Early Thoughts on Forward Line Combinations Courtesy of NHL 08

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It’s getting to that time. No more trades. Training camp coming up. And no new news. So considering that, I figured I’d make some possible forward line combinations for the Isles this season. And just to make sure they’d work on the ice this season, I did the next best thing to watching them in real life, I played with them on the highest difficult setting in NHL 08 on the XBOX 360 for a few hours.

Yes, I did.

You want to fight about it?

Okay here we go:

Line 1

LW- Sean Bergenheim, C- Mike Comrie, RW- Kyle Okposo- This line was a lot of fun to play with just because of Bergenheim’s toughness and the flashiness of Okposo. I think that Weight may be a better fit here, especially because Bergenheim and Okposo could benefit a little bit more from having a better playmaker with them, but with Comrie’s shooting ability, Bergenheim and Okposo did get solid second chances in the crease, creating several easy goals.

Line 2

LW- Jeff Tambellini, C- Doug Weight, RW-Bill Guerin- The speed of Tambellini really saved this line from being a plodding mess. Guerin’s presence in front of the net did give Weight more room to skate though, which gave Tambellini several chances of f nice passes around the circles. In real life, Islanders head coach Scott Gordon may eventually go to a line like this with one speedy guy to try and get more out of the other players.

Line 3

LW- Trent Hunter, C- Mike Sillinger, RW- Jon Sim- The face off ability of Sillinger and the overall checking ability of Hunter and Sim make this a fantastic energy line. In the defensive end, they were smart and tough and in the offensive zone they worked hard in the corners and while they had problems finishing, they were good enough to pose an offensive threat. This is a line the Isles formed last season that looked great and hopefully they bring them back this season. Here, they easily were the Isles best line in both ends.

Line 4

LW- Richard Park, C-Frans Nielsen, RW- Blake Comeau- Another good energy line, but for different reasons. Park and Nielsen’s speed combined with Comeau’s grit made them solid in their own zone and surprisingly solid in the offensive zone. Again, much like the third line, they had problems finishing and lacked the raw ability to get past defenders, but they proved they could hold their own against top lines. There was a problem however with the line’s overall toughness, as they were pushed aside by bigger teams and taken advantage of in corners.

Now that you’ve sit idly by and read this all, I have a question for you: Why aren’t you outside? It’s beautiful out!

Photo by Gamespot.com