Jan 30, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Milan Michalek (9) and centre Kyle Turris (7) celebrate goal scored by right wing Daniel Alfredsson (11) in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

What Will A Healthy Ottawa Senators Lineup Look Like In The Playoffs?

With so many players in and out of the lineup, it is tough to imagine what the team will look like when all players are healthy and available for action. Here is how the lineup looked last night:

 

Guillaume Latendresse  -  Kyle Turris  -  Daniel Alfredsson

Cory ConacherMika ZibanejadJakob Silfverberg

Colin GreeningZack SmithChris Neil

Erik CondraPeter ReginMatt Kassian

Scratches – Mike Hoffman, Jim O’Brien

Marc MethotEric Gryba

Mike LundinChris Phillips

 Sergei GoncharPatrick Wiercioch

Scratch – Andre Benoit

 

So as the Senators (hopefully) get some healthy bodies back over the next three weeks leading into the playoffs, here is how I would envision the lineup looking heading in to the playoffs:

Silfverberg – Jason SpezzaMilan Michalek

Conacher – Turris – Alfredsson

Greening – Zibanejad – Latendresse

Condra – Smith – Neil

Spares: O’Brien, Kassian, Regin

 

Basically they have 7 guys who should be capable of playing in the top 6.  This allows some flexibility for Paul MacLean, to mix it up even during games depending on who is going well on any given night.  I don’t anticipate the “rookie line of Conacher, Zibanejad and Silfverberg to remain intact in the playoffs.  It would be tough for a trio of first year players to succeed on the same line, and I think you might see them spread over the top three lines.   You will likely see the Spezza-Michalek and Turris-Alfredsson pairings stay intact,  but anything after that is pretty fluid.  The depth is very impressive, as all players would be capable of playing in the top 9, and a 4th line of Condra, Smith and Neil is pretty dam strong.

 

Methot – Gryba

Gonchar – Wiercioch

Phillips – Jared Cowen

The lineup on the blue line is pretty much what you get right now, with Lundin and Benoit being the odd men out, assuming Cowen can come back and get a few games in at the end of the regular season to get up to speed.  Otherwise, Lundin and Benoit could continue to be rotated into the lineup as the 6th man.  This also assumes Erik Karlsson doesn’t make a miraculous recovery from his achilles injury and will be unavailable for the playoffs.  Should he be able to suit up, Gryba would come out of the rotation.

In the net, I still think Craig Anderson will be the number one heading into the playoffs, with Robin Lehner obviously backing him up. Anderson has more experience and will be rested after being out almost 6 weeks.

Tags: Daniel Alfredsson Erik Karlsson Jared Cowen Jason Spezza Mika Zibanejad Milan Michalek Ottawa Senators Playoffs

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