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2021/2022 Lineup Ideas


hockeyrealist
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It’s early to discuss, but….

Slow, late summer days are here so let’s speculate on lineup options.

 

It has been wisely pointed out in other threads that the current roster (as of Aug 13, 2021) is deep on wings and shallow at centre (at least proven centres).  Also as pointed out by everyone, a lot depends on the continued progression of Suzuki and a more noticeable, consistent season by KK.
 

Are these two young players a legit 1/2 centre option?  Is it fair to expect Caufield to play first line minutes/production for a full season? Is that best for him?
What Drouin do we see when back?  Can Petry play first pairing all season at a high level?  These are some of the questions that come to mind.

 

Very happy to see CP31 and Jake back, I expect Primeau will back up Allen to start season. Will be good to get him some preseason/early season games at NHL level.  Otherwise, think Habs have a top tier 1/2 goalie pair in Price/Allen.

 

D-wise:

Eddy-Petry

Chiarot-Savard

Romy-Wideman/Kulak

(Norlinder may make a push and provide puck moving dman)

 

F/W:

 

Toffolli-Suzuki-CC

Hoffman-KK-Gally

Drouin-Pacquette-Anderson

Lehks-Evans-Armia

 

Leaves Perreault battling for a spot on LW, and then Byron as well when he returns (wonder if he gets a look at C possibly if no other roster moves made and a C is struggling)

Poehling? He will have to steal a spot in camp, probably best served playing big minutes, honing offensive skills in AHL


PP1:

CC-Suzuki-Hoffman

Petry-Toffoli

PP2:

Gally-KK-Anderson

Wideman-Romy

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I'll repost here what I posted on the trade proposal thread, just to continue your discussion:

Scoring line:       Hoffman-Suzuki-Caufield
"Show me" line: Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Anderson
Two way line:     Toffoli-Evans-Gallagher
Energy line:         Lehkonen-Paquette-Armia

Perrault, Vejdemo [LTIR:Byron]

Edmundson-Petry
Chiarot-Savard
Romanov-Wideman
Kulak [LTIR:Weber]

 

Price

Allen

 

PP1

Hoffman-Suzuki-Caufield

Drouin-Petry

PP2

Anderson-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Toffoli-Wideman

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On 7/29/2021 at 12:44 PM, Fanpuck33 said:

Drouin-Suzuki-Caufield

Toffoli-Kotkianiemi-Gallagher

Hoffman-Evans-Anderson

Lehkonen-Pacquette-Armia

 

I started with the premise that Kotkianiemi will need to step up into Danault's role as centering the top two-way line. That pretty much automatically puts Gallagher in his wing since that's been his role for year. Drouin and Hoffman are not ideal fits for that line, so I think that means it is where Toffoli slots in.

 

I think you absolutely keep Suzuki and Caufield together. That leaves Drouin or Hoffman for their wing. If we're going on the assumption that Drouin will be in the best head space he's been in for years, then I say give him a shot at setting up the kids.

 

That means Hoffman slots in with Evans and Anderson and the 4th line speaks for itself. Let Poehling play big minutes in Laval unless he has a big camp and takes the job. Bring back Perry back in the same role.

 

I generally rip coaches for tinkering with lines too much, so I was a bit of a hypocrite during the playoffs when I was proposing new lines after every loss. With the importance of each playoff game, I am definitely more apt to want to tinker. But during the season, I hope Ducharme shows similar patience and gives whatever lines he uses some time to develop together.

 

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43 minutes ago, alfredoh2009 said:

@GHT120 must be on vacation . He usually like to share his line up

 

Well, ok. I guess we all take a break until September 

Too early ... not convinced there aren't moves (plural) yet to come.

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On 8/13/2021 at 3:37 PM, Fanpuck33 said:

I think you absolutely keep Suzuki and Caufield together. That leaves Drouin or Hoffman for their wing. If we're going on the assumption that Drouin will be in the best head space he's been in for years, then I say give him a shot at setting up the kids.

 

I agree with playing Drouin and Suzuki with Caufield.  That line would have their 2 best passers with their best shooter.  If Drouin doesnt work out I'd try putting Anderson on that line before Toffoli.  All 3 of those line combos should work well.   

 

Hoffman isnt good at 5 on 5 so he cant really do 3rd line checking role so I'd swap him with Toffoli - who is decent defensively/checking.  kk should be ahead of Evans, but it might make sense to swap them and put kk on the 3rd line checking line. 

 

Drouin-Suzuki-Caufield

Hoffman-Kotkianiemi-Anderson

Toffoli-Evans-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Pacquette-Armia

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sir_Boagalott said:

I agree with playing Drouin and Suzuki with Caufield.  That line would have their 2 best passers with their best shooter ...

