What will Ethan Moreau's return do to the lineup?
Ethan Moreau is on the verge of returning to the lineup. The broken hand that was suffered at the hands (no pun intended) of the same Anaheim (Mighty, hehe) Ducks the Jackets will face tonight is healing. We were hearing reports from Coach Arniel that Moreau could play on this road trip if there were any significant injuries to the team. Thankfully thats not the case.
(Side note: Since his hand was "swelling like a grapefruit" I'm curious if it looked something like this - which would be pretty cool.) More after the jump!
So my question is, what do we do when he returns? He's going to fit in the lineup somewhere, but where? Using tonight's lineup against the Duckies seen meow, odds are it'll be a 4th line guy. The way I see it...
Someone will be moved from the checking line down to the 4th. Since Samuel Pahlsson owns the center spot, its either Chris Clark or Derek Dorsett. They've both played really well wherever they've been in the lineup, so moving them shouldn't be a problem.
Here's where it gets fishy. Who gets moved up to the press box?
Jared Boll - I'll admit, I'm not a huge Boller fan, but I also will say I don't dislike seeing him in the lineup. He's definitely played well this year. He gives his all every night and does his absolute best to put pressure on the other team. On the other hand, his lack of offense hurts a team that is having a hard time scoring goals.
Kyle Wilson - How can you deny a lineup spot to this guy? Since training camp before the season started, he's been a great surprise to the team. He's even been on some people's radars for the Calder Trophy. (more). How long can we expect Wilson to keep up his .7 points per game pace?
Andrew Murray - Just coming off an injury that saw him miss the start of the season, Murray was immediately put into the lineup in favor of Derek MacKenzie (who in his own right, held his own.) Now D-Mac is day-to-day with the dreaded lower body injury, and the team needs Murray more than when he was injured. If Murray is the one, watch and see the coaching staff slide Wilson to the center and put Moreau on the wing.
I can see Jared Boll sitting out due to his lack of offense.
I can see Kyle Wilson sitting out if he stops producing
I can see Andrew Murray sitting out to insert more leadership and offense into the lineup.
Moreau has been out for about 4 weeks. His original timetable for a return was 4-6. He's getting closer and closer to being back on the ice. This should be a tough decision for the coaches to make. Tune in to see what happens next...