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As it stands - Part 2/Forward Line #2

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OK - I'll take a stab at that - The way they are slotted on the depth chart:

Cole/Staal/Whitney -- Whitney is a great play maker, however, Staal and Cole have tons of speed and I'm not sure he can keep up -- Also, Staal seems to try to do to much sometimes and I'm not sure Whitney is the answer to stop him from doing that -- Staal needs a player who can keep up with him when he gets rolling - Cole used to be able to do that -- to me - that is the key to this line - If Cole can match Staal's speed - they will be OK - Still not sure where Whitney fits in here though

Ruutu/Cullen/LaRose -- Cullen and LaRose showed a ton of chemistry last year - both 5 on 5 and on the penalty kill -- I think they are very complementary players - If Cullen stays healthy (and they even said last year it was Nov before he was really back to himself after concussion issues) I think he and Rosey are going to have great years. Not sure about Ruutu on this line - this line to me appears to be more of a finesse line and not so much the game that Ruutu plays -- I think Cole might be better here if you leave Whitney with Staal --

(Go back one more time to my previous discussion - If Boychuk shows more than he did last year at camp - I'd love to see Boychuk and Staal together. Boychuk, from what I've seen from Lethbridge games, seems to have great hands and has the speed that Staal needs -- I'd put them with either Cole or Ruutu - probably Ruutu to make the line a little gritty - although it seems that Boychuk does play bigger than he is (I know - this is my dream))

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YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!?! Do you really watch the games? Brindy centering the 2nd line? I'm sorry but Cullen deserves the 2nd line and will run it once season starts. He should be there regardless of his past. He is FASTER, QUICKER and makes better decisions than Brindy.

Its funny how people forget the horrific suffering we had to endure last season and the season before and the season before while Brindy was centering the 2nd line.

I do believe we are weak in our 2nd line. We need another YOUNG talented forward and BRINDY or CULLEN are not the answer. You don't see many Cups won without 2 SOLID LINES.

Yeah I'm serious, Cullen is faster and quicker as you say but brindamour has a lot more poise with the puck and sees the game better, If rod wasnt injured last year than we wouldnt even be talking about this. He has much better point production than cullen, and post injury he was able to defend like he used to. and the two years prior were not horrific suffering, I don't think watching hockey will ever get to the point of horrific suffering, otherwise i would not pay to see it anymore. Anyways all your opinions are rendered mute due to the Red Sox reference in your name. ;) I'm not trying to say Cullen couldn't center the second line but I personally think Brindy will this year.

We do need Sutter to come up an play 2nd line in the next couple years, I think he will be the key to our second line going forward as long as who we have now can hold off till he is ready.

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Yeah I'm serious, Cullen is faster and quicker as you say but brindamour has a lot more poise with the puck and sees the game better, If rod wasnt injured last year than we wouldnt even be talking about this. He has much better point production than cullen, and post injury he was able to defend like he used to. and the two years prior were not horrific suffering, I don't think watching hockey will ever get to the point of horrific suffering, otherwise i would not pay to see it anymore. Anyways all your opinions are rendered mute due to the Red Sox reference in your name. ;) I'm not trying to say Cullen couldn't center the second line but I personally think Brindy will this year.

We do need Sutter to come up an play 2nd line in the next couple years, I think he will be the key to our second line going forward as long as who we have now can hold off till he is ready.

IF Rod wasn't injured last year we wouldn't be talking about this?

Look at the point production of the season he was injured (same year Cullen was injured).

Rod had 1 or 3 points more than Cullen but Rod played in 10 more games and about 35% more TOI than Cullen.the entire season. Go check the stats.

Look at last season. Cullen stepped up his game when given the opportunity of more TOI. The whole team stepped it up.

You cannot say that Rod is better at point production when Cullen produces the same amount of points as Rod with less opportunity.

I think Sutter is a great idea but on the 3rd line this year.

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IF Rod wasn't injured last year we wouldn't be talking about this?

Look at the point production of the season he was injured (same year Cullen was injured).

Rod had 1 or 3 points more than Cullen but Rod played in 10 more games and about 35% more TOI than Cullen.the entire season. Go check the stats.

Look at last season. Cullen stepped up his game when given the opportunity of more TOI. The whole team stepped it up.

You cannot say that Rod is better at point production when Cullen produces the same amount of points as Rod with less opportunity.

I think Sutter is a great idea but on the 3rd line this year.

