FanPost

Opening Night Line-up

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With Alzner signed I have decided to spend an slow, off-season Sunday compiling What I believe the opening night line-up will look like for the Caps.  I made this list under the fairly reasonable assumption that Sjogren will make the team.  Given the nature of his contract and his professional experience I think it's pretty unlikely that he won't.  I have also not touched the first line; Boudreau has toyed with it in the past, but let's be honest Ovie-Backstrom-Knuble is what we'll always come back to (unless #22 really starts feeling his age).  The first two line-ups are a bit redundant, but I thought the prospect of three young Sweetish centers was too compelling not to address.  That being said here is what I believe the opening-night line-up will be.  

 

MOST LIKELY 

FORWARDS

Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Mike Knuble ($2.000m)

Alexander Semin ($6.700m) / Brooks Laich ($4.500m) / Troy Brouwer ($2.350m)

Joel Ward ($3.000m) / Marcus Johansson ($0.900m) / Mattias Sjogren ($0.900m)

Matt Hendricks ($0.825m) / Jeff Halpern ($0.825m) / Jason Chimera ($1.875m)

Jay Beagle ($0.512m)

 

DEFENSEMEN

Mike Green ($5.250m) / Roman Hamrlik ($3.500m)

Karl Alzner ($1.285m) / John Carlson ($0.845m)

Jeff Schultz ($2.750m) / Dennis Wideman ($3.937m)

John Erskine ($1.500m)

 

GOALTENDERS

Tomas Vokoun ($1.500m) / Michal Neuvirth ($1.150m)

 

Cap Space: 1,722,372

Given Liach's contract and the obvious gap at second line center I think the team has no choice but to try him there. That being said, if he were up to the task we wouldn't have traded for Arnott only a few months ago, so I think his time there will be short lived and we'll see something closer to the second roster here.  I've put Chimera on the fourth line because I think his good North/West speed will make him a better energy line player than scorer especially if he can add a bit more snarl to his game.  

SWEETISH CENTERS

 

FORWARDS

Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Mike Knuble ($2.000m)

Alexander Semin ($6.700m) / Marcus Johansson ($0.900m) / Troy Brouwer ($2.350m)

Joel Ward ($3.000m) / Mattias Sjogren ($0.900m) / Brooks Laich ($4.500m)

Matt Hendricks ($0.825m) / Jeff Halpern ($0.825m) / Jason Chimera ($1.875m)

Jay Beagle ($0.512m)

 

DEFENSEMEN

Mike Green ($5.250m) / Roman Hamrlik ($3.500m)

Karl Alzner ($1.285m) / John Carlson ($0.845m)

Jeff Schultz ($2.750m) / Dennis Wideman ($3.937m)

John Erskine ($1.500m)

 

GOALTENDERS

Tomas Vokoun ($1.500m) / Michal Neuvirth ($1.150m)

 

Cap Sapce: 1,722,372

Brouwer and Liach would obviously be interchangeable between the second and third lines, I only put Liach on the third because I thought it spread out the talent a little more evenly and I like the idea of having the tough Troy Brouwer on the same line as Semin.  Sjogren and Johansson would be as interchangeable as Liach and Brouwer I only put Johansson higher because he's got a year of NHL experience under his belt.  Sjogren is a wing and center but has played more at center so assuming he can take a faceoff in this league he'll be put in his most comfortable position.  

EAKIN MAKING THE LINE-UP

 

FORWARDS

Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Mike Knuble ($2.000m)

Alexander Semin ($6.700m) / Marcus Johansson ($0.900m) / Troy Brouwer ($2.350m)

Mattias Sjogren ($0.900m) / Cody Eakin ($0.637m) / Brooks Laich ($4.500m)

Matt Hendricks ($0.825m) / Jeff Halpern ($0.825m) / Joel Ward ($3.000m)

Jay Beagle ($0.512m)

 

DEFENSEMEN

Mike Green ($5.250m) / Roman Hamrlik ($3.500m)

Karl Alzner ($1.285m) / John Carlson ($0.845m)

Jeff Schultz ($2.750m) / Dennis Wideman ($3.937m)

John Erskine ($1.500m)

 

GOALTENDERS

Tomas Vokoun ($1.500m) / Michal Neuvirth ($1.150m)

 

Cap Space: 2,959,594

<!--EndFragment--> I know, I know, this one is a little ridiculous, but possible.  Getting rid of Chimera's contract would give us some extra cap flexibility, but we could have this line-up with or without him.  I think having a player like Liach on the same line as Eakin is of real importance.  Ward and his 3 million dollar contract got dropped to the fourth line simply because that's where the player would fit best in this hypothetical situation, not the contract.  I would be surprised if this was our team going into the season, but not stunned.  

Anyway there's my useless speculation for the day, please feel free to share your thoughts!

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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