Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbus' Top Line..

have been battling this argument in my head for quite a few weeks now, and frankly, after last nights game, I am all the more sure now.

Rick Nash belongs with other skaters. He is easily the most talented player on that team, and right now, he's playing with Huselius and Malhotra, who don't deserve top line minutes, and have not played like top line players. Frankly, the sheer fact that Huselius is on the ice when Nash is gives him what I like to call the "Chimera factor".

The Chimera Factor is based on what we saw early in the season. He was skating with Brassard and Voracek, and was receiving passes that lead to simple goals, and getting assists because of what Brass and Jake could create without him. Once he was removed from that line, his productivity disappeared, and I think the same thing is happening with Huselius.

Simply put, we have;


As our 'could be' top two line players. Our secondary players are;


Now, Hitch has gone with what he thinks are his two best lines, running somewhat of a 1-1a style offense, but I really think if they want to score goals on Detroit, they need to package their scorers on one line..

In game three, I would love to see;

Nash - Vermette - Umberger
Huselius - Malhotra - Voracek
Williams - Gratton - Boll
Chimera - Peca - Dorsett/Modin

Line one offers Nash two players who can set him up to score goals, and can easily get to the spots he passes to. If they were playing together last night, I fully suspect they would have had two goals on their first period chances.

Line three is the grinder line. This is the key line for most playoff contenders, playing stymy defense and getting big chances offensively. A momentum changing line to say the least.

The other two lines should be able to function fine and be at the very worst even in terms of goals against and goals for.  I think adding a guy like Jakub to the second line with Huselius and Malhotra might get the veterans playing a more creative game rather than just trying to find Nash open.

Game three is tomorrow, and Columbus will likely be 'rockin' with excitement.  I hope the players are ready to turn this series around.   I am not prepared to start watching other teams yet!

Carry the Flag!


  1. Sounds like your predictions were right!! I hope this gels and doesn't liquify like warm ice (hockey pun). I hope Boll finds his, um, Boll-ness and brings it back.
    And we need a BLUE out tomorrow night!!
    Calamari for dinner baby!!!!

  2. Decent line combos you have there. I like the top two lines. I would swap Chimera with Williams however. Williams is a train wreck defensively, which makes him a tough guy to figure out where to play him. While Chimera isn't exactly Bob Gainey, his sheer speed makes him a slight upgrade on Williams in his own end. This would give a 4th line of Willy, Peca and Modin. They could score a little and hopefully Peca's play in his own end rubs off on the other two a little. Peca and Williams are really only in the line up for special teams play (Williams - PP, Peca - PK). This line would barely see the ice. I'd actually rather have Dorsett on there to mix it up, but not sure if they'd sit one of their few players with big time playoff experience in Modin (Cup ring with the Lightning).

  3. Modin's experience in Tampa doesn't exactly nullify his abhorrently bad play and lackluster effort over this entire season. Maybe I am just dogging him because he's there to dog, but I honestly think he's skating at 70% and in the game at about 45% right now.