Chirpin' Grinder wrote:
mikey287 wrote:Good idea. Just some minor housekeeping stuff. Just for handedness purposes. Let's put Scuderi or Despres with Letang. Letang should be on the right side. Bortuzzo can only play RD also.
Mikey, do you see Despres as a potential long-term partner with Letang?
I love the possibilities with that pairing.
I know you are not a Bortuzzo fan, to be kind, but if Martin sticks around, I could see the two of them forming an effective tandem.
Or do you go Martin/Scuderi and put Bortz with one of the kids?
I could see Despres and Letang working. I believe they worked pretty well in the past. Letang felt some responsibility to not hang his young, fellow Francophone out to dry. And Despres could play more within himself because he was not counted on to do as much with the puck and he could focus elsewhere. They can cover a lot of ground with mobility. I think it's worth a strong look. I also believe that Despres has 2/3 upside. Which is not easy to pluck out of me.
No sense dragging Martin down by playing him with Bortuzzo. We must take advantage of the comfort level that Martin has playing his off-side. LHS d-man being comfortable at RD without being a liability defensively (quite the opposite actually) is a luxury in this league. It shouldn't be wasted. Playing him with Bortuzzo moves Martin back to the left. That said, Martin has done his best work with physical defensive defensemen in the past (Salvador, Orpik). But I believe he was on the right side both of those times. Martin playing with Bortuzzo also means that Bortuzzo is playing more than 15 minutes per night, which will turn sour quickly.
Ideally, Bortuzzo is a #7, not a #3/4. His upside is no better than a #6. Anything beyond that, and we're asking for serious trouble. Bortuzzo would be best paired on the right side with a guy like Harrington on the left. Because as much as Bortuzzo is a defensive player, someone still has to constantly cover for his mistakes. So it's not like he could "babysit" a Pouliot or something, he's just not smart enough. So, we have to have someone babysit a defensive defender. It's not an enviable situation. It's unpopular now (just like it was unpopular in the height of Engelland's fame "the sky is the limit" re: potential is still probably my all-time favorite quote here), but I wouldn't lose a second of sleep if Bortuzzo was waived after tc/preseason this year...it would be on merit or it wouldn't happen. But I don't think that's an outlandish scenario given the talent we have.