With word coming today from Bryan Mullen at The Tennessean that J.P. Dumont will not make the trip to Dallas for tomorrow night's game, the question on the minds of many Preds fans is sure to be, "how will the lines look?"
After last night's 6-1 drubbing by Edmonton, head coach Barry Trotz mentioned in his post-game press conference that perhaps the pairing of David Legwand and Martin Erat needs to be broken up. The two, who are the highest-paid players on the team this season, have yet to register even a single assist between them, and Legwand in particular seemed to be singled out by Trotz for criticism, as he skated for only 13:48 last night, less two guys fresh off of groin injuries (Joel Ward with 16:32 and Colin Wilson at 16:41).
So what options does Barry have to juggle the existing lineup? Let's look at a few options after the jump...
#10 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators
Aug 29, 1981
|2009 - Martin Erat||4||0||0||0||-2||4||0||0||0||0||8||0.0|
#11 / Center / Nashville Predators
Aug 17, 1980
|2009 - David Legwand||4||0||0||0||-3||2||0||0||0||0||6||0.0|
Put either Legwand or Erat on the top line?
The idea here is to jump-start one of these guys by pairing him with Jason Arnott and Steve Sullivan. Last season, a temporary move to the wing seemed to help David Legwand escape a scoring funk, but does the team really want to break up the one unit that is actually working well? Both Arnott and Patric Hornqvist have 5 points in 4 games, and Sully generates quality scoring chances every game.
Center Colin Wilson between Legwand and Erat?
Colin Wilson looked very good last night, but is it too early to put him in a pressure spot centering these two? Worse yet, will their stone-cold hands rub off on the rookie?
Banish one of them to the 4th line?
How about burying one of them on the 4th line in an attempt to shame them into getting more aggressive offensively? Marcel Goc has shown decent two-way effort so far, so let him anchor one line, followed by Colin Wilson and Guite on the 3rd and 4th. If it works, you can always move Leggy or Erat back up during the game.
The ultimate shame would be for one of these guys to stand in the press box and watch while the rest of the team carries on the fight.
So what do you think, Preds fans? Jeremy at Section 303 and Mark from The View From 111 also run through some of these options, and I think we can all agree that there are no glaringly obvious choices right now.