Looks like Mike Comrie will be out for Saturday (flu). Jason Strudwick will likely move to the bruiser line, in place of Moreau, who took over Comrie’s spot on line 2. Theo Peckham has been called up from Springfield, so he will take Strudwick’s spot on the blue line. It’ll be interesting to see who he plays with though. Will Quinn put a rookie pairing of Peckham/Chorney together? Or will he split up Gilbert and Grebeshkov? I wouldn’t mind seeing those two split up for a bit to test the waters a bit with pairings. I’d like to see Smid and Visnovsky stay together though, as they’ve made a pretty solid pairing at both ends of the rink.
NEW TOP LINE?
It feels pretty good. It feels.. well.. I guess in a way, if you’ve seen the movie Old School when it comes off the gymnastics and he says “I blacked out, what happened?”. It’s kind of what it feels like.
– Dustin Penner on his surprising start to the season.
Well, it’s been the talk of the news and blog world all day today, the performance of the top line last night. Will these guys stick together? Or is this a temporary thing until more bodies are back or until Horcoff works out of his funk? I personally love the line, and wouldn’t mind seeing it stick, however it doesn’t seem to be a part of Quinn’s game plan to stick all his top offensive “eggs” in one basket. That top line certainly exploited Columbus all night. But I have to wonder too if we’ll have enough firepower beyond that line if we’ve all three of those guys on one line.
WHAT TO DO WITH HORCOFF?
And what about Horcoff? This is a touchy subject. I haven’t been reading much around the forums and blogs and such today, but I would imagine fan love for him (or lack of love) has dwindled even more now, with Gagner having such a good night last night. I must admit, it’s getting harder and harder to be behind him when he’s on such a downward slide offensively. Yes, he wins lots and lots of draws and is great defensively… but really, as much as that horse has been beaten to death, that doesn’t get you a $5.5M contract. Does it, Betts / Malhotra? I don’t want to harp on to too much though because Horcoff is a class act and hard worker, and because that contract isn’t going ANYWHERE.
So really, because he’ll be on this team (or likely will) for the remainder of his contract, I think the best idea is to figure out where he would best benefit this team. And well, one good game for Gagner is likely to early to say he is the best bet for top line center (especially since he started the season in the dog house), but have we seen enough Horcoff on the top line to say he isn’t the best bet there? I’ll leave that up to you folks in the comments.
REASON FOR PENNER’S TURNAROUND (added @ 7:50PM MST)
Penner credits a lot of his career turnaround to Pat Quinn and Tom Renney’s “open communication”. He says he feels that when he makes a mistake, Quinn and Renney aren’t going to bring it up repeatedly, because “they know (he) made a mistake”. It’s obvious that the clean slate has been very beneficial for his career. There’s a great article on NHL.com about all of this. I won’t go on too much about it, but you can read it here:
NHL.com article on Dustin Penner and his rejuvinated career.
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