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What to do with the Buffalo Sabres lineup

While I was at work today I had a very good idea for a post today, I'll talk about the Sabres lineup when healthy.  As I came to find out I was beat to the punch by Brian Wheeler at Sabres.com, who did the very same post.  I'm not one to give up so here it is anyway, my ideas on who should be taken out of the lineup.  Oh yeah, if you live under a rock you may not have heard that Drew Stafford and Max Afinogenov have been cleared to play.  Lets start by looking at players who might be removed from the lineup before we look at the possible line combinations.  So let's play a little game called "should he stay or should he go".

Andrew Peters:

  • Why he should stay:  Quite honestly the only reason I can think of is that he scored a goal last game.  When a guy scores goals every once in a while it's tough to take him out just one game after scoring one.
  • Why he should go:  Well because he's Andrew Peters.  He is by far the worst player on the team who is asked to be the teams fighter, despite looking dumb every time he fights.  I'm all for supporting the "Livestrong" cause but doesn't he look goofy wearing that while he's in a fight?

Final Decision: Healthy Scratch

Patrick Kaleta:

  • Why he should stay:  A better question would be why shouldn't he stay.  All he has done since being called up was hit everything in sight, get opponents off their game, help the Sabres get power play opportunities and give the Sabres a new tougher identity.  Kaleta has really been outstanding since being called up.
  • Why he should go:  Kaleta could benefit from more time in the minors.  He has helped Buffalo in an area they have been lacking in but he still needs to polish his skills.  Kaleta could possibly stunt his growth by staying with the team for too long and not going back to Rochester where he will get more ice time.
 

Final Decision:  Stays in the lineup

Clarke MacArthur:

  • Why he should stay:  MacArthur is the most offensively talented of the players who could be removed from the lineup.  MacArthur has eight goals and seven assists in 36 games played so far this season.  MacArthur has had some chemistry with Jason Pominville at times and they appear to be comfortable with each other.
  • Why he should go:  MacArthur is very inconsistent and has been struggling as of late.  MacArthur has just one goal and zero assists in his last eight games and he is a minus two over that stretch.  After a great start when being inserted in the lineup he has not been playing well and a little more time in Rochester may be good for him.

Final Decision:  Sent to minors

This is assuming that both Stafford and Afinogenov are truly ready to play.  If and when Jochen Hecht is ready to play the Sabres have another really tough decision.  They will not play Tim Connolly in consecutive games so he will be scratched from some games and we have not seen how well Afinogenov and Stafford will play in their return.

If my suggestions above are taken into consideration I would have the lines look something like this...

Vanek-Roy-Bernier
Pominville-Connolly-Afinogenov
Kotalik-Gaustad-Stafford
Paille-Mair-Kaleta

It will be interesting to see exactly what Lindy Ruff will do with the lineup and only time will tell.  I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this as well.