1/10/08

A few words on line combinations

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/10/2008 04:43:00 AM
Ted Nolan basically said the Isles line combinations will likely settle back into what they were before the recent scoring slumps. Of course the head coach has also said recently from here on ice time would go only to those who earn it and his patience has been tested.

It was interesting seeing Miroslav Satan on left wing for a while against Vancouver which is not the first time an Islander coach has moved Satan to his off wing because that's something Ted Nolan does not like to do.

I'm kind of stumped on line combinations beyond knowing this team will sink or swim with Comrie and Guerin who look better together as a unit then when they are apart. I also think Richard Park's production is falling off again asking the question should he be on the first line over a young player?

There is just no easy answers here and usually when new combinatons are tried they look lost for half a game or longer before the coach starts juggling again.

I know Bergenheim and Comeau are working hard most games and creating chances and have the ability/composure to hold the puck and make a play.

Second line center they have no answer on the roster if Vasicek is not scoring, same if Sillinger is not scoring as the third line center. Hunter's two goals in twenty nine games cannot be hidden either.

That said here is a patchwork lineup that is new and different but maybe worth a try for a while. Of course when you break up Sillinger and Hunter you break up your shutdown line on defense.

Bergenheim-Comrie-Guerin
Comeau-Sillinger-Satan
Park-Vasicek-Hunter
Fedotenko-Hilbert-Jackman

Either that or go back to the early season combinations:
Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin
Bergenheim-Vasicek-Satan
Hilbert-Sillinger-Hunter
Comeau-Park-Jackman

Of course if Ted Nolan wants to continue to use Miroslav Satan as a left wing and put his three best offensive talents on paper together he's going to have to play another forward out of position:
Satan-Comrie-Guerin
Bergenheim-Vasicek-Park
Fedotenko-Sillinger-Hunter
Comeau-Hilbert-Jackman

Either way unless some players start working harder and clearly the coach is questioning the effort why are the Islanders holding back Jeff Tambellini?

I absolutely think Comeau and Bergenheim stay here, they have not been part of the problem.

No easy answers at all. Isles work hard and lose that's acceptable, Isles skate like they have the last three games that's unacceptable. Sometimes goaltenders play well and steal points, that has not been the case.

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