The BSN Avalanche Podcast returns with Nathan Rudolph and Luke Marshall taking another look at the two major trades the Avs made this offseason as well as deciphering how the top six is shaping up.

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  • I liked your breakdown on how the top 6 will probably shake out over the season. I do think they’ll probably look at breaking that top line up on a regular basis with the knowledge that you can go right back to it at the drop of a hat in the middle of a game when you get a favorable match up. One option that I would like to see them try out (at least in the pre-season) is to throw Greer up with MacK and Mikko. My thinking behind this is that we’re probably going to lose him if he hits waivers, so let’s see what he’s got. Second, I think if you put him in that role with those two players he could really excel. His job would be simple – go retrieve the puck, get the puck to someone (MacK, Mikko, Makar, G), then go to the crease to cause havoc and clean up garbage. I think this is a worthwhile experiment early in the season because if it works, it could be an absolute home run. Curious on your thoughts about this idea.

    • As long as it’s just in the preseason, I’ve got no problem with it. But if Bednar really wants to see how he’d play in a game situation, I don’t know if putting him with play drivers like Mack and Mikko makes the most sense. I’m sure he’d look a lot better than he really is while playing alongside those two

      • Getting players producing above their natural ability is kind of the point. We don’t have salary cap issues coming up this year, and probably not for another 2-4 years but when we do get to the point of being a cap limit cup contending team, we need cheaper players that can produce with the superstars when given specific roles to play. MacK and Mikko are perfectly capable of driving the play on that line, and if you want to split that trio up to spread the offense around some, then you need someone who can find chemistry with them. You could look at putting Burakovsky in that spot, but he needs to be more of a shooter and there won’t be enough pucks to go around there. Compher would be a good fit style wise, but that would give you two guys playing on off wings (even though Mikko is a natural RW as a lefty shot). The obvious choice would probably be Jost, but when you put another high skill guy with those two, chemistry can be an issue. Another interesting option (probably later in the season as a call up or next year) would be Bowers who might offer even more in regards to being more responsible in the D zone and give them a left handed face off option like they have used Landy in the last couple of years.

  • Nathan and Luke, great PC on the make up of the forward lines this coming season. You nail it with the hope factor on AB and TJ. If they don’t live up to expectation, do you see an opportunity for Kaut and Bowers in the line up and where? JD does seem like a good insurance player for the 2nd line if AB and TJ struggle. Thanks for keeping hockey alive in August.

    • Thanks for the support! I think if Jost is struggling bad enough to be replaced by Kaut then he’s done something really wrong. That being said, I’d be really excited to see what Kaut can do. Sadly I don’t think we’ll see him much without a couple serious injuries since Kamenev factors in as a scratch forward. As far as Bowers goes, I’d be really surprised if we see him in the NHL at all this year. He’s got a lot of bodies to go through.

      • Luke, yeah we sure don’t want to see Jost struggle that bad. Wouldn’t be good. And AB too. I had forgotten about Kamenev. I am not use to the avs having real depth at the forward position. Just hoping that AB and TJ become true top six guys who can drive the play and score goals.

  • I thought the discussion on PP1 near the beginning was odd. Is there any doubt that Kadri will be on PP1? I’d just about bet my house on it. I’ll be pretty surprised if it’s not the top line guys plus Kadri taking the 4th forward role that Jost/Compher/Wilson all cycled thru with Makar taking Barrie’s spot in the back.

    If Jost or Burakovsky don’t live up to expectations, I’d much rather have Donskoi move up than Wilson. I think the big concern is if both of those guys falter. Jost looked so good at the end of the season and in the playoffs, if he can duplicate that level of play on a line next to Kadri he’ll become as huge a piece of the puzzle as we’ve hoped.

    I continue to believe that 29 needs 92 riding shotgun to keep that line honest defensively. If I were going to drop anyone off that line it would be 96. I suspect that Kadri and Rantanen would play very well together much like Marner and Kadri did before Tavares showed up.

    Interesting discussion.

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