Lost in all the talk of Goalies?

For all the talk of how to improve the Smith / Ellis situation and now how to deal with three goalies on the roster, part of me wonders if something more important is being overlooked.

Over the past 10 or so games (a handful of games before Smith injured himself), I've felt the D have finally started being more effective and we're getting more timely secondary scoring so relying less on StamLouis to shoulder the load every night - you could probably dress any two of the three goalies, push one vaguely in the direction of the goal at the start of each game / period (being careful with Roloson, naturally, in case DiPietro's injury bug is contagious) and we could compete in each game...

But as Rick Peckham vaguely touched upon during the Rangers broadcast on Saturday, what to do with Steve Downie back from injury in the next few days (if not tomorrow, as has been reported)?  (Giving maybe a game or two to get back into gameshape)

Firstly, the easy bit: he gets the Smaby-Ritola spot, though until the next injury this does have the drawback of removing Boucher's 12-6 / 11-7 flexibility.

Secondly, the third line of Hall - Thompson - Tyrell is so sacrosanct at the moment (and not just for the performance on Saturday, they've been our best line in many a game recently), I wouldn't touch them.

Realistically Downie, Malone and Bergenheim will be shuffled between the other three lines.  Both Malone and Bergenheim have played really well since Downie's injury that it's almost unfair (oh yes, that well-known concept in sport) on either to lose their playing time.

Statistically Malone (12pts in the 13 games) has made the most of his chance, though you have to apportion some of that to playing with StamLouis and consider he has seen a lot of time on the lower lines already this year.  Bergenheim's being playing well recently, and seems to be striking up something with Vinny and Gags (if without much of the end result)... which makes me hesitant to monkey with any chemistry Vinny's building up given his linemate issues over the last few seasons.

Ultimately, I can see thing reverting back to the way they were before Downie's injury: Malone moving back with Moore and Purcell and Downie back with StamLouis, if only because Downie would be more productive on the top line than the 4th and Malone can "look after himself" with the reduced playing time... but whichever way Boucher goes, this is certainly a better position to be in than what we've experienced in recent seasons!

This post was written by a member of the Raw Charge community and does not necessarily represent or express the views or opinions of Raw Charge staff.

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