When Marchand and Bergeron return from injury and Soderberg makes it across the pond olde stubborn Claude will have some decisions to make regarding lines and ice time.
I'm a bit concerned with what Claude may do. He's not big on playing guys he doesn't trust (Soderberg anyone)? and he has a penchant for sticking with certain lines and players regardless of performance (specifically lack thereof).
Why have Lucic and Horton for the most part remained on the number 1 line? Why have both Lucic and Horton for the most part continued to receive power play time and the expense of others when they haven't produced all year? Why is Seguin getting his ice time limited? Where was Seguin on that 6 on 4 Power Play to end the Canadians game?
Who knows what Claude will do but this is where I'd start.
First I'd put our most creative and offensively gifted players together. Almost all teams do this. On the PowerPlay does Tampa have Stamkos playing with Nate Thompson. Nope. Stamkos plays with St. Louis and Lecavalier. However we have Jarg at times playing with the Paille's and Campbells of the world (even playing Jagr with the lifeless Lucic and Horton doesn't make sense the way those two have played all year).
Don't get me wrong, Paille and Campbell's efforts have been great but to say they are the types of players you want Jagr playing with is ludicrous especially when you have offensively gifted players on the roster. So here are my prosposed forward lines.
If Lucic or Horton isn't going you sit them and play the likes of Thorton,Caron or Kasper D and do some line juggling according on the 3rd and 4th lines. This team is struggling to score and there is no fighting in the playoffs, so what does Thorton bring to the table? Attitude I guess which is why I would play him on the fourth line in Lucic's spot if Lucic can't get his head out of his ass.
PowerPlay Unit 1
Chara - Hamilton
These three forwards are your best offesnive players and Chara and Hamilton are your best offesnsive defensemen.
PowerPlay Unit 2
Seidenberg - Boychuck
I don't want to see anymore of Campbell, Paille, Caron, or Kelley on any power play unit. If Horton can't get it going play Soderberg or Peverly on the right wing on this 2nd unit.
What Claude is likely to start the playoffs with.
Lucic-Krejci-Horton (even though Lucic and Horton have and continue to be useless)
Marchand - Bergeron -Seguin (you can't argue with this line really I guess)
Paille - Kelly - Peverly (I'd be playing Soderberg on this line in place of Peverly or Paille but Claude won't).
Caron-Campbell-Thorton (I could easily envision Claude benching Soderberg and giving him virtually no ice time regular strength or on the power play because let's face it that's what Claude does with new roster players he doesn't trust).
It won't matter what Claude does with the lines if this team doesn't wake up as a whole though. They are both an offensive and defensive mess lately. I guess the positive news is they haven't even come close to playing their best hockey in months and they've suffered through some key injuries and they still are in position win the NorthEast. They just have to get hot. However right now, this team has one and done written all over them and Claude's coaching and the injuries haven't exactly helped things either.