Milan Michalek will likely draw back into the line up on Thursday night against the lowly Lightning. I, for one, am extremely excited to see him back as he will have two complete games to get his legs back before the post season. Huzzah!
Nine games ago when the Watermelon Warrior went down, our fear was once again, 'what's going to happen to the top line?' Nowadays, I'm asking, 'where are we going to put Michalek?'
In Michalek's absence, Peter Regin has stepped up big time on the linea numero uno (for the most part, I think there was some initial tinkering). Let's look at the past 9 games and have some fun with numbers...
Peter Regin has 4 goals, 3 assists for 7 points and is +7.
While this is good, his linemates are better in the same span.
Jason Spezza has 6 goals, 10 assists for 16 points and is +16.
Daniel Alfredsson has 3 goals, 10 assists for 13 points and is +13.
With this production, can you really break up this line to reunite Michalek with Spez and Alfie? I don't think so. The great news is that this provides the ability to work WW into the second line. People might crap on me for this, but I've always kind of thought of Michalek as a second line player anyway. I love the guy, and this isn't to knock him, but to me he wasn't always up to snuff with Alfie and Spez. I think he's more a lethal threat on the second line - and this can really balance out the scoring (even more than we already do)!
And for the record, I don't think Regin's a better player than Michalek, I just think he's been clicking better and putting up results. The numbers are clear. Chemistry's a weird thing.
I'm welcoming Michalek back with open arms for sure, I just hope he sees ice on the second line and isn't rushed to the first. I love this offensive depth of this team and with Regin fitting in nicely on the top line, the potential to stretch out offense even deeper gets me even more excited!
Am I wrong, or what?