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Changes Coming, but Which Ones?

Friday, 04.17.2009 / 1:58 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Changes Coming, but Which Ones?
Audio: Paul Maurice | Eric Staal

He refused to go into specifics (it is playoff time, after all), but Coach Paul Maurice did say that there would be some lineup changes for Game 2 at New Jersey tonight.

Paul Branecky
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Exactly what those will be are anyone’s guess, but they will more than likely involve lower-minute players on the fourth line and possibly the third defensive pairing.

“We’ll move some guys in and around a little bit,” said Maurice. “We think that we probably didn’t have anybody individually stand out worse than anybody else, but we have some players that can bring some jump and some legs into our lineup.”

Among the possibilities being discussed is removing Tim Conboy from the lineup. For a team that lacked energy and physical play, at first glance it might seem a little counterproductive to take Conboy out of the game. Also, the team’s record when he’s in the lineup speaks for itself.

However, if that were to occur, someone like Ryan Bayda could provide a different kind of spark.  Bayda isn’t the punisher that Conboy can be when he’s on his game, but he can provide a boost through his constant hustle.

As an example of that, you may have noticed that a lot of opposing players often take shots at Bayda after the whistle. Around the press box earlier in the year, we found that a little confusing as it didn’t seem as though Bayda was saying anything that might draw the ire of the opposition. Turns out, they just find the way he never quits on a play to be annoying. In that way, he as much of a pest as someone like Chad LaRose, who is a bit more vocal.

Other than that, it’s hard to see a change among the forwards. Rod Brind’Amour will play after missing yesterday’s practice, so Dwight Helminen should be out. Michael Ryan is another guy that I think could do a good job if called upon, but as of Tuesday’s practice he had been relegated to the “black ace” group that skated seperately from the regulars, which makes me think he’s a bit further down the pecking order than a Bayda or Helminen.

At any rate, don’t expect the combinations among the lower lines to stay consistent throughout.

“We’ll move guys around because we want to make sure we’ve got some balance in our bottom two lines,” said Maurice.

On the defensive side, Frantisek Kaberle is available. Ever since he became a regular scratch, I’ve always thought he did a serviceable job in the few games that he’s played. The coaching staff has put him in games in place of Niclas Wallin in the past, so if a change were to be made on that end, I’d expect that to be it.

As long as I’m speculating, you may as well too. Feel free to play coach on the message boards. Here’s a fresh depth chart to help you out.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81