have been battling this argument in my head for quite a few weeks now, and frankly, after last nights game, I am all the more sure now.
Rick Nash belongs with other skaters. He is easily the most talented player on that team, and right now, he’s playing with Huselius and Malhotra, who don’t deserve top line minutes, and have not played like top line players. Frankly, the sheer fact that Huselius is on the ice when Nash is gives him what I like to call the “Chimera factor”.
The Chimera Factor is based on what we saw early in the season. He was skating with Brassard and Voracek, and was receiving passes that lead to simple goals, and getting assists because of what Brass and Jake could create without him. Once he was removed from that line, his productivity disappeared, and I think the same thing is happening with Huselius.
Simply put, we have;
As our ‘could be’ top two line players. Our secondary players are;
Now, Hitch has gone with what he thinks are his two best lines, running somewhat of a 1-1a style offense, but I really think if they want to score goals on Detroit, they need to package their scorers on one line..
In game three, I would love to see;
Nash – Vermette – Umberger
Huselius – Malhotra – Voracek
Williams – Gratton – Boll
Chimera – Peca – Dorsett/Modin
Line one offers Nash two players who can set him up to score goals, and can easily get to the spots he passes to. If they were playing together last night, I fully suspect they would have had two goals on their first period chances.
Line three is the grinder line. This is the key line for most playoff contenders, playing stymy defense and getting big chances offensively. A momentum changing line to say the least.
The other two lines should be able to function fine and be at the very worst even in terms of goals against and goals for. I think adding a guy like Jakub to the second line with Huselius and Malhotra might get the veterans playing a more creative game rather than just trying to find Nash open.
Game three is tomorrow, and Columbus will likely be ‘rockin’ with excitement. I hope the players are ready to turn this series around. I am not prepared to start watching other teams yet!