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The New Guys II: The Forwards

Here is part two of my look at the new guys (note: this was written before Bartovic was sent down).

Little: He shows flashes of good things like his speed and passing ability but he is too inconsistent to center a top two line in the NHL today in my opinion. He also seems to get knocked out of the play rather easily when things get physical. Starting the year in Chicago and receiving lots of ice time against adult men is probably best for his long term development.

White: Honestly I've a touch disappointed in what I've seen out of him so far. Hopefully we see a bit more when the regular season starts. I thought that the Kovalchuk-White-Sterling line should have shown a bit more offensive flair against a prospect laden St. Louis lineup. Based on the stats from the last two seasons Todd White should a modest improvement on what Eric Belanger brought to the table last year so I'm holding out hope of seeing more from him as the season opens.

Sterling: First I have to say that I'm a fan of any player his size who is willing to put himself into the high traffic areas to score goals, so I'm rooting for him to make an impact this season. Brett Sterling is not blazing fast but he did put himself in position to be part of a 2 on 1 in the St. Louis game. He made a nifty play late in the third where he bumped a bigger Blues player off the puck behind the Blues goal and then centered it through the crease--which was devoid of Thrashers unfortunately--but I still give him kudos for the moxie to pull off that play.

LaVallee: He's aggressive, he works hard, he hits, he forechecks. But it is a real mystery how he scored 40 goals in juniors. In the game at Nashville I swear he missed the net more often than he found it. He looks he could fill a spot on the 4th line right now or in the middle of the season if injuries open up a spot.

Bartovic: Saturday night Bartovic may have fulfilled his dream of playing on a line with his hometown friend Marian Hossa. Like all of the "skate with the stars" fantasy camps this joy ride has come to its logical end as he is not a top six NHL forward. Too often the offense seems to end when the puck reached him.

Perrin: I really like this addition so far. The Perrin-Dupuis duo could draw many penalties from the opposition this year. He also shows some surprising offensive flair. Some folks on the Tampa boards were complaining about hands of stone but I've been pleased with him so far. With Perrin, Dupuis, and Hossa killing penalties I expect an uptick in short handed goals this coming season.