Time on ice
I've always wondered why the best defencemen play 24-29 minutes a night, while the best forwards only play 20-22 minutes a night. And an off-shoot of this, why are there 4 lines of forwards, but only 3 lines of defencemen?
My apologies if this is the wrong place to ask these questions.
Generally it's due to how shifts are played. Defensemen generally don't need to skate as hard or as long as forwards. Their job is more based on positioning as opposed to movement and on the average shift they cover a smaller percentage of the ice than forwards.
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