 And Suzuki isn't a bad shooter either ... would take to pressure off JD to produce the goals and let him do what he does best ... might even lead to his scoring a few more goals than usual as the "third option"

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On 8/13/2021 at 2:39 PM, alfredoh2009 said:

I'll repost here what I posted on the trade proposal thread, just to continue your discussion:

Scoring line:       Hoffman-Suzuki-Caufield
"Show me" line: Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Anderson
Two way line:     Toffoli-Evans-Gallagher
Energy line:         Lehkonen-Paquette-Armia

Perrault, Vejdemo [LTIR:Byron]

Edmundson-Petry
Chiarot-Savard
Romanov-Wideman
Kulak [LTIR:Weber]

 

Price

Allen

 

PP1

Hoffman-Suzuki-Caufield

Drouin-Petry

PP2

Anderson-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Toffoli-Wideman


I like the logic and balance on these lines. Hopefully Drouin is back better than ever. Him and Anderson play well together, I like the idea of them together.

 

My idea of Drouin - Pacquette - Anderson was based around that thought, and Pacquette/Drouin combo of French Canadians could be great for francophone fans to celebrate if they gel, not that it’s a priority just could be a cool bonus.

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On 8/13/2021 at 4:37 PM, Fanpuck33 said:

 


Interesting combos, I hope Drouin plays so well he has to get first line consideration but I am a little sceptical given his track record.  Putting him and CC on first line puts a lot of pressure of their C to be solid two way, which will limit Suzuki’s chances to produce offensively and he is our only offensively gifted centre.  Not sure why Toffolli wouldn’t get the spot on that left wing since they all produced well together.

 

I don’t think Evans can produce enough to be top 9, has shown he can be effective shut down centre but has shown little offense. With a group of C who do not excel offensively I don’t think the team can play a shut down centre on third line, I think Pacquette has more offensive potential in that role.
 

Let Evans centre the 4th line that is solid defensively and can be trusted in all zones was my logic.  Another proven offensive centre would really help the logjam of bottom sixers.  I see Pacquette, KK, Evans as all best suited for 3/4 centre (KK 3, others 4)

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14 hours ago, GHT120 said:

Too early ... not convinced there aren't moves (plural) yet to come.


I get your logic, that’s why I said it was early in first line of topic post.

The idea that there will be changes could apply right up until trade deadline, been pretty quiet for rumours/hints of moves so I actually don’t think we will see many more changes.
Would love to see a proven C brought in, but that isn’t happening (same old song).

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11 hours ago, Sir_Boagalott said:

 

I agree with playing Drouin and Suzuki with Caufield.  That line would have their 2 best passers with their best shooter.  If Drouin doesnt work out I'd try putting Anderson on that line before Toffoli.  All 3 of those line combos should work well.   

 

Hoffman isnt good at 5 on 5 so he cant really do 3rd line checking role so I'd swap him with Toffoli - who is decent defensively/checking.  kk should be ahead of Evans, but it might make sense to swap them and put kk on the 3rd line checking line. 

 

Drouin-Suzuki-Caufield

Hoffman-Kotkianiemi-Anderson

Toffoli-Evans-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Pacquette-Armia

 

 


Intriguing, same concerns I had earlier about Drouin playing top line. And Evans being 3 vs 4.

But that 2,3,4 is pretty balanced and could cause some havoc.

The winger depth makes this a fun exercise.

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9 hours ago, GHT120 said:

 And Suzuki isn't a bad shooter either ... would take to pressure off JD to produce the goals and let him do what he does best ... might even lead to his scoring a few more goals than usual as the "third option"

Yeah, slick Nick can finish. Love seeing his confidence grow with taking the shot on PP, decking goalies out of their jocks, threatening to be the shooter opens up so many options for him as well.

He could be a 30 goal guy, 40 assists. 

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2 hours ago, hockeyrealist said:

 

He could be a 30 goal guy, 40 assists. 

Last year Suzuki; 61.5pt, 22g pace.

I would almost agree, guess few more assists than goals and would say maybe 25g 45a 70pts shouldn't be a stretch.:spamafote:

 

How many frickin goals will Caufield get? 25, 30, more?

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13 hours ago, Sir_Boagalott said:

Hoffman isnt good at 5 on 5 so he cant really do 3rd line checking role so I'd swap him with Toffoli - who is decent defensively/checking.  kk should be ahead of Evans, but it might make sense to swap them and put kk on the 3rd line checking line. 

 

1 hour ago, hockeyrealist said:

Interesting combos, I hope Drouin plays so well he has to get first line consideration but I am a little sceptical given his track record.  Putting him and CC on first line puts a lot of pressure of their C to be solid two way, which will limit Suzuki’s chances to produce offensively and he is our only offensively gifted centre.  Not sure why Toffolli wouldn’t get the spot on that left wing since they all produced well together.

