For those of you who may have missed it, Around The Boards is a new feature here at HabsWorld. Each week, a selection of some of the more interesting posts from our forum the will be profiled here and our authors will contribute their analysis on each given subject. The idea is to share the insight of our board members and, hopefully, encourage further discussion on our forums. In this second edition of ATB, the Canadiens line is a hot-topic while we also take a look at some of the Islanders’ more anonymous players.
The revolving door of wingers on the Gomez-Gionta line has been fodder for much discussion of late, especially since the two have combined for only five points thus far this year. JCG21 thinks Jacques Martin should stick to what he knows: “My suggestion would be to put Benoit Pouliot back on their wing in hopes they can rediscover the chemistry they had last year. Pouliot is skating well and hitting hard. They just need to work on some set plays and score that first goal together to get things going.”
On the other hand, JCPetit feels that the Gomez-Gionta combination has perhaps worn its welcome, at least for the time being: “ …the pair should not play together for a while. I think that they are too predictable right now and that playing with other guys would help them in the long haul.”
Jacques Martin will eventually have to trust one of either Lars Eller or Benoit Pouliot to take a regular shift with the American duo. Grinders like Moen or Pyatt simply do not fit naturally into such a role. If the top line were not playing as well as they are, I would wholeheartedly endorse JCPetit’s suggestion. However, at present, I cannot fathom the thought of breaking up the Plekanec line and it is equally unrealistic to expect Gionta or Gomez to play on one of the bottom two lines. As a perhaps outlandish side note, between the face-offs, defensive assignments and break outs, sometimes it almost seems Gomez is overwhelmed with the responsibilities of being a centre. Which leads me to think, why not put Eller in the middle of Gionta and Gomez, hence giving the Alaskan native more freedom offensively. Hey, it’s a thought.
Finally, whilst looking at the Islanders line-up on Wednesday, sakshab pointed out the following: The Islanders never fail to have a player I have never heard of or seen before in their lineup. Today’s entry is Matt Martin.”
Along with Matt Martin, Mike Iggulden, Peter Mannino, Sean Bentivoglio, Mark Flood, Greg Maulding, Michael Haley and Anton Klementyev have all suited up for the Islanders over the past three seasons. Mysterious players indeed.
That’s all for this second installement of ATB. Until next week, see you on the boards.
Louis Moustakas can be reached for comments, questions, cross-checks and, of course, fan-mail at [email protected]