Henrique, DeBoer said during our Monday interview, was still 10-to-14 days away from being healthy, but once that?s the case, he figures his two main offensive pairs up front will be Ilya Kovalchuk with Travis Zajac on one line, and Henrique with veteran Patrik Elias on the other.
"Those are our two pairs at the top that I want to keep together, but who rides shotguns for those guys are the jobs that are up for grabs," DeBoer said.First of all, let's be clear that Zajac and Henrique could easily swap places throughout the year. While I think they both fit will with their respective partners at this time, it's not often you see the top two lines on any NHL team will struggles to score (and the Devils will) stay together for an entire season. With that said, I came up three sets of line combinations that I think work well together, assuming the Zajac-Kovy and Elias-Henrique pairings. Two things should be noted before we go forward: I'm leaving out a fourth line that I assume will alternate between four players (Bernier, Carter, Janssen, Gionta) and I'm listing Kovy at RW because that appears to be where DeBoer is comfortable using him.