The Colorado Avalanche top line has been together for quite sometime now. I think it’s time we split them up to develop the other lines.
The Colorado Avalanche big line has stayed together till recently. Personally I would like to see them get split up, but differently then what coach Jared Bednar decided to do. I personally would like to see either Nathan MacKinnon or Gabriel Landeskog moved down to the second line instead of Mikko Rantanen. I have a few reasons for preferring those two as well.
If MacKinnon was moved we could swap centers and have J.T. Compher move to line one with Rantanen and Landeskog. Compher would fit in on this line because he has great vision on the ice and would not look lost. He also can be and has been a finisher when the right person sets him up. We have seen with Rantanen this season he is a great set up man.
When Compher was with Landeskog and MacKinnon, he scored as well. What MacKinnon would bring to the second line is a person for Alexander Kerfoot and Jost to look up to as a model player. He is a good finisher and as we have seen with Kerfoot he is a pass first kind of guy. MacKinnon would be great to finish Kerfoot’s set up and show Tyson Jost how to grow in the position.
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I would also like if Jost went to work out in the off season with MacKinnon, Rantanen, Crosby, and their trainer. If MacKinnon is really the player we think he is, he should be able to make all the players around him better. I would love to see that for Kerfoot and Jost.
If we moved Landeskog it would be a different kind of change. I would still prefer Compher to be the one to move because he has been the most consistent in scoring on average than the other two. If Compher was with MacKinnon and Rantanen, it would give them a little bit of fire and extra vision. Compher would be the hard working grinder on this line, no doubt about it.
Compher could also take faceoffs instead of MacKinnon because that’s MacKinnon’s black eye. While some say faceoffs are not as important, I think winning a faceoff in the defensive zone gives you a better chance of exiting and transitioning, while winning in the offensive zone means you can set up correctly and get scoring chances.
What Landeskog would bring to the second line is what they need, leadership and physicality. When I think of Jost and Kerfoot I think of two smaller guys that do not hit unless they have to. Landeskog would bring the physical element of his game with him to the second line. He would also bring the leadership, being the captain and all.
These are two young players both in their sophomore years in the NHL. They both could use some leadership to show them how to navigate the sophomore slump. Landeskog is also good at scoring goals when he is set up. Kerfoot would be a great set up man, dishing the puck to Landeskog after Landeskog had powered his way into the offensive zone. Something our second line is lacking.
I think moving Rantanen was the wrong move because he is still a young player himself, only one year younger then MacKinnon but still developing. Landeskog and MacKinnon have both been in the league longer then Rantanen due to him being younger and his time in the minor league. Landeskog and MacKinnon both know what it is to be stars in the NHL both having won the Calder; and MacKinnon being up for the Ted Lindsey and Hart trophies last season.
Rantanen is an amazing player but I don’t think he can handle being moved to line two to develop other players just yet.
I am also fine with leaving the top line together, because why fix something that isn’t broken? I just believe for a few games, why not give it a shot?
Line combo potential