We said it was a good possibility before the trade was even official and we saw a glimpse of it in the Edmonton game when things needed a little stir in Marc Crawford's estimation, now after three days of practice the coach has decided to slide Benn on down with Steve Ott and Adam Burish. Jamie Langenbrunner will take his place on the Brenden Morrow/Mike Ribeiro line.
Several media outlets had this quote from Crawford after practice today. "I think that's how we'll proceed for the next little while. We've got lots of versatility in our lineup with Jamie coming in. I like the right shot with Ribeiro. I think Ribeiro is such a good passer..."
So there you go. Langebrunner will be the umpteenth forward to rotate into (and eventually out of) that spot. Early returns were OK in the Edmonton game but the most encouraging sign came from the Stars third line.
They switched it up and immediately Jamie Benn scored one of the prettier goals of the year off a give and go with Steve Ott and Burish. That's the great thing about Benn. He's going to find a way no matter where they put him right now, so why not try the right shot of Langenbrunner with Ribeiro?
This trade was all about creating the kind of depth that takes teams deeper into the playoffs (should they get there at all) so why not experiment now and see how it all works?
For me this all much ado about nothing unless someone starts slumping as a direct result. The scoring depth should be there and with teams giving Richards' trio their best defensive punch, opportunities should exist no matter how they configure these guys. Plus it gives Benn more development at center which will help if they lose you-know-who.
Then again, smarter men than I have been heard in the press box recently trying to figure who is doing the "center work" (defensive coverage and all of that) on that line when Burish and Ott take turns on the faceoff dot. The other team seems confused sometimes as well, so Benn might be playing "center" while the other two do as well. So to speak.
What say "yous guys?"
They took Jamie Benn off of Ribeiro's line on Tuesday and Benn did this...