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Atlanta Thrashers Line Combinations: The Tim Stapleton Project Continues

Coach Craig Ramsay’s switched the lines up a bit for tonight’s game, according to Chris Vivlamore. The expected lines for tonight are:

Ladd-Little-Wheeler

Kane-Schremp-Stapleton

Thorburn-Antropov-Stewart

Boulton-Burmistrov-Dvorak

Enstrom-Bogosian

Hainsey-Stuart

Oduya-Postma

I fully expected Zach Bogosian to be reunited with Tobias Enstrom on the top pairing, and for Mark Stuart to be bumped up a pairing to go with Ron Hainsey.

A pleasant surprise was Rob Schremp being bumped up to the second line with Evander Kane. This should provide a bit of speed and scoring potential. Schremp has so far been used on the third and fourth lines here despite having ten goals on the season and a reputation for being effective when paired with fellow goal-minded individuals. Radek Dvorak is not goal minded.

Something that is confusing, though, is why Schremp isn’t centering Kane and Anthony Stewart. Perhaps Ramsay’s trying to send a message to Stewart regarding his play, but Tim Stapleton has exactly one goal and one assist, is slow, does not set up plays, and is generally a placeholder. He usually manages one to two shots on goal, and is an even +/- rating for eight of the last ten games. He’s not doing anything amazing, and yet he’s not doing anything terrible, either. He’s just there.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.