I was basing it off of how much better Rod played the second half of the season after he got sent home from the west coast trip. If he had played that well the whole season, which I think he didn't due to his injuries, then the gap in points between the two would be a lot more than ten. Now granted he also got moved down to the third line so the players he was playing against might not have been as good most nights, but even so, if he can produce like he did towards the end of last year for an entire season, I think that he should play ahead of Cullen. This will probably end up with a nice agree to disagree but oh well, Is it time for training camp yet?

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I think it's nice to have these threads where we talk about different line combos and all but personally I think it might be kind of... moot. We have so much depth right now that I see mo juggling the lines a lot depending on who they are playing against, what matchups he wants etc. Having said that I think how he handles things could go a long way if he plays his cards right. JR has provided him with many options and hopefully Mo can utilize that to our advantage against other coaches.

Now some of you are talking about this line being a weak second line... Which I won't argue with. But our third and four lines are solid. Brindy, Sammy, Jussi etc. I expect Mo to run 3 or 4 lines and not just push the first two lines night in and night out... And bc or our depth if someone up front gets hurt just move a guy up a line. Same goes for the D. We have a lot of choices in Albany this year to back us up. Should be exciting!

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I cant wait for the goalie version of this which is like Part 8 lol

Leighton is way better then Cam whose average at best, heck Peters should be given a chance with a Leighton/Peters combo send Ward to the ECHL

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OK - I'll take a stab at that - The way they are slotted on the depth chart:

Cole/Staal/Whitney -- Whitney is a great play maker, however, Staal and Cole have tons of speed and I'm not sure he can keep up -- Also, Staal seems to try to do to much sometimes and I'm not sure Whitney is the answer to stop him from doing that -- Staal needs a player who can keep up with him when he gets rolling - Cole used to be able to do that -- to me - that is the key to this line - If Cole can match Staal's speed - they will be OK - Still not sure where Whitney fits in here though

Ruutu/Cullen/LaRose -- Cullen and LaRose showed a ton of chemistry last year - both 5 on 5 and on the penalty kill -- I think they are very complementary players - If Cullen stays healthy (and they even said last year it was Nov before he was really back to himself after concussion issues) I think he and Rosey are going to have great years. Not sure about Ruutu on this line - this line to me appears to be more of a finesse line and not so much the game that Ruutu plays -- I think Cole might be better here if you leave Whitney with Staal --

(Go back one more time to my previous discussion - If Boychuk shows more than he did last year at camp - I'd love to see Boychuk and Staal together. Boychuk, from what I've seen from Lethbridge games, seems to have great hands and has the speed that Staal needs -- I'd put them with either Cole or Ruutu - probably Ruutu to make the line a little gritty - although it seems that Boychuk does play bigger than he is (I know - this is my dream))

I like Staal and Cole together, but honestly how do you take a man with 53 assists off the top line? Speed may be an issue here, but playmaking and pinpoint passing will make up for it IMO. I don't know how many goals Staal scored off Whitney assists last year, but I'm sure he got his fair share. Your first line is for scoring, Staal/Whitney/Ruutu were the top three scorers from last year.. why not put them on a line together?

I like the idea of Cole on the second line with Cullen and LaRose, and I would not break those two up for anything. I wouldn't move Brindy up here either.. that would break up the Cullen/LaRose combo, and I think Brindamour has a good thing going on the third line with Jokinen and Samsonov, a grinding, puck possession line that also has a bit of scoring threat with Jokinen and Sammy. Cole/Cullen/LaRose could be a good combo, both Cole and LaRose can play the body, even if not totally effective and Cole and LaRose can both be snipers at times.

I like Staal/Whitney/Ruutu and Cole/Cullen/LaRose, but thats just me.

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If there's one thing I would have thought we would have learned by now it is that Brind'Amour is no longer a second line center. Right, the injury, but he was tailing off before the injury. Right, did better towards the end (but which line was he on?). Also, not so much in the playoffs when the other guys are really going all out. I personally have doubts about Brindy on the third line, but I do think he has the skills to make up for some of his lost youth, so maybe, but not on the second line. Frankly, it was moving Brindy to the 3rd/4th lines that sparked our resurgence (started before the Cole trade).

OK, so. Cullen is inked in and stamped in and etched in as the second line center. That's almost as sure as Staal is the first line center and Ward is the goalie.

(OK if Brindy comes out and miraculously finds his youth and goes plus 20 and puts up big numbers fine, Cullen will never be Brindy in his prime, but don't bet the house on it).

