Colorado Avalanche Projected Opening Night Lines - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Colorado Avalanche Projected Opening Night Lines

EDIT: AD has the scoop on the actual lines!

Wolski-Stastny-Hejduk
McLeod-Duchene-Svatos
Tucker-Galiardi-Stewart
Koci-Hendricks/O’Reilly-Hensick

Quincey-Clark
Liles-Salei
Hannan-Foote

Anderson

So keep reading if you want to see how close this was or make me fun of me for where it missed ;)

Original Post

I'm not even going to research this one based on line pairings during pre-season. I'm just going to toss it out there.

Wolski-Stastny-Hejduk
Galiardi-Duchene-Svatos
Hensick-O'Reilly-Stewart
Mcleod-Hendricks-Tucker

Foote-Liles
Hannan-Quincey
Clark-Salei

Anderson

Forwards
I've heard that T.J. Galiardi was taking a lot of draws but I don't recall ever hearing him actually playing center. I know that sounds weird but it happens. I don't think it's crazy to expect him to play on the left side when there's a lot of centers on the team and few left wings.

Putting Hensick on left-wing probably won't happen and frankly I'd be inclined to leave him out of the lineup, move Cody Mcleod to the third line and put David Koci at left-wing on the fourth line. That would leave a fairly mediocre fourth line but I wouldn't expect them to see the ice much. I suppose you could even swap Mcleod and Hensick, leaving Hensick with Tucker. I seem to recall they played half-decent with each other last year.

Once Jones is back, things get a bit harder on right-wing, unless Sacco has the sack to sit Tucker.

Defense
It's pretty common to pair a puck mover with a stay-at-home defender. I think it's a safe bet that Sacco/Lefebvre will go that route.

Alternate
If Galiardi does indeed line up at center, I'd shift to this lineup:

Wolski-Stastny-Hejduk
Mcleod-Duchene-Svatos
Hensick-Galiardi-Stewart
Hendricks-O'Reilly-Tucker

It would seem to be a waste to put O'Reilly in that slot though in my opinion. I know Mcleod has been riding shotgun with Duchene so it would make sense to move him all the way up to the second line if Galiardi isn't there.

Final Thoughts
I think the first line is essentially set in stone, the center for the second line is set in stone and after that, it's a bit of a crapshoot to guess what Sacco and his assistants will do.

Thankfully we don't have much longer to wait!

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