Where Does Tyler Ennis Fit?
Tyler Ennis seems destined to play for the Buffalo Sabres this upcoming season, but who are his linemates going to be? I toss around some ideas and line combinations after the jump.
Ennis surprised most fans last season when he posted 9 points in 10 regular season NHL games and 13 points in 16 total games…his first NHL action ever. The guy has tricky hands, blazing speed, and a tireless work ethic. His inclusion in the Sabres top six immediately makes them better.
One line combination that would look good is Ennis-Roy-Vanek. Ennis is a gifted winger and hard worker, which is a welcome change after Drew Stafford’s shifts with his usual partners in crime. Vanek happens to look just as good on the right side as he is on the left. The trio would be a scoring line that could put points up on any defense and goalie with regularity. The problem with this line combination is that Lindy Ruff seems hellbent on giving Stafford as many top line minutes as possible.
Another line combination that people seem to be talking an awful lot about is Ennis-Niedermayer-Grier. Yes, it would increase the offensive output of the line – marginally. Niedermayer and Grier are both defensive forwards and would waste the talent that is Tyler Ennis. So, I’ll have no more talk of this line combo.
Lastly, we’ve come down to Ennis-Connolly-Pominville. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It has all the making of a great scoring line – a slick center, a sharpshooting winger with a gnarly one-timer, and a hungry young kid who never stops working and has the talent to match. It disrupts the chemistry of the Hecht-Connolly-Pominville, but instead creates a talented grinding line of Hecht-Niedermayer-Grier – which I’ll be discussing in a future entry. Plus, it keeps Vanek-Roy-Stafford intact.
Everybody wins with an Ennis-Connolly-Pominville, except for the fans who want nothing to do with Drew Stafford anymore – which is nearly every one of them.