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10-08-2011, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Veteran journeyman View Post
In the offensive zone, I think Moulson-Tavares-Nino would be deadly. But it'd also be nice to have a good puck-possession skater on that line that could distribute the puck to Tavares and Moulson. I think Strome could fill that role in the future if Bailey puts it all together and solidifies himself in one of the center spots.
I think we are overthinkng a lot of this. In the Cup days it wasn't unusual for Arbour to mix up line combos frequently during the year, particularly if the team lost a few games in a row. While Trots and Bossy almost always played together it wasn't unusual for the LW to rotate among Gillies, Tonelli and Bourne. In the playoffs in '80, the second line ended up being Goring, Gillies and Duane Sutter as a rookie.

In '81 you saw Nystrom play second line at times. In '82 Brent Sutter worked into the lineup and the wings were shuffled again. When you look at the league's dominant lines of the period, like the French Connection or the Kings trio of Dionne, Simmer and Taylor etc, the only line that stayed together and won Cups was Lafleur, Lemaire and Shutt.

Given injuries and the modern salary cap rules the odds of a great line staying together for a long period of time is pretty much gone now, so flexibility in pairings is very important. There are few perfect line combos now as well as in the past. It's special when it happens but Stanley Cups are won by great teams not great lines.

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