Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Let's Look at the New Guy: Rolston
And he's been great while he was there - picking up 96 goals in the last three seasons there, while remaining as a solid, all-around forward. What's more is that given his weaknesses - struggling in the middle of the season, not being a playmaker - playing on the wing would be best to offset those. The center generally is a focal point of the offense and say what you will about Elias, but he's got the vision and the passing (most of the time) necessary to make plays consistently at center. Rolston won't have to worry about that.
From considering all this, I think it would be best for the Devils to begin with Elias remaining at center and Rolston providing some finish on the right side. We know what Elias can do in the middle and Rolston's past success has came at wing. Given his deficiencies as well, I think that the Devils would be better off now penciling him on the right side of Elias. With Parise on his left, we could see a pretty good first line for the Devils - two finishers and a playmaker who can finish if he could shoot better (and luckier). As always, I could be proven completely wrong - so take all this with some salt.
As an aside, 98 out of 165 is 59.3%. Did you mean to say that he won (165-98) faceoffs?
I don't think Gionta is going to be traded either though unless we get a #1 or #2 defenseman in the trade.
I don't think Langenbrunner has the value that Gionta has. Langenbrunner is past the prime of his career and he's looking primed for a third line position from what I've seen of him last season. Gionta is in his prime and can still be a productive scorer - only he hasn't really done it consistently for the last two seasons. I think other teams would bet on turning Gionta around rather than trying to re-juvenate Langenbrunner (or offer a lot for a third liner). That all said, I think Elias is better suited at left wing than center. But I also think he's better suited at center than Rolston. Who knows, maybe Holik will center the first line (insert laughing here).
Also who will be the Devils Enforcer next season?
As far as Holik is concerned; well, I'll talk about that either tomorrow or Saturday. He's the next one - along with the bottom two lines - to look at.
Enforcer? The Devils don't need an enforcer. They need goals, they need guys to move the puck, and they can be physical enough in the run of play. They don't need a traditional enforcer. It's not like they lost games for being pounded in the face, they lost them namely because of a lack of consistent scoring and/or overall effort. That said, Rupp and Clarkson would probably get that moniker this season.
I would like to see more creative play and especially goals. To shore up a fourth scoring line I hear that Lou has been talking to Mogilny and Victor Kozlov. (just kidding). Go Devils!