Bi-Weekly Question: Defensive Lines?

So, I’m back, and I’ve got another question to run by you guys; what will the Predators defensive lines look like at the start of the season? I’ve got a few ideas I’d like to share with you and would really like to hear your feedback so leave some comments or tweet me (@CamBuzzBrushett).

Anyways lets start with the most obvious of the three defensive lines, the first line, Weber and Suter. Together, they’re almost unstoppable, seperated, they’re just ok. As long as these two are on the same team they should play on the same line there’s no doubt in my mind about that. Take last year’s playoffs for example, the two of them along with Rinne’s outstanding goaltending were the reason they won that series against Anaheim. Without them the Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan line would’ve scored left and right. That’s not to say the rest of the team didn’t play great of course, it was a team effort after all, but let’s face it if Suter and Weber hadn’t been there the Predators probably wouldn’t have gotten past the first round.

The second line I’m putting Klein and Blum together, if Blum or Ellis could bulk up a bit I’d be willing to put the two of them together instead but until that happens they’re going to need some protection. Personally I don’t have complete confidence in Klein but I definitely saw a lot of promise from Blum in the playoffs last year, he didn’t make many mistakes and the one’s he did make were small and relatively insignificant. I think they’d make a pretty decent, solid pair and who knows with Blum setting up Klein, who has a decent shot, he could get a good few more goals than normal.

The third line I’ve got similar to the second line with Ellis and Sloan together. I have these two together for the same reason I paired Blum and Klein. I want Ellis getting the points and Sloan there for protection. Sloan’s a big guy, he’s 6’4 and 214 pounds he’s got plenty of size to go around. This is probably best for Ellis because he’s pretty darn small but I’m definetly not worried about his point production, from what I’ve seen this guy is just outsatnding offensively and anyone with Sloan’s size is bound to have a hard shot so I’m expecting some points from these two as well.

Lastly I’ll talk a bit about about what I want the defensive specialty lines (powerplay and penalty kill) to look like. Weber and Suter would be the first line for both penalty kill and powerplay because they have by far the most experience and skill, not too mention their physicality and the power of their shots are far too valuable not to use in either situation. The second line for the penalty kill I have the two big guys together, Sloan and Klein, because when it comes to keeping someone from scoring a goal having a longer reach and being able to knock someone down are much more important than being able to pass well or set up a nice play. Then last but not least we have Ellis and Blum on the second powerplay line, honestly I’d expect these guys to do as well or possibly even better than Suter and Weber on the powerplay. Both of them have great offensive instincts and if these two can’t produce on the powerplay nobody can.

Thanks for reading you guys, I’d like to hear what you have to say, do you agree with all my lines, some of them or none of them. Let me know either through the comment section below or via twitter (twitter name is in the first paragraph in case you forgot). My next post will be about the offensive lines I’d like to see come the start of next season, that’ll be up on Wednesday so stay tuned!

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