Pittsburgh Penguins: What Their Lines Should Be
Although at this point it's too late to put together completely new lines, these are the lines that Dan Bylsma should have drawn up a couple weeks ago heading into the playoffs.
That being said, Bylsma needs to pick his lines and stick with them.
There's not much to complain about what he has done thus far in his coaching career, but he changes his lines far too often making it hard for any sort of chemistry to develop.
Left Wing: Chris Kunitz
Cener: Sidney Crosby
Right Wing: Mike Rupp
I've always loved the Sid-Kunitz chemistry on the first line.
People may be confused as to why Mike Rupp finds his way onto this line, but I think his grit would add a lot to Sid and Kunitz's energy not to mention that he happens to be a skilled player.
He has thirteen goals this year despite only averaging nine minutes of ice time per game and seems to always have chances when put with Sid or Geno.
Left Wing: Alexei Ponikarovsky
Center: Evgeni Malkin
Right Wing: Bill Guerin
Line two is loaded with big bodies and pure scorers.
I love the combination of Malkin's play making ability along with the goal scoring prowess of Guerin and Ponikarovsky (if he starts playing to up to his talent level).
Left Wing: Pascal Dupuis
Center: Jordan Staal
Right Wing: Matt Cooke
The only way for line three to be any better than what it already is, is to switch out Tyler Kennedy for Pascal Dupuis.
Dupuis has been producing on the first line this year, but I think he's a better fit on the third line.
He excels at getting into the corners and grinding for pucks. Add that to the fact that he can put the puck in the net and the best third line in hockey just got better.
Left Wing: Ruslan Fedotenko
Center: Max Talbot
Right Wing: Tyler Kennedy
You might as well call this the left-over line.
With Fedotenko and Kennedy getting bumped out of their previous positions I think they still deserve a spot in the line-up.
This creates a fast paced grind-it-out fourth line that would bring a lot of energy to the ice.
Craig Adams and Eric Godard get left out of my line-up.
I know in reality this wouldn't happen because Bylsma loves Adams, but when it comes down to it he just doesn't produce offensively. Yes, he is a good penalty killer, but I think other guys can fill in for him adequately at that position.
Godard shouldn't be considered.
He brings virtually no hockey skills to the table. His only use is in fighting, which is of no importance come playoff time.