Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

Toronto forward lines 06-07

My thoughts:

I’m leaning towards Antropov and Ponikarovsky on Sundin’s wing. Poni and Antro work very well together, and Sundin seems to raise Antro’s game moreso then he does anyone else.
O’Neill is a secondary option if he plays well.

I’d like to see Kilger get an opportunity with decent offensive linemates. He DID lead Toronto last season at even strength goals, and despite his woeful inconsistency he’s well suited to the “NEW NHL” as we saw last season so I’d like to see if he can more given the opportunity, he did manage to post 17 goals despite only playing about 9Min a night even strength and no PP at all.

If Suglobov makes the roster perhaps he could be paired with Kilger. Kilger was pretty good defensively last year, so he can partially cover for Suglobov’s defensive inadequacies. Both of them are excellent skaters, so it could potentially make for a very swift line as well. Suglobov is more of a playmaker then a scorer despite his excellent shot so Kilger would give him someone to pass to.

Perhaps Pohl centering them? I’m not sure if it would work out defensively, but it’s worth a try and would give us a depth line without significant offensive potential if it worked.

Steen and Wellwood are capable offensively, and worked well together for a brief time last season. Tucker would add significant physical presence to the line, and a decent amount of scoring himself.
Whether the line would be quick enough/physical enough/adequate defensively I’m not sure however as all 3 play very very different styles of games…

Stajan and peca are two of our premier defensive guys. Peca doesn’t give Stajan much to work with offensively though, but I don’t see a lot of room above him unless we drop Tucker back, but Tucker’s a bigger goal scoring threat right now not nearly as good defensively. O’Neill’s rather out of place there admittedly, but perhaps he and Stajan can get something going together.

Antropov-Sundin-Ponikarovsky
Steen-Wellwood-Tucker
Stajan-Peca-O’Neill
Kilger-Pohl-Suglobov

I’m unsure about the 2nd and 3rd lines to be honest, and nothing will adequately make best use of everyone’s talents. No mater what we do, we’ll be making some sacrifices and potentially holding someone aback for the betterment of the team as a whole.

I do think the 1st line is worth going with however, no one else has their game raised as much by Sundin as Antropov and he and Poni work well together so with the absence of any truly excellent wingers for him I’d like to see them paired.

The 4th line is well worth a shot I think… it may not work, but there is enough talent there that it could provide excellent depth scoring whilst still be adequate defensively, and few 4th line trios could skate with them.

Belak as the usual enforcer/energy guy/versatile injury fill in.

These lines of course are only assuming everyone is fully healthy, which oftentimes will not be the case. During those times we’ll have to shake them up quite a bit, and can probably move O’Neill towards a line better suited to his sniping talents, and hopefully give Stajan someone more talented to work with then Peca.
Ideally we would also double-shift Sundin at times, and try to limit Peca’s 5on5 ice time as he’s a dead weight offensively for nullifies much of his defensive qualities so we should focus him on the PK, and shutting down individual stars on the opposite team as much as possible.

Williams, and Ondrus would be the first call-ups in case of injury. Williams for scoring, Ondrus if we need a checker or if the teams seems to be lacking enthusiasm… as that’s one thing he’s adept at providing.

I’ll cover my preferred defensive lines tomorrow, along with how we could manage our goaltending and special teams (PP/PK situation).

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September 7, 2006 - Posted by | Toronto Maple Leafs

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