One thing not mentioned is Cullen's speed. He's pretty fast. So putting Cole with him is intriguing. Also, Cole has not shown first line productivity in years, so I would put him on the second line. LaRose doesn't have the natural skating grace of either Cole or Cullen, but through grit and determination he can keep up. In theory I would prefer Sammy who is more naturally skilled than LaRose, but Sammy's dangling dust it off 5x may not fit as well. And in theory LaRose is more of a third liner with his anemic assists and grinding style. But all of that said, he did have some chemistry with Cullen and no one wants to break up the third line.

LaRose-Cullen-Cole

That's my best guess. (First line Whitney-Staal-Ruutu).

In terms of Whitney, he seems to find his way onto the second line a lot. He can still put up very nice point totals from there. Given that, it is really pretty open, with Staal and Cullen fixed, but the wings around them could change quite a bit to find who's going to find the first line game.

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I like Staal and Cole together, but honestly how do you take a man with 53 assists off the top line? Speed may be an issue here, but playmaking and pinpoint passing will make up for it IMO. I don't know how many goals Staal scored off Whitney assists last year, but I'm sure he got his fair share. Your first line is for scoring, Staal/Whitney/Ruutu were the top three scorers from last year.. why not put them on a line together?

I like the idea of Cole on the second line with Cullen and LaRose, and I would not break those two up for anything. I wouldn't move Brindy up here either.. that would break up the Cullen/LaRose combo, and I think Brindamour has a good thing going on the third line with Jokinen and Samsonov, a grinding, puck possession line that also has a bit of scoring threat with Jokinen and Sammy. Cole/Cullen/LaRose could be a good combo, both Cole and LaRose can play the body, even if not totally effective and Cole and LaRose can both be snipers at times.

I like Staal/Whitney/Ruutu and Cole/Cullen/LaRose, but thats just me.

I like your lines -- I was taking initially discussing the lines as they are in the depth chart -- I do think that Ruutu is better with Staal and Whitney - and Cole is probably better with Rosey and Cullen. My only concern is the chemistry that Cole and Staal have and how that will affect them with if they are split up.

That being said - isn't it nice to have these different options?

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I'll take a shot at this too.

I don't think any of our lines will be set in stone and I think we will see lots of adjustments again this year.

But with the roster as presented I am happy with the Whitney-Staal-Cole first line.

Whitney has the scoring touch and with Staal and Cole's speed and strength he should find open ice.

He is the only top line scoring winger we have.

Staal. Big strong and can score. Whats not to like. His one down side appears to be when he tries to carry the team on his back. He needs to spend more time in front of the net and not behind it but Cole should help because Staal and Cole seem to play off each other. They can also both create havoc in front of a goalie.

Cole IMO will never regain the scoring power he had pre-injury but he can still score goals. I expect 25 goals with a ton of assits to go with them. His speed, His strength and his toughness make him a vitale part of the first line. Ruutu can play this role too but I like Cole with Staal.

I'm not so happy with the second line LaRose -Cullen - Ruutu. I would rather see

Samsonov-Jokinen-Ruutu. I think they played well together. Samsonov's pnchant for stick handling

will actually help Jokinen and Ruutu find open ice. Both Ruutu and Jokinen can play rough in front and score from the slot. But then what would you do with Brindy if Cullen moved to third line center.

But the line as presented is LaRose-Cullen - Ruutu

I like LaRose on a third line where he can give you a spark with his energy. He can also move up when

you need to shake things up. He has alot of heart but can be pushed off the puck and may not be able to skate consistent second line minutes against better lines. Having said that the thing about LaRose is he appears to be the type of player that when told he can't do something goes out and shows you he can. Go get em Chad.

I think Cullen is a better third line center then he will be a second line center. He can score and he can move the puck but in close he may have some trouble.

Ruutu brings toughness and scoring ability to the line.He can skate first or second line. No downside here in my opinion.

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I'll take a shot at this too.

I don't think any of our lines will be set in stone and I think we will see lots of adjustments again this year.

But with the roster as presented I am happy with the Whitney-Staal-Cole first line.

Whitney has the scoring touch and with Staal and Cole's speed and strength he should find open ice.

He is the only top line scoring winger we have.

Staal. Big strong and can score. Whats not to like. His one down side appears to be when he tries to carry the team on his back. He needs to spend more time in front of the net and not behind it but Cole should help because Staal and Cole seem to play off each other. They can also both create havoc in front of a goalie.

Cole IMO will never regain the scoring power he had pre-injury but he can still score goals. I expect 25 goals with a ton of assits to go with them. His speed, His strength and his toughness make him a vitale part of the first line. Ruutu can play this role too but I like Cole with Staal.

