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04-10-2012, 11:01 PM
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4th Lines

Fleming-Linden-Wharram vs. Secord-Hunter-Boucher

In a vacuum, I'll concede Secord is the better player. But for the role I want my 4th line to play, I'd rather have Fleming. Secord is a better offensive player, and has more size. Both were very physical players, with Secord as a prototypical power forward, and Fleming as more of a small annoying agitator that would drop the gloves with the guy he annoyed. Fleming's defensive game is vastly superior to Secord's, being noted as a shadow that checked Hull and the great RWs of his era.

Linden vs. Hunter is a close debate. Offensively, they are close to dead even. Linden's career adjusted PPG is .6324 over 1,382 games, and Hunter's is .625 over 1,407 games. In the regular season, they're basically even. But in the playoffs, Linden pulls ahead. Linden's PPG is .7984 over 124 games in a mostly lower scoring era to Hunter's .634 in 186 games in a mostly higher scoring era. Slight advantage offensively to Linden. Defensively, they are both very strong players. Hunter brings more physicality because most of Linden's physical prowess came when he was a right wing, rather than at center where he was seen as playing his best defensive hockey of his career. Overall, these two guys appear to be pretty even.

Kenny Wharram is a significantly better offensive player than Boucher. Even if you believe Wharram benefited greatly from playing with Stan Mikita, he was definitely the 2nd best offensive player on that line whereas Boucher was a distant 3rd behind Howie Morenz and Aurel Joliat, who he benefited greatly from. Wharram was a five time 6 RW in all star voting. Boucher's 3 best finishes in a split league NHL are 3, 3, and 7. In the late 1960s, Wharram was able to put up a 4, 6, and 9 in the late 60s. Wharram's finishes are definitely more impressive when era is considered. Wharram is definitely the vastly superior offensive player. The only advantage Boucher has on Wharram is that he brings a little bit of grit. Wharram is definitely better offensively, and brings a lot of speed to the table. I don't think either was much of a defensive player. Overall, Wharram gets the check here.

Overall, Philadelphia's line is slightly better offensively and better defensively. Secord>Fleming, Linden>Hunter(not a huge advantage), and Wharram>Boucher offensively. Fleming and Secord is the largest gap in terms of defensive play among the matchups, Hunter enjoys an advantage over Linden, and Wharram/Boucher are non-factors.

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