It's funny how Tatar has kind of positioned himself for the "Top 6" forward role a lot of people thought Nyquist would end up with. As I find myself increasingly disgruntled with the role players on this team (Abdelkader, Miller, etc.), a guy like Tatar who is actually showing real offensive ability NEEDS to play.
We know what Sammy is, and we know what Cleary is. This is not going to end any better than a round or two past the playoffs. But what can Tatar playing next to Datsyuk? What might Emmerton, Nyquist, or Kindl turn into if we just keep playing them? Those are more intriguing questions to me than just rolling out there with tired veterans towards predictable results.
Also, if there was any doubt about Helm's value (never was on my end), I think we're seeing it now. Opposing PP's are something like 27% against us and the 3rd & 4th lines generate nothing unless Tatar or Andersson is involved.
IMO, Helm's non-presence on the PK has cemented him as important as the Draper/Maltby combo of the mid to late 90's. He is very good as what he does (forechecking, PKing, wrecking in the corners, and getting to loose pucks). That video of him and Tootoo running around the ice forechecking and body checking everything they see actually gave me hope for this season.
"I think a tough team, a team that sticks together, is a lot better than leaving the onus on one guy to take care of business." - Brendan Shanahan
It still would be nice to have that one guy.