Monday, December 01, 2008

More line tweaking from JA.

I guess he meant it when he said that we'll see a different team on the 10th.

Kovy's now paired with Reasoner and Thorburn, which should actually be pretty effective. Reasoner's a good puck control guy and Thor is grit and speed. Last year the Kovy/Holik/Thor line at the end of the season was one of the more productive ones, so this might work out pretty well.

Of course, the AJC is screaming "Kovy Demotion!" Um, no. It's a line shift to find people that work better with him. The folks he was paired with weren't cutting it, plain and simple. You can't "demote" Kovalchuk. You do what you can to make sure he scores. We have to, because if not, he walks, and we have no marquee player left on the team. What, are we gonna put billboards of Joey Crabb up all over God's creation?

The new #2 line apparently is Army-Williams-EC. Wow. Feel the rush. I guess this makes the Little White Russian line our new #1, which is where it needs to be.

And in further proof that the AJC is wrong (again):

Amidst the recent struggles Kovalchuk has been one of the consistent bright points. He's shooting the puck more frequently, playing with more enthusiasm, and he just had a three-game point streak snapped. John Anderson has been more than happy with his play since the win in Toronto and the line adjustments today at practice are an attempt to get Ilya rolling at even strength. He wasn't showing great chemistry with Jason Williams and Eric Perrin, so Anderson is going to try him with Marty Reasoner and Chris Thorburn. You may recall that towards the end of last season Kovalchuk played with Thorburn and Bobby Holik and the trio was on fire. Reasoner doesn't have the size of Holik but he has a lot of the same grit. Expect to see an increase in ice-time for Reasoner and Thorburn- not a decrease for Ilya. Anderson has expressed some frustration lately with the play of his team, but he has had nothing but positive things to say about Kovalchuk.

Thanks, Ben. Amazing what happens when you, I don't know, talk to the coach for some explanation. Also, Kari and Bogy were skating around, but #18's still gone with the mysterious upper body groin pull.


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