and should have more assists than he does. Im not sure bringing in a playmaker like Whitney helps or hurts that. Would Staal benefit more from a younger, faster player like Ruutu? They had some chemistry last season together but it didn't always make for very balanced line combinations.

Does having Whitney on the 1st line mess up or help the 2nd line? I'm inclined to think that it may help both lines be more balanced. More about that in Part 2. ;)

Your turn...

Just when I think I'm out, they suck me back in. OK, first off this one is directly about this first line thing.... So let me just get it out of the way. This points out our biggest weakness. Now mind you, just about every team has a weakness, and we have a lot of strengths too, but what we don't have is a go to first line.

Center: Staal: obviously bone fide first line, all star, it's all about the Staalinator.

LW: Whitney: has first line skills also proven, bone fide, but small, not great defensively and getting long in the tooth. The thing is, other than moving Cole or Ruutu over, who do you move up on the right? I like Sammy, but he did not get it done there, I like him on 2nd/3rd line. LaRose? I also like LaRose and think he will match or beat last year, but he is not a first liner (barely an assist to be found). Same with Jokinen. Walker.

RW______: don't have anyone really. Need to find this guy. Ideally bring him in (have I mentioned that?). OK, OK, it ain't happening.

A first liner should be at least 55 points ideally. The closest thing to this is Ruutu. Thus, based on performance, and assuming no last minute pickups I would have to go with Ruutu on the RW.

Cole: no question Cole was a legit first liner pre injury. If Cole can somehow find his old game he could be this guy. If he does, Rutherford is just simply a genius and we will go far. But he hasn't yet. He's looked very good at times, but not consistently and definitely not in the playoffs. IF Cole returns to near preinjury this first line problem mostly goes away.

One other option would be to go Ruutu-Staal-Cole . This has worked in stretches and if Ruutu and Cole play at their best, this might be decent.

I'd go with Whitney-Staal-Ruutu, but if Cole started looking good on the second line, I would love to see Ruutu-Staal-Cole at full speed.

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Pick what you want from the rest but

Sammy, Juice, and Rutuu should stay together.....when those guys were together in the playoffs.....something happened.

Try Whitney, Staal, and LaRose together....I saw chemistry between LaRose and Staal in the playoffs too.

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Pick what you want from the rest but

Sammy, Juice, and Rutuu should stay together.....when those guys were together in the playoffs.....something happened.

Try Whitney, Staal, and LaRose together....I saw chemistry between LaRose and Staal in the playoffs too.

You can't flank Staal with Whitney and LaRose. The opposing team would kill Staal with physical play with two wingers that small. Whitney doesn't hit anybody and LaRose hits everybody and bounces off. It's going to be Cole or Ruutu and I'm thinking Ruutu is going to get the gig. I think he has more upside now than Cole unless Cole is somehow able to turn back the hands of time. I see Whitney on the other wing. He's a playmaker that's a nice complement to Staal.

As far as Jussi goes, he'll be playing wing and not center unless there are some injuries.

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Sammy, Juice, and Rutuu should stay together.....when those guys were together in the playoffs.....something happened.

I feel the same way on this one but...

You can't flank Staal with Whitney and LaRose. The opposing team would kill Staal with physical play with two wingers that small. Whitney doesn't hit anybody and LaRose hits everybody and bounces off. It's going to be Cole or Ruutu and I'm thinking Ruutu is going to get the gig. I think he has more upside now than Cole unless Cole is somehow able to turn back the hands of time. I see Whitney on the other wing. He's a playmaker that's a nice complement to Staal.

As far as Jussi goes, he'll be playing wing and not center unless there are some injuries.

...I think superdave is right. Staal needs a big body on his line to clear a little space and take some of the physical pressure off him. As much as I love Rosey, he's not that guy. I really liked the chemistry the Samsonov-Jokinen-Ruutu line had in the playoffs, but with the new people we've got coming in, I don't see them staying together. Ruutu seems like the best choice for Staal's winger, but they did try that earlier in the season last year and it didn't prove to be a lasting combination so maybe they (Cole and Ruutu) will swap depending on the opponent and situation.

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You can't flank Staal with Whitney and LaRose. The opposing team would kill Staal with physical play with two wingers that small. Whitney doesn't hit anybody and LaRose hits everybody and bounces off. It's going to be Cole or Ruutu and I'm thinking Ruutu is going to get the gig. I think he has more upside now than Cole unless Cole is somehow able to turn back the hands of time. I see Whitney on the other wing. He's a playmaker that's a nice complement to Staal.

As far as Jussi goes, he'll be playing wing and not center unless there are some injuries.

...I think superdave is right. Staal needs a big body on his line to clear a little space and take some of the physical pressure off him. As much as I love Rosey, he's not that guy. I really liked the chemistry the Samsonov-Jokinen-Ruutu line had in the playoffs, but with the new people we've got coming in, I don't see them staying together. Ruutu seems like the best choice for Staal's winger, but they did try that earlier in the season last year and it didn't prove to be a lasting combination so maybe they (Cole and Ruutu) will swap depending on the opponent and situation.

I would put Ruutu on the first line with Staal and Whitney.... I've got other ideas as well perhaps it's a good idea I'm not in charge :rolleyes:

The depth chart/lines link under Team on the toolbar on the new site is helpful and pretty B)

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I would put Ruutu on the first line with Staal and Whitney.... I've got other ideas as well perhaps it's a good idea I'm not in charge :rolleyes:

The depth chart/lines link under Team on the toolbar on the new site is helpful and pretty B)

I'd like to see Jussi on a line with Staal a little in the preseason to see how they click.

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I just hope people dont cast off Jussi if we find out it was a playoff high he was playing on that he cant match this year. We saw what a playoff high did for Wardo in 06.

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Pick what you want from the rest but

Sammy, Juice, and Rutuu should stay together.....when those guys were together in the playoffs.....something happened.

I like that line too. I agree they looked good together but Juice is going to skate wing.

Whitney - Staal - Cole is a pretty good line if Whitney can stay healthy and regain his scoring form.

Cole will use his size in the corners and in front of the net and that should open up the ice for Staal

and Whitney.

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Pick what you want from the rest but

Sammy, Juice, and Rutuu should stay together.....when those guys were together in the playoffs.....something happened.

I like that line too. I agree they looked good together but Juice is going to skate wing.

Whitney - Staal - Cole is a pretty good line if Whitney can stay healthy and regain his scoring form.

Cole will use his size in the corners and in front of the net and that should open up the ice for Staal

and Whitney.

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I'd like to see Jussi on a line with Staal a little in the preseason to see how they click.

I would like a lot of line shuffling in the preseason just to see how a lot of different combos would click ;)

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I agree Staal needs a physical presence and Ruutu would be fine there. I think Cole will be too. Staal caught fire when Cole came back, and Cole has rushed to Staal's defense in the past. Just hope everyone on that line has their scoring touch this year. We need goals from this line.

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I'd put Ruutu on the 1st line with Whitney and Staal. I agree we want to get someone with a little more scoring touch -- like Frolov -- but that's not going to happen this year.

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