Extreme Makeover- Avs Edition

Tony Granato has changed up the lines for tomorrow's game, per Dater.


Obviously things needed to be changed because the status quo wasn't working, but there's some things about this move that strike me as odd.

The first thing you notice is Wolski is going to be centering the second line. I actually like this a lot. One thing that always struck me about Wolski is that his coaches (see Quenneville) saw his size and strength and turned him into a power forward. But I don't think that fits Wolski's game at all. His situation has always reminded me of Joe Thornton's tenure in Boston. Thornton was used improperly for a long time, Boston coaches and Media wanted him to drive to the net and be a power player, but that's not his game and it's not Wolski's game.

Once the shackles of those expectations were lifted Thornton flourished with a Hart trophy and future Hall of Fame play. I don't expect Woitek to be on that level, but I'm hopeful a return to his natural position, and style of play, will allow him to flourish into the player we all think he can be.

I am happy Stewert is getting the opportunity to play on the first line. I cannot think of a game where he had a poor effort since coming up to the big club, and he has played extremly well. He has earned this opportunity.

However, TJ Hensick has not. The guy has been invisible and frankly if I had the choice of benching him or Arnason right now I would bench Hensick (well send him down to LE). I hope being on a line between Smyth and Stewert (two extremly hard workers) can rekindle something in him but I think Granato should have a short leash with him.

Guite hasn't been himself since coming back to the lineup, and I'm wondering if he ever fully recovered from his injury. If not a team that is abysmal at faceoffs shouldn't have him in the press-box. I will say he hasn't been nearly the same player and I can understand the decision to bench him.

I don't like Lappy on the fourth line, not one bit. The guy is one of the few players producing and giving a solid effort every night. If Hensick doesn't work out at first line center (and to be honest there's nor reason to think he will) Lappy should take the helm.

You know, with a few small moves this could still be a good team (on paper) but no matter what way you shuffle the line the third line is just weak. The personel just don't mesh well. Tucker-Arnason-Svats? Yuck. Not only is that line mismatched on offense, but that's a gigantic hole in defense right there. When Marek Svatos is the best defensive forward on a line, well let's just say I doubt Granato will throw that line out there for own-zone face-offs. The worst part is that anyone could see this coming a mile away in the offseason.

Not shoring up a solid third line was Francois Giguere's biggest mistake this offseason. More on this tomorrow...

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