Sammy has no excuse to be rusty. Sitting out the last part of the season for a pectoral issue, he better have been busting you-know-what to get in game shape. I've got a bad feeling (not based just on one preseason game) that we're going to have the same problems as last year with some line combinations and players. I hope Babcock isn't too loyal to Sammy and Cleary if they can't pull their own weight.
I agree. I am actually hoping very hard that Bert brings the Weiss and Alfie line some chemistry and "demotes" Franzen. If that happens, most likely Cleary will be placed on the 3rd line (if Abby does well on the top line) and Sammy dropped to the 4th line. Like this:
Nyquist/Tatar have very good chances to move up into the top six when injuries inevitably occur. I DO NOT want to see Cleary on the top line and only want Franzen there as a last ditch effort (one minute left, down by a goal, goalie pulled). If Franzen is on the top line we move from a 3 line team to a 1.5 line team very quickly.
Emmerton plays in GR/gets traded, Eaves is dropped, and someone not dressed or on the 4th line is moved. I would actually prefer Eaves to stay as one of the undressed players (righty, good one-timer, great PK) but Miller is too similar of a player and is actually better on PK. And with the extension Holland has made his choice. I still like Tootoo as an option against teams playing heavy with similar players (Philly, Chicago, Boston) even though little to no offense will come from him, scoring chances and stars on the other team keeping their eyes on him and off the puck might give the Wings a slight edge. Plus, in the East, there is more "running around" by the pesky players and a "sheriff" is needed on every team. The Wings will see more teams built in the traditonally Burkian style in the East and it will be more physical. Tootoo is good to have around.
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