Possible pairings for 2010-2011 season
With the acquisition of Martin and Michalek (and the losses of Gonchar, Eaton, and Leopold), how will our defensive pairings look? Since Gonchar played with Orpik, and we signed Martin to replace Gonchar, would you automatically just insert Martin with Gonchar (and therefore putting Michalek on your 2nd pairing with Letang)?
I think I might consider putting the two new guys together as our top defensive pairing, making Orpik and Letang our 2nd pair (and Goligoski and Lovejoy as our 3rd pair right now).
On the power play, I could see Martin pairing up with Letang with the first power play unit, then Goligoski with Michalek for the 2nd power play unit.
On the penalty kill, I would start out with Michalek and Orpik, then maybe Martin and Letang with the 2nd PK unit.
Regardless of how it works out, I'm excited that people are already suggesting that we may have the best corps of blueliners in the game overall.
On offense, though, with no new wingers for Crosby and Malkin at this point, we'll have to hope that a young stud like Eric Tangradi steps up and takes a spot as a winger on one of the top 2 lines, or else we will have to move Staal up to play next to Malkin or Crosby, thereby destroying the Cooke-Staal-Kennedy line that is the envy of all other 3rd lines throughout the league.
As of now, it appears that Crosby will skate with Dupuis and Kunitz. If Tangradi impresses in camp, perhaps he can join Talbot on Malkin's line. That way, Staal could center Cooke and Kennedy as usual. And then you'd have Adams between Rupp and Godard (others such as Mark Letestu, Dustin Jeffery, Nick Johnson, etc. are also in the mix, but I'll try stick with the guys with NHL contracts for now).
On the power play, put Crosby and Malkin together with someone to cause havoc in front of the next like Kunitz. For the second power play unit, use Staal and Dupuis, with Cooke being the disruptor in front.
On the penalty kill, use Staal and Talbot as your top pair with Adams and Rupp and the secondary penalty killers. If any of those 4 guys happen to be the one in the sin bin, then replace him with Matt Cooke.
The Reader's Digest Condensed Version:
Any other thoughts at this point? (of course, as soon I hit "submit" on this, the team will probably use the last $2 million or so of available cap space to pick up another winger, rendering most of these thoughts moot...oh well).