Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lineup changes for game two

One thing I bet Martin Lapointe wasn't expecting when he was traded from Chicago was a spot on the top line with two of the most dynamic players in the league. Must be a nice change when you're a healthy scratch on a poor team to a top-liner alongside Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. I guess Bryan Murray didn't like Randy Robitaille's play in game one, or simply wanted to add some grit and forechecking to the top line, so he threw Lapointe in Robitaille's place.

Robitaille drops down to the fourth line, and he'll be playing with Christoph Schubert and Cody Bass. If this line gets in a line brawl, it'll be tough; I'd still like to see Brian McGrattan slotted in on that line. Robitaille just can't play the kind of physical style that a fourth line needs to, especially as this series no doubt picks up intensity.

Nick Foligno's also getting a promotion, moving from fourth to second line alongside Cory Stillman and Antoine Vermette. I assume he'll be asked to park his keister (sp?) in front of the net, and make life unpleasant for Marc-Andre Fleury.

Finally, Shean Donovan moved up from fourth to third line, reuniting with Dean McAmmond and Chris Neil. This line has to do something, even if it's just forecheck hard and apply some pressure. If Neiler can't or doesn't start muscling guys off the puck, it's going to be hard to justify paying him $1.2M for next season, especially since we can probably sign both Cody Bass and Donovan for that much combined.

As Ben mentioned, Anton Volchenkov should be ready to go for game two, so no changes to the d-corps.
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