Sunday, September 18, 2011

Roster Predictions


T.J. Oshie by Hjelle
                               T.J. Oshie, a photo by Hjelle on Flickr.

By ANDREW ALLSMAN

ALHAMBRA, IL-- With the season opener just around the corner, many people are wondering what the roster is going to look like.

DISCLAIMER: This is in no way, shape, or form the Blues official roster, they are lines put together by me to list what I think are the best lines.


The Blues are expected to keep 14 forwards, 7 defenseman, 2 goalies. So lets get started.


Forward lines- The Blues have 12 players that are a lock for the forward position (* next to player name means lock) and so that leaves only two remaining forward positions up for grabs.

1st line- *Backes/ *McDonald/ *D'Agostini

There is a lot of debating going on about whether or not Stewart should be on this line, but the Blues have specifically said they want to keep Stewart and Backes on separate lines, but if things aren't going well, look for Payne to maybe move Stewart to this line. Also look for D'Agostini to maybe switch lines throughout the season.

2nd line- *Oshie/ *Berglund/ *Stewart

This is perhaps my favorite line (remember its by no means an official line yet) due to the fact that Oshie and Berglund have great chemistry together, and putting two big bodies like Berglund and Stewart on the same line will create havoc for the defense that is tasked with stopping them. In my opinion this line is better than the 1st.

3rd line- *Langenbrunner/ *Arnott/ *Steen

A fairly decent 3rd line if I must say so myself. Arnott is a big body, we all know what steen is capable of, and I believe Langenbrunner is going to compliment Arnott very well. With this being said, You have to wonder if Arnott and Langenbrunner have anything left, but I think everyone on this line will score 15-20 goals which is a pretty good 3rd line.

4th line- *Crombeen/ *Nichol/ *Sobotka

I like Sobotka's style of play (aggressive and fast) but I don't think he is at the point where he will contribute to more than 12 goals, but you never know. Nichol might be switched around at the end of games when you need to win that all too important face off (not a Blues strong point last season) due to his high face off percentage, but he will spend the majority of his time on the 4th line because scoring is not his strong point. I don't see Crombeen playing that much this season, unless your playing a team that is physical. The reason I don't see him playing too much, is because I see the Blues finding scoring to be more important than roughing players up, and they have some scorers that would love to take his spot (I will talk about this later on).



Bench- Cheechoo and Grachev (third choice would be Reaves)

When I say bench, I am referring to players I think will make the team out of camp and could be used on 3rd and 4th lines (don't see these players taking any of the 1st or 2nd line spots). Cheechoo has been known to score goals but does he still have that ability, because if he does he hasn't shown it in the past few seasons, but for some reason I'm feeling a comeback season. Grachev is (from what I've heard) a massive body on the ice, and not a bad offensive player by any means, I expect him to wow coaches in camp and take one of the forward spots. Reaves has a good chance of making the team if he has even a remotely good camp, but from what I saw of him last year, I'm not expecting it. Any of these players can battle for a spot in the Forward lineup, but Crombeen is the player they would probably have the best shot of replacing, so if he has a good season, I would not expect these players to play too many games


Defensive lines
The Blues are expected to keep 7 defenseman, and they are pretty much a lock. I will name them, but putting them into line combinations is virtually impossible, because I cant even begin to guess who will be with who

I believe these will be the Blues defenseman on the roster(in no specific order): Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Polak, Colaiacovo, Jackman, Huskins, Nikitin


Goalies
Also very unpredictable to guess, but I believe Elliot will be backing up *Halak and Bishop will be in the minors, but this isn't based on any facts, just pure speculation.




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