Managing Minutes (Playoff Strategy)
posted at 2/10/2011 6:16 PM ESTI'm not the first to say so but Ference is having a fantastic year. I really think that he's playing like a No.2 right now. He's always involved. It is my belief that Kampfer will stay on the top line with Chara for most of the remainder of the season in order to get him as much experience and confidence as possible. However, I believe in the playoffs his minutes will be more managed. I believe at that point he will become a power play specialist and his minutes in regular strength play will pobably be greatly reduced, particularly if we are playing with a lead. I have to imagine that Chara, Ference, Seidenberg and the guy who is playing best at that time (preferably Boychuck or a player we have yet to trade for) will play more lopsided minutes then the manner in which our D were deployed in last year's playoffs. I don't think we will go to the extreme that the Flyers employed but I do think that we have more players this year who need to be 'managed properly'.
I believe this should be the case with our forward lines as well. I think Campbell should center a true Checking line (3rd line) and out of Seguin, Wheeler, Ryder, Thornton, Caron... the two who are playing best at the time should play on that line with Campbell while the others play as little as is feasible. I know this is not Claude's style but due to injuries and underdeveloped roster players like Seguin and Kampfer this seems to be a no brainer.