No, it's not an April Fool's joke, I'm back from a hellish quarter (it's like a semester, but shorter and more pretentious) and the ensuing, highly relaxing, spring break. And I come to ask the question of what the hell to do with all these Top 6 forwards once they're all healthy and raring to go.
First of all, there's Homer. He has spent the last two years consistently playing wing to Dats, and, when Voltron is assembled, Hank. I think that when he gets back (expected to be Thursday against Columbus) Homer should return to the top line as well as the top power play unit. Why? Franzen is a more dynamic player and is more likely to thrive away from the Eurotwins. How's this for a lineup:
The FFC line gives Babcock his big, violent, shutdown line. This is the Anti-Thornton line. And, if Franzen can continue his monstrous streak into the playoffs, it gives the Wings two legit scoring lines. Granted he'll have Val Filppula for a setup man instead of Pavel Datsyuk, but I think Frankie can handle it. I also like that third line there. It's big, very stable defensively, and between Draper's speed, Sammy's shot, and Kopecky's growing ability to crash the net, you've got a formula for clutch garbage goals right there - much like the Grind Line of old. Then for a 4th you've got what I call the Grumpy Old Men line, which features cranky, violent, old-timers who know how to win and are safe in their own zone.
You'll notice a certain Czech midget missing, and that is precisely because he has been doing absolutely nothing for a very long time. He's a PP specialist, but with Homer back, you can basically use your top two lines as your PP units. Honestly, playing Hudler in the playoffs sounds good, but what are the odds he actually gets into a game? I say small. So you may as well put in Mac. Want your Oompa Loompa? Maybe for home games, when the Wings can control matchups, you can put him on the third line and go with this arrangement:
Or possibly bump him up to the second line and have Fil center the third. But still I like my original arrangement better.