Marc Savard is going to be available for Round 2, but Mark Stuart is not. What does this mean for the lineup? It means that one of the forwards becomes a healthy scratch. It has to be Thornton. Begin and Paille are your #1 PK unit and that PK unit was the difference in the series against the Sabres. For the same reason, Wheeler gets the edge over Thornton because he also logs a lot of PK time. It has to be between those two.
It's very disappointing that Stuart won't be back. The Ference/McQuaid D pair of doom is already showing signs of breaking down and would be especially vulnerable against Jordan Staal and Pittsburgh. Claude will do his best to have the top 4 out there for Malkin and Crosby, but Jordan Staal is no slouch and could be a difference maker in a series against them when he gets to pick on Ference/McQuaid.
Does Vladdy get demoted to 4th line duty and less than 10 minutes of TOI per night? Let's hope not. The kid is made for the playoffs and it would be sad not to see him with a regular shift. Perhaps they'll ease Savard into things by giving Sobotka occasional shifts in the top 9 at even strength to spot Savvy. Bergeron is one of the best two-way centers in the league so he's not moving to wing. Krejci and Savard are not moving to wing either. That means Vladdy either centers the 4th line, gets spot duty or plays wing with one of the big three. The primary candidate for demotion from the top 9 is of course Wheeler. We'll see what Claude comes up with. Don't bother believing anything they run in practice. This might be one of those things they don't want to tip to their opposition before the puck drops in Game 1.