Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Old Pieces to a New Puzzle

At the start of the season the roles of Brian Rolston, Bobby Holik, John Madden and Jay Pandolfo were pretty much set in stone. Holik would be a fourth line center and take some ket face-offs and probably play with two big wingers (Zubrus, Clarkson or Rupp). Rolston was to be on the top line with Elias and Gionta, while Madden and Pandolfo would be side by side checking the other teams best line.

Now as the Devils are seeming to near complete health, Coach Sutter has made the right move and say that the Elias-Zubrus-Gionta line will stay together as well Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner, so where do the returning players fit in?

Here is our choices for the two best options:
OPTION 1: LINE 1: Parise-Zajac-Rolston / Line 2: Elias-Zubrus-Gionta / Line 3: Pandolfo-Madden-Langenbrunner / Line 4: Rupp-Holik-Clarkson
(Rolston would provide more punch and make Parise and Zajac better than they already are and it would get the struggling Langebrunner off the line and put him with Pandolfo-Madden, whom it has a history playing with. Langebrunner would also provide some more offense to the Pandolfo-Madden tandem. And lastly the Elias line stays in tact, while you have a big strong fourth line that can bang bodies and score some goals.)

OPTION 2: Line 1: Parise-Zajac-Langebrunner / Line 2: Elias-Zubrus-Gionta / Line 3: Pandolfo-Madden-Clarkson / Line 4: Rupp-Holik-Rolston
(Not as good as the first option, but keeps the top two lines together and provides balance throughout the line-up. Also opens the option for LOU to go out and trade for another winger who can score to replace Rupp to give the Devils three lines that can produce offense.)

- Devils recalled Leblond, mostly to maybe play against the Flyers because as always there will be fights and hopefully he knocks out one of the (Bleeps) from Philadelphia. Hey if we are lucky maybe Bobby Clarke himself will come back and get his ass kicked by Leblond.
- Devils sent Vrana to Lowell to get some playing time. With everyone coming back from injuries he will get some needed playing time down there.
- Several teams are looking to trade, but the salary cap is standing in their way. Washington is looking to unload Nylander, Atlanta well is looking to move nearly anyone on the roster, Buffalo is looking to move Afiniganov and his 3.3M salary, Rangers would like to get rid of Prucha, Hurricanes want to make some moves and well it won't be long before Burke will be shopping the entire Toronto roster.

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