Like most ducks fans I had no idea who Maxim Lapierre was when the trade was announced and assumed that it was another lackluster move from Murray. After doing some research on the guy I think (going out on a huge limb here) Lapierre is exactly the type of piece this team was missing, and could really help the Ducks in the second half.
Man is this guy polarizing. Its either "I was so glad he was on our team" or "what a punk that never backs up his talk". Yes he is a very good agitator, and no he doesn't fight, but that brings me back to why I think he is perfect for this Ducks team. People know that Parros is looking to fight and will drop the gloves, but its much more frustrating for the other team when you wanna fight someone but they wont. It will get them to make mistakes and commit penalties and that type of player is exactly what the ducks have been lacking.
Ever since the new owners took over, the ducks have tried to have a "smash mouth" identity that was about checking, intimidating, crashing the net, and winning games. Other teams and fans hated us, but we won and therefore they respected us. What two players optimized this more than Perry and Pronger? But ever since Pronger and Burke left that identity has slowly disappeared and been replaced with...........nothing. Everyone (even the players it seems) knows that one of the reasons this team has struggled this year is due to a lack of identity (especially with the third line). If we can get back that identity, and get back to playing "Ducks" hockey, then I think we will begin to see the team performing to expectations. Lapierre embodies that identity, and while he doesnt have the skills of a Perry or Pronger, he can bring out the "smash mouth" in the rest of the team by just playing his game.
So where does this leave the line ups? Well there are plenty of options (and knowing Carlyle well see all of them) where i think he can be successful but im just gonna focus on two.
1) FIRST LINE: "Lapierre-Getzlaf-Perry" He's played wing before and can skate pretty well. The major question here is whether or not he can keep up with the level of talent he would be playing with and against (the answer probably being no). But imagine the havok and disruption mentally a line with him AND Perry AND Getzlaf would cause. Plus we all know that the twins always play their best when the games are dirty and the trash talk is heavy. You get someone out there who is checking and getting the other team upset and i bet Perry and Getzlaf get back to forechecking constantly and playing well.
2) THIRD LINE: "Blake-Lapierre-Lupul" A more likely situation is that Lapierre will be used as a third or fourth liner. One thing that was talked about in the players and coaches meeting before the Phoenix game was getting back to having a "checking line" rather than attempting to have three scoring lines. Blake is one of the teams best forecheckers and Lupul has done well on the third line since coming back. Add in Lapierre and you have a group that is likely to work hard on keeping the puck in the other teams zone and continuously check hard. Also Blake and Lupul know how to score goals so this line could end up putting a lot of pucks on net and points on the board. You move either Ryan down to the second line or put someone like sexton there and I think the ducks gain much more than they loose by moving down Blake.
I know a lot of people are saying that this is very lackluster move, but I think it could end up being Murray's best move this year besides signing Lydman and Lilja (drafting Fowler should have been a no brainer). Could this move end up doing nothing? Of course. Could Lapierre only play a game or two before Carlyle gives up on him? More than likely. But i think if given a chance this could be the little piece that the team needed to start playing closer to their potential. And if not? Well we can always go back to the "cross our fingers and hope we squeeze into the 8 seed" game we've been doing the first half of the year.