I'm not so happy with the second line LaRose -Cullen - Ruutu. I would rather see

Samsonov-Jokinen-Ruutu. I think they played well together. Samsonov's pnchant for stick handling

will actually help Jokinen and Ruutu find open ice. Both Ruutu and Jokinen can play rough in front and score from the slot. But then what would you do with Brindy if Cullen moved to third line center.

But the line as presented is LaRose-Cullen - Ruutu

I like LaRose on a third line where he can give you a spark with his energy. He can also move up when

you need to shake things up. He has alot of heart but can be pushed off the puck and may not be able to skate consistent second line minutes against better lines. Having said that the thing about LaRose is he appears to be the type of player that when told he can't do something goes out and shows you he can. Go get em Chad.

I think Cullen is a better third line center then he will be a second line center. He can score and he can move the puck but in close he may have some trouble.

Ruutu brings toughness and scoring ability to the line.He can skate first or second line. No downside here in my opinion.

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I think Cullen is a better third line center then he will be a second line center. He can score and he can move the puck but in close he may have some trouble.

You know when you look at career points/game Jokinen and Cullen are very similar. The idea of Jokinen moving up is not as crazy as I first thought. But, I am really thinking this is Cullen's year. When he first came back and before the concussion he was an assist machine and he is good for at least 20 goals. He is also pretty fast. It is nice to have the depth at center.

If healthy, though, I predict 25+ goals and 35-40 assists from Mr. Cullen this year.

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You know when you look at career points/game Jokinen and Cullen are very similar. The idea of Jokinen moving up is not as crazy as I first thought. But, I am really thinking this is Cullen's year. When he first came back and before the concussion he was an assist machine and he is good for at least 20 goals. He is also pretty fast. It is nice to have the depth at center.

If healthy, though, I predict 25+ goals and 35-40 assists from Mr. Cullen this year.

It could be Cullen's year. I hope so. Jokinen still has to prove he can consistently put the puck in the net over the course of a full season. I just have the feeling Jokinen feels comfortable with this team and is on the verge of a career year. I also admit it is only a hunch and I can be and often I am wrong.

As for Cullen I think he will play an important role again in the teams success and if he succeeds as second line center there will be no one happier than me.

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You know when you look at career points/game Jokinen and Cullen are very similar. The idea of Jokinen moving up is not as crazy as I first thought. But, I am really thinking this is Cullen's year. When he first came back and before the concussion he was an assist machine and he is good for at least 20 goals. He is also pretty fast. It is nice to have the depth at center.

If healthy, though, I predict 25+ goals and 35-40 assists from Mr. Cullen this year.

It could be Cullen's year. I hope so. Jokinen still has to prove he can consistently put the puck in the net over the course of a full season. I just have the feeling Jokinen feels comfortable with this team and is on the verge of a career year. I also admit it is only a hunch and I can be and often I am wrong.

As for Cullen I think he will play an important role again in the teams success and if he succeeds as second line center there will be no one happier than me.

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I say Whitney-Staal-Rutuu and then LaRose-Cullen-Cole. If Cole can regain that scoring touch then I'd slot him where Rutuu is and bump Rutuu to the Cullen line. Cole can still keep up with Staal, but we don't know if he can start putting the puck in the net like he used to be able to. I wouldn't break up LaRose and Cullen no matter what happens with everyone else. Their chemistry, at least on the PK, was incredible.

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If there's one thing I would have thought we would have learned by now it is that Brind'Amour is no longer a second line center. Right, the injury, but he was tailing off before the injury. Right, did better towards the end (but which line was he on?). Also, not so much in the playoffs when the other guys are really going all out. I personally have doubts about Brindy on the third line, but I do think he has the skills to make up for some of his lost youth, so maybe, but not on the second line. Frankly, it was moving Brindy to the 3rd/4th lines that sparked our resurgence (started before the Cole trade).

OK, so. Cullen is inked in and stamped in and etched in as the second line center. That's almost as sure as Staal is the first line center and Ward is the goalie.

(OK if Brindy comes out and miraculously finds his youth and goes plus 20 and puts up big numbers fine, Cullen will never be Brindy in his prime, but don't bet the house on it).

One thing not mentioned is Cullen's speed. He's pretty fast. So putting Cole with him is intriguing. Also, Cole has not shown first line productivity in years, so I would put him on the second line. LaRose doesn't have the natural skating grace of either Cole or Cullen, but through grit and determination he can keep up. In theory I would prefer Sammy who is more naturally skilled than LaRose, but Sammy's dangling dust it off 5x may not fit as well. And in theory LaRose is more of a third liner with his anemic assists and grinding style. But all of that said, he did have some chemistry with Cullen and no one wants to break up the third line.

