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[discussion] Comparing our starting lineup to last year’s: part 1 - the top line

Huggy Bear

Comparing our starting lineup to last year’s: part 1 - the top line  

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  1. 1. How will the first line perform compared to last year?

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  • Poll closed on 10/12/2023 at 02:00 AM

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With practice lines this morning revealing a more realistic starting NHL lineup, how does it compare to last years?


Top line: Same players: 2 big summers, 2 contract years, and revised PP


  • Kuzmenko returned leaner, and with an improved diet. Many are expecting his shooting % to regress, but he’s aiming to get more shots (3+) per game. Tocchet continues to ride him on defence (e.g. d-zone clears), and he may see different deployment on the PP. 
  • Pettersson  had a big Summer, and said he added the most strength of any off-season. He’s noticeably improved on face offs, and playing for a contract (which could work for or against him, depending on confidence). Early success will be important for him, and the team. 
  • Beauvillier is playing for his next contract, and being given a great opportunity on this line. He has the hustle to dig out pucks, and the skill to bury his chances. Looks to be a fixture on the 2nd PP unit with an upgraded center in Suter. Haven’t heard much about him in camp - anyone have any insight?


What are your thoughts? How will this line’s production compare to last year?


Edited by Huggy Bear
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  • Huggy Bear changed the title to [discussion] Comparing our starting lineup to last year’s: part 1 - the top line

Weren't they trying Beauvillier with Garland and Suter?  I wonder if those 3 could be a better fit, since Garland is quite the strong playmaker too.
Could see Mikheyev take the 1RW spot from AB (dark horse Hoglander if he has a strong rest of the preseason), and I would hope that their production remains around the same as last year.

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The pessimist in me feels like Petey will struggle with injuries this season. No real reason to feel this way, just an odd sense. If he stays healthy, I'd expect a good season with minimal regression; say 85 - 90 points.


Stats guys expect a dip in Kuzmenko's shot percentage, but I haven't read anyone giving a solid reason as to why... other than base law of averages. However, it wasn't like Kuz was sniping perimeter goals all season. He goes to scoring areas and finishes in tight as well as anyone. Assuming Petey stays healthy, and Kuz is consistently deployed properly, I expect he breaks 40 goals 70 points.


If... big if... Beau sees significant top 6 ice time, he absolutely should be a 20 goal 40 - 50 point complimentary winger.

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11 minutes ago, bathgate said:

I expect too see the focus of the club to be more on defence, therefore less scoring and individual points

lol they might as well park the bus in front of the net then.. this team is going to struggle to score goals to begin with and they think they can win games 1-0 2-1? this team doesn't have the players capable of playing an overly aggressive defensive shutdown game.. they are probably already going to struggle for goals and rely heavily on the PP if they take away the offence and focus heavily on defence.. instead of losing game 4-3 4-2 we are just gonna lose games 1-0 2-1 3-2.. the way this teams personnel is built the only way they'll win games is forwards allowed the freedom to take chances and create on offence while the defence limit the amount of bad pinches and the goalie stand on his head to bail the team out. we shift this team to focus heavily on defence?? we become the calgary flames.. the forward and the star struggles for goals.. and the team ends up losing 30+ 1 goal game.

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