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As it Stands- Part 3/Forward Line #3

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This is a great third line - There are probably alot of teams that would love to have this ability on the third line. If this line develops chemistry (as Sammy and Rod did when we first got Sammy) - this could be a potentially lethal scoring line - for a 3rd or 2b line.

Sammy seemed to play much better last year after he was taken off the first line and moved to Brind'Amours third line. Sammy just need to remember to shoot the puck and not dangle as much. Sometimes I feel like he is waiting for the perfect opportunity. I agree that Rod is now a third line center, but he will see time on PP and PK. so that should still be an asset to the team.

My guy feeling, is that we will see Jussi step it up this year -- I just think he is so happy to be here and be on a team that WANTS him. I know he had alot of personal issues last spring, but hopefully that is past and he can come here with a fresh mind. I remember hearing his exit interview where he said he knew he had more to give, so I'm excited to see what he can bring.

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I think the depth chart has this one right. Contemplating this line (as opposed to our first line) is where we really shine. No matter what, we ought to have an above average third (and 4th) line. Questions are:

One: Brind'Amour. If he is able to find a half of a step, he will be good here. I really hope so because he is certainly talented and savvy enough. If not, Jokenin moves over and Walker up.

Two: Jokinen vs Walker. This is nearly a wash if both are healthy. Last year reg season both about .37 point per game. Over their careers both are around .50 ppg (Jok slight edge .56 to .49, but Walker more physical and leadership intangibles). Last 4 years both around .5 ppg (Walker .53, Jokinen .48). Either could easily find this position. Given the question about Brindy and the probability of an injury in the top 9, both will see time on this line.

Based on age and Jokinen's magical playoff run, I think you have to start with him.

Sammy seems destined for this line no matter what.

Also, contrary to the estimations of some, I would see this as the line to bring up a young gun. He would be playing with skilled players, but not with the pressure of the second or "gulp" the first line. In that case someone from this line would probably slide up.

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Samsonov-Brind'Amour-Jokinen should be a good third line but there are some big questions to be answered. I think Sammy and Jussi should be on the second line but this line could work.

The biggest question is can Brind'Amour regain his game. If so, can he play at the same level over

the course of the season. He looked like he was back in form at the end of last year. But injury and age

can be a great equalizer. We must remember JR said he would have to earn his spot in training camp. I don't see anywhere else he can go if he doesn't. The fourth line looks set and I doubt he plays many second line minutes anymore. I hope he does regain his form and finishes his career in style.

Sammy and Jussi will do fine. They should add some scoring to this line. I do hope Sammy shoots the puck a little more this year but his stick handling does keep puck position and opens up the ice for Brindy and Jussi.

Still a lot of questions to be answered.

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Samsonov-Brind'Amour-Jokinen should be a good third line but there are some big questions to be answered. I think Sammy and Jussi should be on the second line but this line could work.

The biggest question is can Brind'Amour regain his game. If so, can he play at the same level over

the course of the season. He looked like he was back in form at the end of last year. But injury and age

can be a great equalizer. We must remember JR said he would have to earn his spot in training camp. I don't see anywhere else he can go if he doesn't. The fourth line looks set and I doubt he plays many second line minutes anymore. I hope he does regain his form and finishes his career in style.

Sammy and Jussi will do fine. They should add some scoring to this line. I do hope Sammy shoots the puck a little more this year but his stick handling does keep puck position and opens up the ice for Brindy and Jussi.

Still a lot of questions to be answered.

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Since I have Ruutu on my 1st line...

LaRose-Cullen-Cole

Rosie gets a chance to show that his season was no fluke and I'm putting him on one of the PP units since he doesn't mind scrapping for the puck and cleaning up the garbage. With some PP time, it wouldn't surprise me to see him up his goals from this past season. My 2nd and 3rd lines are almost 2a and 2b especially on home ice when I can control the matchups. I like Jokinen to play higher than 3rd line, but you'll just have to wait until the 3rd line thread as for why I keep him there.

I'm agreeing with the Samsonov/Brindy/Jokinen idea. Jokinens ability to center will help Brindy. If Brindy doesn't cut the mustard and J.R. sticks to him not playing 4th line, Jokinen is the 3rd line center and Walker moves up to wing. I like Mo being able to juggle the 2nd and 3rd lines depending on the matchups.

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I think this is a very effective 3rd line, and to some degree I believe it has more scoring potential than the 2nd line of Larose - Cullen - Ruutu. I think Samsonov and Jokinen had good chemisty in the playoffs last year and if Brindy can be the feeder on that line, Sammy dazzles and Jokinen 'finnishes' pun intended, I think this line has a good chance to be our 2nd scoring line, despite being the official 3rd line.

If Brind'Amour cannot play up to expectation then I can see Sammy - Jokinen - Walker perhaps. Or even if someone on the RW or C is tearing it up in Albany they can be placed on that line.

