Last season in San Jose, their 1-2 scoring punch up-the-middle was pretty clear: Joe Thornton with Marleau and Heatley; and Joe Pavelski with whoever wasn’t struggling at the time. However, Todd McLellan is looking to juggle things up in the opener, bumping Joe Thornton down to the second line with Jamie McGinn and Devin Setoguchi and Pavelski to the third line with Ryan Clowe and Torrey Mitchell… giving you a top line of Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Dany Heatley. McLellan cites the need to see growth from the young Couture, McGinn and Mitchell and at 21, we sure hope he’s up for the challenge.
I think it’s fairly obvious what this does to everyone if this lineup sticks:
- The solid powerplay unit of Marleau – Thornton – Heatley is likely to remain in tact but we haven’t seen confirmation of this.
- Joe Pavelski and Ryan Clowe, both drafted as high as 98th and 156th, respectively are seeing third line minutes – not many third liners have cracked fantasy lineups
- Joe Thornton’s value rides on whether or not McGinn and Setoguchi can put up points. It appears as if Setoguchi desperately needs Jumbo Joe’s dishes to come anywhere close to his 65-point season in 2008-09 and win back the hearts of his fantasy owners. Jamie McGinn had 13 points in 59 games last season.
- Logan Couture’s value skyrockets thanks to the quality of his wingers. He put up 9 points in 25 games last season but anybody in super deep leagues in need of a centre should take a flier and ride this out as long as it lasts.