Here's what I think would be the most productive lineup with the assumption that sproul/oullet remain in the minors:
Nyquist - Dats - Abby
Tatar - Sheahan - Jurco
Franzen - Helm/Legwand - Alfredsson
Miller - Glendenning - Legwand/Helm
Lash/Kindl NEED to be separated if we have any chance of making it anywhere. That might be the worst D pairing I've seen in detroit in recent time. Smith can't be removed from Kronner as he is clearly at his best with someone reliable beside him. The bottom 2 pairings are balanced out as much as possible this way.
Dats has shown to not play well with franzen/alfie but I'm sure we'll still see that combination throughout the first round. IMO, he needs a player like abby with another fast skilled forward such as nyquist/jurco on his line. IF franzen decides to show up for a few shifts he'd be okay on datsyuks line as long as there is that skilled forward on that line as well.
You Sir (or Madam), must not have been around for the Lilja / Lebda (or Meech) pairing.
Lashoff has been nothing if not defensively sound and serviceable. Nothing flashy, but ho-hum and gettin it done.
I will agree that Kindl does not impress. He's been a liability more often than not, but at least the guy can skate. Can't say that about Lilja.
One of the things that got me thinking last night was this: The terrible NBC talking heads were speaking before the game about the B's ability to play big and aggressive if you want; or play the skill game if you want that instead. That can be intimidating to a lot of teams in the league because with the Bruins they can usually do it better than the opposition.
Turns out after watching the game that the Bruins didnt know which team they were last night. They can't out-skill the class of puck possession teams, and thier "big nastiness" came out like a wimper compared to the Anahiem teams we have faced over the years.
With our generations of players being developed the same puck possession way, it's amazing to watch a "system" beat a team of bigger, better, meaner.