Editor’s lines 2.0
Tarasenko, O’Reilly, Perron
Given the fact that Tarasenko has not been used with these two during the preseason, this one is a pipe dream. Nevertheless, I would still like a more extended run with Tarasenko and O’Reilly.
Maybe they don’t mesh and this is known to the staff. However, from an outside perspective, it seems like they’ve never been given enough of a look.
Maybe it’s not the case inside the locker room, but Perron seems like he fits with just about anyone on the opposite wing. As long as he did not revert to the early Blues days, too much dangle Perron, this would be a good mix.
Saad, Schenn, Buchnevich
This line would just work you to death. Nobody has blazing speed or a shot that will break the sound barrier, but they have very few holes in their game.
My one complaint about Buchnevich in the couple preseason games I have seen him is he seems a little careless with the puck at times. However, opposite of that is that he works his tail off to get it back.
Saad and Schenn are just about as dependable as it gets. Of course, everyone will have an off game or two, but these guys are just going to work.
It again boils down to who can a defense focus on? You’re going to wear them down with this line.
Bozak, Thomas, Kyrou
This particular third line is a combination line. You have the vet in Bozak that can lead the two youngsters, firstly.
You also put Bozak with Thomas because they have history together over the last couple seasons and, again, Bozak covers up for Thomas’ weakness in the faceoff circle. Bozak is versatile enough to play his off wing too, though I’m sure he would rather not if that was an option.
On top of all that, I would just like to see Thomas and Kyrou play together. I trust the coaching staff if they think they don’t mesh well, but it would be great to see two young players come up together and end up being a long standing pairing.
Kostin, Joshua, Barbashev
I like this potential fourth line because it gives a different look while still providing some offensive punch. You’re not as likely to get goals, but you won’t not put this trio out there for fear they will never score.
Kostin still has scoring potential, though it has not quite translated in North America. Perhaps it never will. The guy has learned to get that sand paper in his game though.
Barbashev is not the human missile that Sammy Blais was, but he’s going to put some people into the wall. That’s what is so great about him is that he can play a fourth-line game when he’s there, but tweaks his style to fit a top-nine role when he fills in higher in the roster.
Last, but not least, Dakota Joshua might not be an every day NHL player, but he has impressed in the times we have seen him. He’s not going to get you double-digit goals with any consistency, but he’s not afraid to shoot the puck. That’s something the Blues need. Joshua has already endeared himself to fans with his physicality and willingness to mix it up. I would not be shocked to see him start the season with the Blues.
Overall, it is hard to go wrong with any of the potential lineups. It is exciting to feel like you can plug and play anyone just about anywhere.
If the Blues are forced to break up any of their “pairs”, that just increases your options. Let us not forget that Oskar Sundqvist will be back sometime in November.
If Berube can find a way to keep these guys hungry and fighting for ice time, this team could be dangerous, even if it does not have the top-end talent of the Colorado’s of the world.