Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Welcome back Milan! You've been demoted.

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?

9 comments:

GelatinousMutantCoconut said...

Yeah, our forward core is ridiculously deep right now!

This is the line-up I'm envisioning right now:

Regin-Spezza-Alfredsson
Michalek-Fisher-Kovalev
Foligno-Cullen-Shannon
Ruutu-Kelly-Neil

Michalek hopefully will gel with Fisher the same way Neil does....bang brothers! Michalek are Fisher are actually pretty similar...fast and gritty. And Kovy will just be...Kovy.

duff said...

GMC:
I'd almost rather see watermelon on the third line (kinda like that cliche of 2a, actually) with Cullen and Shannon. All three of those players are about being quick and having good hands. Fisher seems to do best with Foligno and Kovalev to me. I can't think of any extended period of time this season where Michalek was skating with either of Fisher or Kovalev. I just think their styles are different enough to make it not work.

Either way, we have a full room (sans Kuba, of course) so Clouston will have room to tinker.

Anshu said...

While I think Michalek is a top-line caliber player, I do completely agree that putting him on the 2nd or even 3rd line is a huge benefit to the team overall.

With his speed, size and strength, he can be a difference maker, especially if matched against weaker opposition. Like Duff, I'd be interested in seeing him play with Shannon on the 3rd line. As the two fastest players on the team, I get the feeling they could be fun to watch.

Dimitri said...

Hey love the blog!

I am with the idea of leaving the great Dane with Alfie and Spezz. On a team like Clouston's i hope doesnt get too caught up in what number their line is. He juggles it up so much I think of them more as compinations more than rankings. I've seen him start a game with the 4th line against the caps (a plan the evidently worked well). Anyway, it is wild sometimes too look at the depth of this team. So excited to finally take in my first Sens playoff game!!!

ps. Where does the Watermelon Warrior nickname come from? Best I can muster up is his missing tooth looking like a watermelon seed in his mouth hahaha

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