Start the Season:

Whitney - Staal - Cole

Larose - Cullen - Ruutu

Sammy - Brindy - Jokinen

Other Options:

Ruutu - Staal - Cole

Whitney - Cullen - Larose

Sammy - Jokinen - Walker

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We're going to need the "depth" being mentioned (and good health).

Take a look at the 2 week Olympic gap in February, and then 16 games on the schedule in March! It is going to be some crazy playoff race this season with that 2 week gap's impact on every team's schedule.

For the Olympians, it is going to be very tough.

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I like the line and the fact that if Brindy regains most of his old form and is moved up, Cullen can keep the line just as dangerous if not more so.

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I like this 3rd line because it gives us depth overall as a team. It will allow all our lines to be fresh and will keep us from having injury. Typically we play our 1st and 2nd line so much that over the course of a season it wears on them. Having a solid 3rd line is great and it allows us to shift up and down between 2nd and 3rd lines based upon our match up. Managing the time on ice and shifting up and down will be important as well.

I really hope that we will allow the younger guys who have 2 way contracts to move up and down especially in the beginning of the season. This would allow for younger guys (wingers) to get some 3rd and 4th line action. Having Sutter on the 4th is important as well. He needs to become an asset and having some TOI this season will help. I wouldn't mind us making a trade towards the end of the first half to pick up a young potential 2nd line forward. This would bring us more depth and cushion for the play-offs.

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I think the depth chart is right on this one. I think Rod will have a bounce back year. Nothing like when he was in his prime, but I think he'll be fully healthy for the first time in a while, pick his defensive play back up and give us a grinding 3rd line with some scoring punch. Sammy has always been streaky, but I'd love to see him get settled in on a line with someone he has had chemistry with before. Also Jokinen put up points in Dallas before and based on his age and ability to move all over the lineup I'd like to see him stay at 3rd line wing with everyone healthy. He could be primed for a very nice year as well if we can get him some chemistry with the guys on his line.

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I think of this as the Riddler line - all question marks. Will Brindy regain past form? Will Sammy come out the the gate fast or slow? Will Jokinen continue the playoff heroics? Will they gel? Will Batman save Robin next week?

I think they will, and if they do, what a 3rd line. As has been mentioned, Sammy and Brindy had past chemistry, and both were in 50 point range last year. Both also noticeably improved when they got back to the 3rd and away from the top D pairing. As CaniacinCary said, this line and the 2nd line are almost equivalent - our 2nd line actually has more physical presence, and our 3rd line has at least the same scoring potential as the 2nd.

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Here's some more about this from JR and Brind'Amour himself in an article from the N&O:

http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1667601.html

Brind'Amour doesn't intend to be a fourth-line guy. He believes he can still be effective, still be productive, still earn his share of ice time and get the job done on both ends of the ice. "I don't see why not," he said. "Obviously you're going to have to get the opportunity to do that, but I don't see why not."

Nor does Rutherford. "We will have a strong group of 12 forwards," Rutherford said. "But I expect Rod will certainly be in the top nine in terms of ice time."

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I like Sammy and Brindy on this line.... I like my idea of trying Jussi and Cole here and which ever one is playing here playing the other one on line 2 (I already put Ruutu firmly on line 1)....

Like I said earlier playing Jussi on line 2 makes that line really small and Cullen could get banged up....

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Here's some more about this from JR and Brind'Amour himself in an article from the N&O:

http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1667601.html''>http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1667601.html' target="_blank">http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1667601.html[/post]

Brind'Amour doesn't intend to be a fourth-line guy. He believes he can still be effective, still be productive, still earn his share of ice time and get the job done on both ends of the ice. "I don't see why not," he said. "Obviously you're going to have to get the opportunity to do that, but I don't see why not."

Nor does Rutherford. "We will have a strong group of 12 forwards," Rutherford said. "But I expect Rod will certainly be in the top nine in terms of ice time."

I will say this. If Brind'Amour gets back even half of what he lost, he will be above average on the 3d line and our depth will be hard to match. Despite my skeptism, I would love to see it.

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I think this is a great 3rd line. Rod and Sammy have always had good chemistry and if Jussi can duplicate his scoring touch the postseason then this line could be a sleeper in terms of being able to put pucks in the back of the net. Heck, some nights I could see this line playing more than the LaRose - Cullen - Cole 2nd line.

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I think this is a great 3rd line. Rod and Sammy have always had good chemistry and if Jussi can duplicate his scoring touch the postseason then this line could be a sleeper in terms of being able to put pucks in the back of the net. Heck, some nights I could see this line playing more than the LaRose - Cullen - Cole 2nd line.

...and with all the talk about Cullen's and LaRose's chemistry, what has been missed is the awesome chemistry that Sammy and Roddy have...that's why I like this line w/either LaRose or Walker on it (because I think Jokinen will play on many different lines)...

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Really excited about this line. After watching the Bruins/Canes series on NHL network this week, I am reminded of how well Jokinen and Samsonov work together. They set each other up on multiple goals throughout the series. If Rod is healthy this will be a very solid line.

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