#4 – What will the line combinations be?
The talk about what line Smyth will play on is the perfect transition to the next question that the exhibition games will help answer. What will the line combinations be when the regular season gets under way?
Early on in camp Eakins had the lines set so that no one could have predicted them. Hall, Smyth and Hemsky on the first line completely dis-spells my theory of where Smyth might end up. Ryan Hamilton, Sam Gagner and Eberle were the slotted second line while Gordon, Perron and Yakupov made up the third line. That left Will Acton, Jesse Joensuu and Mike Brown to form the fourth line.
Again, some combinations that no one saw coming and while many fans are ready to put Eakins in the loony house, these early lines mean very little.
Eakins has said he prefers to find suitable duos for line combinations rather than focusing on trios that work well together. If that carries over into the pre-season games, which it will, then we can expect to see some tinkering and experimenting. Following the exhibition gigs, the line combinations will start to take shape but everyone who follows hockey, nothing is certain in this game and what the lines look like to start the season won’t resemble the same picture in March and April.