Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Paddock's Predicament

We all know that the Pizza Line can be recombinated as necessary late in games or during slumps to boost the offense (the stinker in Toronto the other night is the exception that sort of proves the rule). The trouble is, rely on it too much as a default setting and your opponents will adjust.

Last night saw Heatley and Spezza clicking along with Kelly and Neil on the wing.

Alfredsson played with everyone and their dog in just under 23 minutes, seeing time with Fisher, Vermette, Kelly and McAmmond at even strength and Eaves on the powerplay. He also spent time with Fisher killing penalties.

Comparing the forward's goal distribution from the 20 playoff games of 06-07 and the first 19 games of 07-08, the Sens are already looking a little less top heavy:

Looking back at last spring, Paddock knows how a desperation shuffle to avoid the Checking Line From Hell came far too late. His mission this season is to find a reliable one-two punch that withstand several rounds of playoff checking. Now is the perfect time to experiment - the team is rolling into the second quarter with a healthy divisional lead and a healthy lineup.

The alternative is to wait for Bryan Murray deliver a $3.5 million surprise at the trade deadline.

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