So, all the nay saying aside, I am excited to watch our top line tonight. Athanasiou is still not a definite so I’m counting him as “out” for tonight.
Mlive penned a piece about the top line here: https://www.mlive.com/red...one-of-leagues-elite.html
When that line is clicking, they are an absolute joy to watch. I’m trying to think of a line recently that had more than one potential 30 goal scorer. I think you have to go back to 2009. Datsyuk and Zetterberg were near their peaks. We also had Marian Hossa for one year. Of course that year ended in heartbreak, but what a team. It was the last time we had any player score 30 goals before last year.
I’m not sure how to compare these players. It is a different era, for sure. Larkin has the highest engine i can remember. He reminds me a bit of Zetterberg in how “heavy” he can play. Mantha has the best shot we’ve seen in a long time. His speed is sneaky. He doesn’t look like he’s “flying” but he has quickness. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a “pure” goal scorer who can just beat a goalie by picking the corners. I really don’t know who to compare him to. Perhaps a bit like Franzen in his prime?
Bertuzzi is a pit bull. He will get goals in the most painful ways possible. Getting slashed and bashed the whole way to the net. He digs out pucks and helps create space for his line mates. A bit like Holmstrom, possibly? Not an elite puck tipper, but that same “demolition man” spirit. He doesn’t have the hands his uncle Todd had, but is more of a 2 way guy for sure. Same physicality on a smaller frame.
That took me to a recent line that was pretty good for us. Franzen/Zetterburg/Bertuzzi a few years back. At one point that line was scoring more goals than any other and they worked really well together. It as fun.
In some ways this line is completely original. Kids growing up in the “new era”. I love watching them play. Here’s hoping they have a great year together