Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald joined the Fifth Feather dark side today, as he essentially called for Sammy Pahlsson to center a checking line and for Joel Quenneville to break up the Bolland-Havlat-Ladd marriage. This is after Pahlsson centered Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien with decent success on Wednesday during the Blues match-up at the United Center. Martin Havlat also found a bit of a roll with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on what could be a scary line going forward.
I’m sticking to my guns: nothing other than Pahlsson with Ladd and Troy Brouwer makes any sense. That leaves the top six forwards for the top two lines – Havlat, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Versteeg, Bolland – and Dustin Byfuglien for the fourth line with Ben Eager and either Colin Fraser or Adam Burish.
Done and done. It almost seems too perfect.
Finally, I don’t see the great Aaron Johnson/Matt Walker debate of ’09 lasting too much longer. I see Brent Sopel as the sixth defenseman come the week of April 13th. Walker’s been a great surprise this season, and Johnson’s largely been effective, but Sopel’s the better choice – like it or not.