Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Complicated Business of Capitals Forward Lines

After a perhaps more than brief hiatus due to lots of work, Caps Circle is back on air!

A lot has happened since the last post (and I mean A LOT), but the most pressing concern right now is how the Caps forward lines should look once Alex Ovechkin (remember him?) comes back from injury on Tuesday. The Caps have played well without him, but against two bottom feeders nonetheless. So once OV is back, how should the lines look?

This is a really hard job, because the Caps have many top-6 capable forward. Still, here are my projected line combos. Take note, Adam.


Or, if numbers are your thing:


The first and third lines are both extremely solid, and the fourth line is pretty good to, although Jay Beagle could take Latta's current job when he comes back from illness. The second line is the question. I would have put MoJo in the center position, but Adam Oates hates playing people on their off-wing, and Fehr and Brouwer are both righties. Still, Fehr has not done badly at center, and would certainly be an upgrade on Brooks Laich right now.

Speaking of Laich, what's wrong with him? He's been moving a lot slower than usual and making much more turnovers than usual. I don't like having to demote him to the fourth line, but he is the odd man out right now. Still, that second line is definitely the make-or-break line, and we could see many different looks cycling Johansson, Fehr, and Laich before Oates is comfortable.

Still, this is a pretty good roster for the next few games at least.

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