This week we tackle the Ultimate Line. What a tough decision. There are many talented players who show up this time of year. These men have grit and the ability to play as part of the team.
Now I realize that two of my forwards are left wingers, but this is the ultimate list! Why wouldn't I send them over the boards if I needed the big play to be made?
So let's send 'em in...
Niklas Lidstrom - D
You need to shut down the opposing team's superstar? Send this guy out. You need someone to quarterback your power play? Nik's the man. How about some leadership? He's more than lived up to that task after Steve Yzerman retired.
He's also won four Stanley Cup titles, including a Conn Smythe performance to boot. The Wings #5 knows what it takes to win.
Zdeno Chara - D
Imagine the chemistry between one of the league's best passers, and the man with a cannon that doubles as a slap shot. This blue line pairing is a match made by the hockey gods.
The Slovakian uses every inch of his 6'9" frame to his advantage to out-muscle the forwards he faces. Just try going into the corners with him. See if you come out with the puck in your possession.
Getzlaf and Grit Go Together
In his brief NHL career, he has already won a Stanley Cup. That accomplishment is a character builder. Now add his size, strength, and lack of fear to get in there and you have a serious combination.
You want ultimate? The word is defined if Getzlaf were ever out on the ice along with the following two unknowns.
Alexander Ovechkin - LW
His release is virtually unparalleled. His intensity is so high, it goes unmatched by any chart. His power play performance is such a threat, it can't be ignored by the opposition. And that's just during the regular season.
Take everything you have seen from the Great 8, and multiply that by about 10 for this year's playoffs.
Henrik Zetterberg - *RW
This was a tough call to make. It's hard to choose between him and his teammate, Pavel Datsyuk, but 'Hank' comes out tops.
Not only does he have some of the finest hands in the league, but he also has some keen defensive abilities. Whether it's on the power play or the penalty kill he's out there. His calm and cool nature is a great balance for his line mates too.
*I know Zetterberg is a left winger, but he shoots left, so shooting on his off-wing creates another weapon for this talented line. Plus this is my dream team, and I get to choose whomever I want, remember.
Another tough choice. Roberto Luongo is very skilled, but he doesn't have the playoff experience of Marty. That puts the Devils' net minder over the top.
Also, having played against him, I know how tough he is to beat.
Marty's trophy case is quite full, and his name litters the record books now. (Depending on how the rest of these playoffs go, the Conn Smythe trophy may finally be added to his collection.)
Jarome Iginla... The 6th Man
If Brodeur needs to be pulled, Jarome gets the tap on the shoulder.
He's a tremendous player and a great leader. Captains don't always have to say much to motivate the guys in the dressing room, but if something needed to be said, 'Iggy' would know what to say.
So there it is. My ultimate line up. It was no easy task, but neither is the run for the Cup.