|Print article||This entry was posted by Tim Currell on July 15, 2011 at 7:31 am, and is filed under 2010-11 Offseason, 2011 Off-Season, Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
My question is, which Patrick Sharp is more valuable to the Blackhawks, the sniper of 10-11 or the 2-way player of 09-10? I would say that he is much more valuable to us as a 2-way player and making him the 2nd line center will be fine as long as the fact that he needs to worry more about defense than he did in 10-11 is made clear to Sharpie by Q. I still think we have much better options at forward than we did last year and these would be lines that we could make a real run with. (Bickell and Brunette could be flipped, just feel that Brunette camped in front of the net for Kane and Sharp could be huge) Bickell/Toews/Hossa Brunette/Sharp/Kane Olesz/Bolland/Frolik Carcillo/Smith(or Kruger)/Stallberg (Myers filling in as needed) This would be the best way to get off to a good start and feel out Smith/Kruger at center. If one shows they deserve a look at the 2nd line, then you can move them up; but if neither do, you can start looking for trade partners.
Before Frolik can even be discussed as a possible second-line center, he needs to learn to take a draw. 40.3 percent on 119 draws between FLA and CHI. 37 percent on 35 draws in 09-10. 40.3 percent on 67 draws in 08-09. Michael Frolik is Not a Center.
If there's one thing we've learned about how the Blackhawks like to structure their lines, it's that anything is possible. Even if we find the winning combination on opening night, I seriously doubt those lines will be the same by game 10. That said, I do think I prefer Dave in the 3rd line- he's just the best 3rd line center in the game, hands down. As for second line center, I still don't think Kruger is ready for the job, which is unfortunate because I think he would be better as 2nd line center than 4th, which is where he's likely to end up. I'm interested in seeing Ben Smith getting a shot at the job. It's true he's never played center in the NHL before, but I like the way he played with Hoss in the offseason, and I think a Brunette-Smith-Hossa line could be really nasty, while at the same time keeping that magical Sharp-Toews-Kane line intact, and also keeping Bickell-Bolland-Frolik together, which seemed great last offseason. If Frolik can grow up a little I think he would be a serviceable 2nd line center- but he still likes lobbing pucks at the net from the blue line. Fine on the 3rd line I guess, but he needs to cut that s*** out if he ever wants a shot a playing next to Hoss.