Originally Posted by 72off
sylar obv has a better clue about this than me, but have they ever experimented with balancing their lines? like put 1-2 defensive-minded or all-around players with each of the star guys? obv Datsyuk is great all-around, so he can center whoever (Kovalchuk or Ovechkin), Malkin you might want to give a little help tho. Radulov obv isn't a great defensive player, and so on.
it's just that if you load up a line with Malkin centering some combination of Ovechkin/Kovalchuk/Radulov (no clue about the all-around games of Yakupov/Kuznetsov yet) then i think they're likely to come out behind against a lot of elite level competition. sure they'll have the games where they explode, but doing it 2-3 times in a row in the KO stages of the Olympics? maybe on home ice yeah...
and yeah, their D might be something of a problem as well...
(but it's obv made worse bc so many of their forwards don't play well without the puck)
they are already doing that. they are not stacking top-6 and then have checking lines.
malkin is not going to center some combo of ovechkin/kovalchuk/radulov often. maybe in some specialty situations, but just not going to happen on the regular. he's already playing with mozyakin and some shutdown-type F3 and D-pair.
ovechkin so far has seen a ton of o-zone, and with a roster this deep he should be more protected than ever. tereschenko and zherdev all looked good with him.
radulov/datsyuk make sweet-magic love on the ice every other game. i expect them to jizz buckets over every finnish/swedish/czech/canadian/american goalie they face. it doesn't matter who they will play with, but personally i'd like to see them get a true sniper on their line. shirokov is a natural fit.
tarasenko needs to work to get to sochi and also he seems to work well with kovalchuk. no idea who would fill out that line, but kovy is pretty versatile.