In case you haven't noticed, OH MY WORD OUR DEFENSE IS GOING TO END LIVES NEXT YEAR.
If you were Dan Bylsma, how would you structure the defensive pairings next year?
I'm trying to figure out what's the best way for us to maximize our pairings.
Option A: Frontloading
Putting 2 of Michalek, Orpik & Martin together on the first pairing with the odd man out to partner Letang. Gogo & Rev. Lovejoy to form our 3rd pairing.
My problem with this is the Lovejoy/Gogo pairing. Gogo looked pretty raw last year and I'm not sure putting him next to another rookie like Lovejoy will be good for both their developments. I'm not convinced that Tanger can take a mentor role to either of them at this stage in his career but you gotta admit that Orpik/Michalek pairing looks intimidating, even on paper.
Option B: Spreading the Wealth
We split Orpik, Michalek & Martin into all three pairings so they can mentor the youngsters as well as giving us a three headed monster in defense.
I can see how this might work for us, but it just seems wasteful. On the plus side, it gives us the best possible chance for Lovejoy & Gogo to develop.
PensFan8725 and I touched on this a little in the Shots & Territorial Possession fanpost. Go read it if you haven't. GoPens! did a heckuva job on it.
The great thing about our new D, is that any of the top 4 guys could easily be in the top pairing. So here’s what I think the D will look like:
Each pairing has a right hander and each one has a great puck mover. I think Orpik and Michalek would be an absolutely solid shutdown pairing. Maybe one of the best in the league. Orpik could knock you into next week, while Z can take away your space or block you shot, if you do somehow get away from him.
I think it's a bit redundant to throw up a whole post to ask this, but I'm really curious on what everyone here thinks.
However it goes, with both Big Z & Martin plus Letang's continued improvement, the future of our blue-line looks very bright.