Saturday, September 20, 2008
Possible Starting Lines
The 22 are: Martin Brodeur, Kevin Weekes, Colin White, Andy Greene, Paul Martin, Dainius Zubrus, Zach Parise, Rod Pelley, John Madden, Brian Rolston, Brian Gionta, Jamie Langenbrunner, Bobby Holik, Mike Rupp, Travis Zajac, Jay Pandolfo, David Clarkson, Bryce Salvador, Patrik Elias, Mike Mottau, Sheldon Brookbank and Johnny Oduya.
Extras: Pelley, Greene
That's all contingent on how the season plays out; but I'd like to go against my better judgment and remind everyone about the playoff series against the Rangers. Yes, Martin Brodeur didn't play his best and has admitted as such (just look at the Chere article); but it wasn't fatigue. The true root cause was that the team wasn't going to win the series because they just didn't put in the effort until they were losing in the game. I've even stated as such after the first, the second, the third, and the fourth loss in the series. Just because Marty is quick to take the blame doesn't mean it was completely his fault; do not forget that the Devils as a whole got out-worked and couldn't break through. If Kevin Weekes started 10 more games last season and assuming all other things being equal, it wouldn't mean the rest of the team would have performed any better. (Also, if Marty was truly tired, wouldn't have we seen it well before the playoffs?) Let's avoid revisionist history.
Anyway, I think what I've come up for the lines makes sense considering the roster right now for opening night. However, the best part of training camp is upon us - preseason. It will determine who will fight to earn a spot, earn future consideration, and earn themselves a trip back to junior or Lowell. Interesting times are upon us, coinciding with the return of hockey.
I also kind of hope Corrente has a strong camp and unseats Brookbank. He could be given more ice time as the season and his game progresses.
For the forwards, on paper the Devils look fairly deep and if Elias and Gionta can return to 30 - 35 goals apiece the offense should be ok. Rolston should really help the powerplay and I hope Sutter trys him on the point.
Andy Greene needs to prove he can be a regular NHL defenseman before unseating Brookbank, much less Mottau. I think Corrente would leapfrog Greene on the depth chart at least if he has another strong camp.
But this seems to be what's Sutter is starting out. He sees this team much more than I do, so he clearly knows more about what would work than I would. Still, great comments.