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20 in 20, Line Dancing: Introduction

It’s nearly the middle of August and there is not much news on the Jets front these days. Most of the signings have been made and the only real issue left to solve is Morrissey’s contract. With so little left for Cheveldayoff to do this summer, it is time to begin thinking about the year ahead.

What better way to start thinking about the upcoming year than to embark on a lengthy journey about possible lineup combinations. If you have been checking out the other Nation Network sites, you may have noticed a series on Oilersnation called 20 in 20 where Dustin Nielson looked at 20 possible lineup combos for the Oilers over a span of 20 days.

This series will be similar to Dustin’s series which means I will look at 20 possible scenarios that the Jets might use for the upcoming season. For each lineup combination I will give two separate ratings out of 10. The first category is likelihood, which measures how likely the lineup is to be used for the upcoming season. The second rating is the Fun Factor, which measures how exciting the lineup would be to watch.

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Without further ado, let’s begin looking at some possible lineups!

SCENARIO ONE: Dano Fills Armia’s Spot

Connor – Scheifele – Wheeler
Ehlers – Little – Laine
Perreault – Roslovic – Dano
Tanev – Lowry – Copp

Likelihood: 8/10
Fun Factor: 5/10

This combination is as close as possible to how the Jets finished last season. With Stastny moving on, Little is the obvious choice to reclaim the second line centre role. If Little moves up, then it leaves an opening on the third line. Roslovic can easily fill that role which leaves Dano to replace the empty spot leftover by Armia.

This also leaves three lines that spent time together last season which gives great continuity, especially to start the season as everyone gets back into the groove. If Maurice is set on having a similar lineup to last season, this could easily be the go-to situation to begin the year.

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The second line of Ehlers, Little, Laine might suffer a little bit as Little struggled between the two youngsters for part of the season and sometimes Ehlers and Laine can’t seem to find each other on the ice. On the other hand, the third line of Perreault, Roslovic, Dano would be really fun to watch and would be a dangerous third line that would fore-check and counter-attack quickly.

 

SCENARIO TWO: The Talent Is Spread Around

Roslovic – Scheifele – Laine
Connor – Lowry – Wheeler
Ehlers – Little – Perreault
Petan – Copp – Dano

Likelihood: 2/10
Fun Factor: 8/10

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There are many different ways to spread the talent among multiple lines but this way blends the offensive and defensive players quite well. The top line would blend speed and skill and would be lethal off the rush.

The second line is intriguing because Lowry has proven he can be dominant defensively, but I believe he also has more to contribute on the offensive end. Pairing him with Wheeler and Connor would be a good fit because Lowry can retrieve the puck, Wheeler can pass the puck, and Connor can put it into the back of the net.

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The third line of Ehlers, Little, Perreault played well together last season and was dominant in multiple advanced stats categories. Perreault is extremely versatile and can fill the gap between Ehlers’ speed and Little’s dependability and get the most out of both players.

The fourth line would also be able to contribute offensively as Dano and Petan have showed some chemistry together in the past. (Skip to the five minute mark to see Petan’s sweet saucer pass to Dano)

Don’t be alarmed if you don’t like either of these scenarios as there are plenty more to work through over the next few weeks. In the meantime, share your thoughts on these first two combinations and whether or not you think they might work.