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Lindy Ruff speaks about Centers

Lindy Ruff disclosed today that he intends on playing Jochen Hecht at Center again this season. It's amove that certainly deserves some discussion because Hecht was one of the worst Centers in the faceoff circle. Hecht took 905 faceoffs and won only 380 for 42% on the season. He also indicated that Gaustad would play the wing and he won faceoffs at a rate of 54.9%. There is no rule that Gaustad can't take the faceoff and than switch to the wing but it seems like a curious decision.

"I think if we could come up with Derek Roy, Tim Connolly and Jochen Hecht sitting in the middle, we’re sitting pretty good," Ruff said today. "I don’t know where Adam Mair will be at the end of camp with his injury, whether he’ll be able to play. We’ll know that by the end of the month. But that would put Paul Gaustad back on the wing for us, which I think he’s pretty comfortable there. We’ve liked him playing the wing, so to have top three lines that would have those centermen, I think we’d be in good shape."

In the storie I cited above, Buffalo News writer John Vogl posted his possible line combinations. They don't look bad but I have my own ideas, I'll post two possible combinations because I wouldn't play Hecht at Center.

Current Center Combinations

Vanek Roy Stafford/Afinogenov
Gaustad Hecht Pominville
Paille Connolly Kotalik

I like the combination of Connolly and Kotalik together because they have always played well together and there is no way you break up Hecht-Pominville and Roy-Vanek. If they play Gaustad with Hecht than he will be able to take most of the faceoffs.

I would probably play Hecht on the wing in place of Gaustad and move Connolly up to that line. Gaustad would drop into the spot Connolly vacated. I'd love to here what you think about the line combinations.