CapGeek has a depth chart for each position completely based on salary. And it makes sense that you’re top salary guys should be together. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I kind of like how it looks, for now.
I really like the idea of Jagr replacing Leino and playing alongside Briere and Hartnell. He can do everything that Leino could do, but better. Yes, I buy into the notion that a 39 year old Jagr will be a better player than a 27 year old Leino. With age, players tend to lose their speed, which is what makes them less effective. Jagr’s game was never about being super fast. He can still e shifty, he’s still huge, and he can still hit a target; whether it’s a teammate’s stick or the back of the net.
Next up is JVR-Giroux-Voracek. My knowledge of Voracek is based on a few highlights from YouTube. He looks like he can score a few goals, probably in the mid-20′s range. This line will ahve to figure out their roles a bit though. Giroux will score when he gets the chance, but he’s probably going to become more of a setup man. Even though both wings are big, I really don’t want to see this line playing dump and chase. It doesn’t suit their skill level. Yeah, they have the tools to cycle, but that would be a waste. They need to come in on the transition game and just crash the net.
On the third line it looks like a Shelley-Schenn-Simmonds combo, but it’s more likely that Nodl steps into Shelley’s spot. Either way, I don’t know what we’re getting with this group. This line’s identity completely relies on Schenn. Simmonds is a tough guy that can score a bit. Nodl is a waste of space that needs to learn how to pass, needs to be more aggressive, and pretty much scores a bunch of garbage goals. This line has to contribute some offense, because they sure as hell don’t look like a solid defensive group.
That leaves us with Shelley-Talbot-Betts. I don’t like Shelley even a little bit, in any role. Still, if he’s going to be in the lineup, then he’s going to have to learn to play defense. Any scoring we get from these guys is a bonus. they’re going to play some of the harder minutes, trying to keep the puck out of their own end.
There’s always a chance that some of these guys lose their spots to some younger competition. We definitely don’t need Shelley every night. Maybe Schenn doesn’t prove to be NHL-ready just yet. There could be a few injuries along the way too. Nodl might finally get exposed and lose a permanent spot. Waiting to make the jump are Jon Kalinski, Eric Wellwood, Mike Testwuide, Sean Couturier, and Ben Holmstrom. I don’t exactly follow prospects closely, so there might be a few other guys in the minors who can play.
Also, depending on who’s looking better, it’s not exactly clear right now what our top line is. But unlike the last two years, it’s between the top two. Unless we’re in for a pleasant surprise, we don’t have 9 legit scoring threats anymore. It doesn’t mean we can’t win, but let’s just settle for the fact that we won’t be blowing people out on a regular basis.
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Topics: 2011-12 Nhl Season, 2011-12 Season, Andreas Nodl, Ben Holmstrom, Blair Betts, Brayden Schenn, Claude Giroux, Danny Briere, Eric Wellwood, Jakub Voracek, Jaromir Jagr, Jody Shelley, Jon Kalinski, JVR, Line Combo's, Maxime Talbot, Mike Testwuide, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Hartnell, Sean Couturier, Ville Leino, Wayne Simmonds