Your Pre-Game Appetizer

Here's a small platter to nibble on, as we get nearer the puck drop against Vancouver.

 - There was a bit of an ado about Head Coach Mike Yeo breaking up the "top line" (re: only line, really) of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and Dany Heatley; Heatley will now play with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard while Charlie Coyle, he of one NHL game and a thick Boston accent, will play alongside Parise and Koivu.
Yeo's rationale behind the move was that he feels Heatley would add an element to PMB and Cullen's line, similar to what Guillaume Latendresse (remember him? Hell, I thought I'd never have to remember how to spell his name again) brought. Its not secret that Heatley, at this stage, needs some help getting his table set, so in theory PMB should help that; however Heatley is not Latendresse, even though they are relatively similar size-wise. Coyle certainly brings size to the top line, but also a great work ethic and the ability to control the puck along the boards, which in theory should make the "top line" much  more effective.

Which is the problem; instead of spreading the wealth in order to get other lines going, and you know, creating some secondary scoring- it seems to me that this edition of line shuffling will only result in the same problem; one line will do all the scoring, while the others contribute little. Moving Dany Heatley to a different line isn't going to create the desired effect; in order to get another line going, you have to break up Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.

Look, as much as we adore the concept of these two not just playing together but enhancing each other's games, they, on a line together, create a front-loaded effect. Put Koivu together with PMB and Heatley, while Parise can play with Cullen/Granlund and Coyle. Whatever combination you want really, as long as they are on separate lines- spread the wealth. Parise is going to create shots/chances no matter who he plays with, and Koivu's got a line history of playing with some...guys *cough* Antti Miettinen*cough* so would it be that steep a drop off to play with guys like Heater and PMB?

No. But I can see Mike Yeo getting all "JoJo The Indian Circus Boy" on the bit and keeping those together, in essence suffocating the other lines.

- If Yeo "doesn't believe in 2nd, 3rd, 4th lines", like he said in the interview with KFAN's Paul Allen today, why wouldn't he split up Koivu and Parise? If needed they can play together in crunch time or "close" situations when the bench gets shortened and guys get double shifted.
- Better yet, I like the idea of those two setting the bar for the work ethic put forth on every shift, forcing their linemates to step up their games.
- If Mikael Granlund, who will be making his maiden voyage to visit the James Sheppard Memorial Popcorn Machine tonight, was so good playing on the wing last game, why not just make him a wing? I mean, doesn't it contrast with the most recent acquisition of Mike Rupp, saying you need more size but intend to keep a 5'10" rookie at pivot? Put him on the wing where he's got less responsibility and more flexibility and opportunity to create.
- Here's a fun little tool: Super Shot Search.
- Looks like its inevitable that the Devin Setoguchi era here in Minnesota is going to end. Can we even get a return in a trade?
- Curious to see what Mike Rupp brings to the table, if anything.
- Finally...Torrey Mitchell's on the "third line" again, after a great game in Phoenix. Called it...

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