LaRose-Cullen-Cole

That's my best guess. (First line Whitney-Staal-Ruutu).

In terms of Whitney, he seems to find his way onto the second line a lot. He can still put up very nice point totals from there. Given that, it is really pretty open, with Staal and Cullen fixed, but the wings around them could change quite a bit to find who's going to find the first line game.

"dangling dust it off 5x" LOL Is this the Happy Hands???

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I like the chemistry that LaRose and Cullen had together in the postseason. I think keeping them together here helps. I'd move Ruutu to 1st line and bring Cole down to 2nd, though.

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I like Cullen and LaRose together, they've shown great speed and chemistry together but wasn't that just for the PK? I cant remember if they spent time together at even strength, the lines were shuffled so often.

I thought there was an extended period where they had a Whitney - Cullen - LaRose line, and they had great chemistry. Then Cullen got injured and they changed the lines up again. I think, anyways.

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I thought there was an extended period where they had a Whitney - Cullen - LaRose line, and they had great chemistry. Then Cullen got injured and they changed the lines up again. I think, anyways.

Yep, toward the end of last year it was Staal-Cole-Ruutu and Cullen-LaRose-Whitney. That lineup tends to put all our power on the first line and leads to a small second line, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go that way again.

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Yep, toward the end of last year it was Staal-Cole-Ruutu and Cullen-LaRose-Whitney. That lineup tends to put all our power on the first line and leads to a small second line, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go that way again.

I thought the Whitney - Cullen - LaRose line had good chemistry, but yeah, it's a decent third line, but using it as your second line is pushing it. We need two skilled lines that can carry the scoring, a third line that can cycle the puck and defend well against top lines, and a big fourth line that can get an occasional goal and hit hard.

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I thought the Whitney - Cullen - LaRose line had good chemistry, but yeah, it's a decent third line, but using it as your second line is pushing it. We need two skilled lines that can carry the scoring, a third line that can cycle the puck and defend well against top lines, and a big fourth line that can get an occasional goal and hit hard.

Maybe this is a bit out on a limb or even a bit controversial, but I think LaRose on the 2nd line is a bit of a waste of a spot. Rosey is great and began to prove that he has the skill to finish, but he missed as many as he buried (big Chad fan, but the truth is the truth). He gets by on heart and grit. Throughout his career at lower levels he was a solid scorer and if he could hone his scoring skills a bit, then, by all means, put him on the 2nd line....but not until then....besides, he's part of what I think could be a seriously dangerous 3rd line.

So here's my take - put Whitney/Staal/Cole on your 1st line - Whitney is an adequate playmaker, Cole protects Staal and shakes things up with his speed (even if he overuses the "J" curve move too much) and that all free's Eric up to be the primary scorer on that line. The 2nd line is where I think I'm going to get some flak - we didn't sign Jussi to play on the 3rd line in my hmble opinion. He's quick (not overly fast but quick) as is Ruutu. The two Finns also had a few shifts together and they were very comfortable. Add in Matt's speed and I think you've got a pretty darn nice 2nd line - Jokinen is you best playmaker on that line, Ruutu is the banger and can be the "front of the net" presence (he's got a dynamite wrister as well, especially from the slot). Cullen's quick hands allow him to be there to clean up, make the 1st passes in the zone, and get a fair amount of clean up/rebound goals.

That leaves a third line of Sammy/Brindy/LaRose (his natural best fit IMHO). This line is, quite frankly deadly - guys with higher level talent playing against other team's 3rd lines - Chad and Roddy running the cycle w/Sammy looking for open space in the slot. And against some of the tougher teams, you roll Walker up onto that line every 3rd shift or so. Quite frankly a Walker/Jokinen/Ruutu line would be very, very interesting as well...but more about that at some other time....if we rolled these lines we'd have 2 relatively fast, somewhat physical lines and a third line with higher skill levels than most other 3rd lines....roll Scotty in from time to time and that's some serious aggravation....just my two cents....

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I think what you've said makes total sense and Jussi is the x-factor for the top 3 lines. If he continues where he left off, it wouldnt suprise me at all to see him and LaRose interchangable as the season unfolds depending on the matchups.

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Yes it does make sense, moreso than trying to put together lines prior to training camp. But, it's still a fun exercise. In reality, I really don't think we have a true second line, particularly at the center position. What we do have is potentially 2 really good third lines, one of which gets second line minutes.

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