I'm sure nobody who knows my post history will be surprised, but I'm not all that eager to get Tim Gleason back in the lineup. He's still got no timetable to return, but I heard he's traveling with the team, so it could be any day. Unfortunately, I don't see how his return helps us. My take on the group so far is that our defensive IQ has gone up about 50 points going from Pitkanen, Gleason, Corvo, Sanguinetti, McBain to Sekera, Hainsey, Bellemore and Murphy. Individually: Sekera: However you pronounce the guy's name, he's simply a very good hockey player. He plays angles well, is very decisive, very aggressive with his stick, sorts things out well. He also plays a lot more physically than I thought and is very hard to play against. To me, he's been better than advertised. Very smart, very quick. Faulk: It sure looks like he's ready to take "the leap." Very similar player to Sekera except younger, right-shooting and with a higher offensive upside. As the two of them get more time together, I think we could have a legit No. 1 pairing. Hainsey: Again, this guy has been a lot better than I expected. He's just a solid all-around guy. He's not flashy, not overly physical. If you can get past what Frank Kaberle became toward the end of his career and think back to 2006, I think Hainsey brings a lot of the same things to the table. It's hard to describe how he's effective, he just is. Bellemore: To me, this guy replaces Gleason and is better almost across the board. I'm shocked at how good he is. He'll never be a scorer, but his offensive instincts are very good. He uses his body well, skates well, and seems to understand how the play the man. He may not be as physical as Gleason, but sometimes, Tim just loses his mind thinking he's got to stir things up. Keep in mind that Bellemore was a sixth-round nepotism pick from Plymouth in 2007, and is now playing a regular shift and establishing himself as an NHL-level defender. This doesn't excuse all the draft and develop mistakes, but it's nice to have a "win" every now and then. Harrison: Happily back in a third-line role, Harry has been Harry. It's kind of amazing how much better third-pairing Harry is than second-pairing Harry. Murphy: I think he's starting to get adjusted to the speed of the NHL game. I've also got to give Muller some credit here for seemingly carving out a perfect role for Murphy. And I think as he gets more comfortable, his offense will start to come around. He may be focused entirely on defense to make sure he's not a liability, but as he gains confidence that he belongs here, the offense will come. So far, he doesn't seem like an "offensive specialist" to me and if he can play regular minutes, we win. I don't know about anyone else, but it's been great not having our goalies screened by defensemen all game long, and not having defensemen rolling around on the ice trying to find the puck, instead of tying up offensive players. In short, the *only* thing I'd do differently right now is swap Murphy and Faulk on the power play, getting Justin out with the first unit, but I'm sure Gleason is in as soon as he's healthy. Maybe we'll dress seven d-men? Either way, Timmy will get his 22 minutes and our defense will get worse. Mark my words. I don't know what the answer is. The guy has a long-term deal with a no-trade and he wears an "A," but I don't think he makes our team any better than they are right now.