 

Haha, this issue has come up before and in the past I've always ordered my lines with the traditional checking line being the 3rd line. I also tended to draw fire for listing the Danault line as the 3rd line when they were getting top 6 minutes. I have since come around and ordered my lines based on ice time as opposed to role. So if you read the explanation of my lines, you will see that is precisely why I placed Toffoli on that line.  Hoffman and Drouin are not good fits for that role, so playing Toffoli or Anderson on their off-side is the best option and I give Toffoli the edge because I think he deserves more ice time than Anderson.

 

It also explains why I split up Toffoli from the top line. If he goes there, that means you have to slot Anderson onto the checking line and you've got two RW playing on their off-wing and have to play a LW at RW on the Evans line, and my gosh do we not want Evans playing with both Drouin and Hoffman. You could slot Armia onto that line, but Drouin and Hoffman are worthless on a 4th line. 

 

2 hours ago, hockeyrealist said:

I don’t think Evans can produce enough to be top 9, has shown he can be effective shut down centre but has shown little offense. With a group of C who do not excel offensively I don’t think the team can play a shut down centre on third line, I think Pacquette has more offensive potential in that role.

 

Is that based solely on his junior career where he had a 31 goal season one year and was over a point-per game for one season? Sure, better goal production than Evans, but in a much tighter scoring league, Evans was twice a point-per-game player at Notre Dame and nearly was a 3rd time. Their AHL numbers are similar, with the slight edge going to Evans.  At the NHL level, in 7 years Pacquette has never topped 20 points. Evans had more points this year than 4 of Pacquette's NHL seasons. Pacquette is past the point of having offensive potential, while Evans is just starting to crack his. Give him more ice than Pacquette all day long.

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4 hours ago, hockeyrealist said:

I get your logic, that’s why I said it was early in first line of topic post.

The idea that there will be changes could apply right up until trade deadline, been pretty quiet for rumours/hints of moves so I actually don’t think we will see many more changes.
Would love to see a proven C brought in, but that isn’t happening (same old song).

True ... but the roster seems unbalanced ... deep wings, shallow at centre and a bit weak on defence ... IMO, MB either needs to make a couple of deals or the deadline will be used to stockpile picks for an exciting 2022 draft at the Bell Centre ... and I don't recall the last time a MB trade was spoken off any amount of time before it was announced

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13 hours ago, hockeyrealist said:


Intriguing, same concerns I had earlier about Drouin playing top line. And Evans being 3 vs 4.

But that 2,3,4 is pretty balanced and could cause some havoc.

The winger depth makes this a fun exercise.

 

 

The winger depth certainly does make it fun.  There are numerous interesting possibilities, and most of them should work really well that none are out right wrong, with the exception of Drouin and Hoffman on a checking line.  However, which combos will absolutely maximize everybody's usefulness and point production?  That's the most difficult part of selecting who to play with who. 

 

10 hours ago, Fanpuck33 said:

Haha, this issue has come up before and in the past I've always ordered my lines with the traditional checking line being the 3rd line. I also tended to draw fire for listing the Danault line as the 3rd line when they were getting top 6 minutes.  I have since come around and ordered my lines based on ice time as opposed to role.

 

Haha, I've had the identical thing happen too for saying the same.  Thats also part of why I've always thought it was a problem having Danault play with Gally and Tatar, who were 2 of their top scorers.  I tend to think that line and Danaults lack of offence caused the Habs to not make the playoffs several years.  Realistically, that line really never made any sense.  i.e. name a team that has a top scoring line that is their checking line?  Bos maybe with Bergeron and Marchand, Pasternak, but that was more of a coincidence than by design.  They didnt specifically think to create a high scoring checking line like its a great idea to do.   Its also sort of odd that the Habs havent really been doing TOI for role of a line, they seem to all get close to even time. 

 

Theres even a strong argument for putting Anderson on the 3rd line.  I wanted to see that all last year and we didnt really get to see it.  Apparently, the BlueJacket fans nickname for Anderson was BangBus because  he is really good at fore checking hard and does Bob Gainey like open ice hits.   Who doesn't want to see that? 

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Yep, too many wingers for sure.

 

My crazy friend has a CRAZY idea where Drouin goes back to center. Is he CRAZY?? Hmmm, maybe... but it does make things slot in a little neater:

 

Caufield - Suzuki - Anderson  

Toffoli - Kotkaniemi - Gallagher

Hoffman - Drouin - Armia

Byron/Paquette/Evans/Perreault/Poehling/Lehkonen

 

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10 hours ago, Canajun said:

Yep, too many wingers for sure.

 

My crazy friend has a CRAZY idea where Drouin goes back to center. Is he CRAZY?? Hmmm, maybe... but it does make things slot in a little neater:

 

Caufield - Suzuki - Anderson  

Toffoli - Kotkaniemi - Gallagher

Hoffman - Drouin - Armia

Byron/Paquette/Evans/Perreault/Poehling/Lehkonen

 

Drouin as a checking centre? Dont know if he can even spell checking, let alone be the Habs 2 way shut down one.

