| Preseason Game 2 - Bruins @ Rangers (NHLN, MSG)|
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|In terms of the forward options, I think the only real competition Rooney has at this point is from Barron, and I think he has a significant advantage over Barron as it stands right now. Hunt might be a minor threat, but I see him more as the 13th forward who would come into the line-up on a short term if there's a wing injury. McKegg is your short-term solution for center, with Barron being in the mix there. |
After that I think Nemeth has all but a lock on that left side defense, and even if he continues to play poorly, I think he's going to be around for some time. If the team's winning there's going to be little pressure to replace him, so it might come down to a poor start to the season or an injury to move him out of the way. I think Zac Jones is probably the guy who's going to put the most pressure of Nemeth, but would be surprised to see him start over Nemeth.
On the right side, Lundkvist has looked very comfortable so expect him to remain the projected starter there. Schneider is a little bit behind him, but wouldn't be surprised if he got some time later in the year. On the 7th d-man side, Tinordi looks to be the lock...though that first outing wasn't very impressive...Perhaps Bitetto gets the edge on him and remains the 7th d-man, but I think Tinordi might get the first option because he's "new"/"other". They might also elect to keep Hajek around a little as the 3rd healthy scratch given his waiver status, but not sure he wouldn't pass through at this point.
And we haven't even mentioned Robertson, who missed the first couple of days of camp with a groin injury but has been back on the ice since Saturday. He's got plenty of support within the organization and seems to have had a pretty good prospect camp. He might be the guy that ultimately replaces Nemeth.
With all that said, Gallant openly admitted that there's few real spaces up for grabs....even while specifically pointing out that Kravtsov had to earn his space the next day....so I think the liine-up I projected at the beginning of the month could well be what we see going into Opening night. How long it remains that way will be determined probably mostly by injuries, and then secondarily by results. If some of these kids knock it out of the park in Hartford, then maybe they put pressure on the starters, but if the team is winning, there won't be much pressure to adjust. It's also worth noting that if Hartford finally gets some sustained success, it's going to make it easier for some of these kids to shine.
Steady Eddie - 2021-09-29 8:26 AM
LaFrenger - 2021-09-29 9:29 AM
Rooney last season was simply the best of the worst, Howden, Gauthier, and the others Quinn used on the fourth line. I don’t think he is any kind of a lock to make the team. If your Barron, Richards whoever you better not be overwhelmed by the task of beating Rooney out.
The only downside I can see with Rooney as a 4th liner is his face off percentage. Aside from that, he has everything you would want out of a 4th liner. Was one of our better penalty killers last season.
The bigger questions are on defense. Tinordi, Hajek or Bitetto as the 7th? Do you risk losing Hajek on waivers if he is sent down? Lundkvist or Jones as the 6th? I think the answer to the latter is Lundkvist. The pairing of Schnieder - Jones last night is probably the #1 pair in Hartford, but both have impressed.
I hear u about Rooney I like his game. I like Barron and IMO he’s got to beat out Rooney to stick. Unless there is a big trade, Chytil is pretty much a lock at 3C so Barron’s path is through Rooney who won’t be a fourth line winger with Blais, Reaves and Hunt who had a very good first exhibition game on deck. Sorta comes down to will Drury create a spot for Barron. I guess that depends on his training camp
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