Lots of time left before we know what this team will look like on opening night, but I wish we could figure out what Shero has in mind on the 3rd and 4th lines. The team is softer/weaker than it has been in the past few years. That is a fact. We lost some quality tough guys, pests, hitters, and didn't really replace them.
Shero's motto is "we will always have a team that is hard to play against..."
I realize that guys like Kunitz and Dupuis are tough to play against but I think you get that "hard to play against" tag based on the style and identity of your bottom 2 lines.
Some teams have a bottom 6 filled with cheap shot artists and guys looking to throw elbows and be pests and get in your grill. Other teams employ 3 fighters. Other teams have a bunch of wingers that are 6'3 and 6'4 who play a power game.
What is the identity of our bottom 6?
The 3rd line is basically Sutter and whoever is too soft for line 4 and non skilled enough for line 2? The Tweener line. Is line 3 a scoring line, a defensive line, or a mixture of both? There is no Cooke-Staal-Kennedy identity here or even anything that appears to be a plan of action.
Line 4 is a line for specialists (Adams on the PK) and spare parts with some speed (Harry Z) or is it a line for punishing hitters (?) Or none of the above?
Right now 2 of the 3rd line candidates and 5 of the 4th line candidates are average height at best. I guess we don't value size in our forwards, which is OK, but your team better be fast. Are we as fast as we should be considering the size of our forwards?
Minus Sutter, our bottom 6 candidates are:
With lines 1 and 2 being scoring/skill lines.....our 3rd and 4th lines are going to be filled out with guys who are 5'11-6'0 190lbs. Guys who are not necessarily real fast or real physical?
Is this a huge deal? Not sure, but I'm a big believer in having an identity on each line.