So yes, crazy seems correct.

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1 hour ago, DON said:

Drouin as a checking centre? Dont know if he can even spell checking, let alone be the Habs 2 way shut down one.

So yes, crazy seems correct.

Absent a true checking centre I expect the plan would be to use Suzuki and KK's lines as 1A/1B lines (or perhaps some would argue at this point actually 2A/2B with no true #1 line) ... with the "Drouin line" then #3 ... leaning perhaps more on the "KK line" for defensive situations ... which is somewhat nerve-racking as defensive play/consistency was an issue often raised by "experts" regarding KK

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3 hours ago, DON said:

Drouin as a checking centre? Dont know if he can even spell checking, let alone be the Habs 2 way shut down one.

So yes, crazy seems correct.

 

I know... I told him that he was crazy! Then he told me "How about letting the other teams worry about checking US for a change?". 

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1 minute ago, Canajun said:

I know... I told him that he was crazy! Then he told me "How about letting the other teams worry about checking US for a change?". 

 

Give him points for creativity but putting Hoffman and Drouin together on the same line is a recipe for spending a lot more time in the defensive zone, not the offensive zone.  I don't think that's an experiment they'd willingly go back to but it's useful to have the option if they get hit hard by injuries.

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Not an idea for lineup; S.I. bit on calder candidates

 

"The 2022 NHL rookie class is stacked.

Seriously. The 2021 group may not have had the excitement we were looking for, with a few top prospects instead not making NHL teams and the previous No. 1 draft pick, Alexis Lafreniere, struggling to find his footing. Heck, one of the finalists for the Calder Trophy was a goalie that started the year as a third-stringer after years of AHL dominance.

But this group? We've got a future No. 1 goalie, a couple big-name defensemen and a host of talented offense. There were too many names that could have easily fit in this list, which explains why talented players on deep teams - Alex Newhook and Nick Robertson - are listed as "other notables".

A bunch of these names have already seen NHL action, like Cole Caufield, Spencer Knight and Trevor Zegras. Others will be getting their first real look at the next stage fairly shortly, either on playoff contenders of rebuilding clubs needing a bit of a splash from its young core. It'll be an interesting group to follow all season long.

Here's a look at 10 of the early candidates for the Calder Trophy - and let's hope for a deep race all season long:

 

Cole Caufield, RW (Montreal) 
Caufield Mania was in full effect during the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, with the 20-year-old winger finishing with 12 points in 20 playoff games just weeks after making his pro debut. In fact, 2020-21 was a season to remember for the small forward, winning gold at the World Junior Championship, winning the Hobey Baker as the top college player and then playing an impactful role for one of the league's most storied franchises in its first Cup final appearance in 28 years. The chemistry he showed with Nick Suzuki, in particular, should be enough to slot him on Montreal's first line, and Caufield will be given every opportunity to prove himself worthy of all the hype."

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39 minutes ago, DON said:

Not an idea for lineup; S.I. bit on calder candidates

 

"The 2022 NHL rookie class is stacked.

Seriously. The 2021 group may not have had the excitement we were looking for, with a few top prospects instead not making NHL teams and the previous No. 1 draft pick, Alexis Lafreniere, struggling to find his footing. Heck, one of the finalists for the Calder Trophy was a goalie that started the year as a third-stringer after years of AHL dominance.

But this group? We've got a future No. 1 goalie, a couple big-name defensemen and a host of talented offense. There were too many names that could have easily fit in this list, which explains why talented players on deep teams - Alex Newhook and Nick Robertson - are listed as "other notables".

A bunch of these names have already seen NHL action, like Cole Caufield, Spencer Knight and Trevor Zegras. Others will be getting their first real look at the next stage fairly shortly, either on playoff contenders of rebuilding clubs needing a bit of a splash from its young core. It'll be an interesting group to follow all season long.

Here's a look at 10 of the early candidates for the Calder Trophy - and let's hope for a deep race all season long:

 

Cole Caufield, RW (Montreal) 
Caufield Mania was in full effect during the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, with the 20-year-old winger finishing with 12 points in 20 playoff games just weeks after making his pro debut. In fact, 2020-21 was a season to remember for the small forward, winning gold at the World Junior Championship, winning the Hobey Baker as the top college player and then playing an impactful role for one of the league's most storied franchises in its first Cup final appearance in 28 years. The chemistry he showed with Nick Suzuki, in particular, should be enough to slot him on Montreal's first line, and Caufield will be given every opportunity to prove himself worthy of all the hype."

 

    :hyper:       :hyper:       :hyper:       :hyper:   

💫 let's feed the hype machine 💫

    :hyper:       :hyper:       :hyper:       :hyper:   

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