Outside of a brief time in the first and third periods, the offense didn't generate great chances in my opinion. The overall effort was better, but compared to Saturday night it had no place to go but up. Coach Trotz's lines tonight seemed to be an attempt to make 3 even strength lines along with a checking line. I say make the "big dog" line that generates a good chance 4 out of 5 times on the ice. I don't think the Preds have the talent depth to spread the offense across 3 lines. Go with Arnott, Dumont and either Sullivan or Erat at the top line. Make a second strong line. Pair some speed guys on the 3rd line and then go bruisers on the 4th line. Tootoo is best served on the 4th line agitating and drawing penalties. Legwand had an offensive resurgence at winger, but Trotz moved him back to center tonight. ???????. Move improved Radek Bonk up to center 2nd line. He wins faceoffs and will stand in front of the net. He can also bring the puck out of the corner. Here are my line choices for the 2nd half of the season that gives us the best chance to produce/score/win.
Arnott centers Dumont/Erat
Bonk centers Legwand/Sullivan
Santorelli centers Jones/Pihlstrom
Nichol centers Tootoo/Smithson
Other items of note from the Devils game:
* Listening to player's comments after the game they seem happy with effort and looking for some bounces to go their way. I think that is dangerous. I would like to see more unhappiness they didn't win, especially following the effort Saturday against Atlanta.
* Coach Trotz seemed to come down on J.P. Dumont after the game, saying he is not skating. He obviously wants to see more life and work out of him.
* We are still at a scary time. A win would have been great going into the all star break. How will the team react coming back? There is a big western Canada swing after the break followed by a bunch of home games in February. The Preds have a bunch of work to get done and little room for error.