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12-12-2012, 04:56 PM
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Location: Canberra, Australia
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I read that Louis Leblanc is playing on the 3rd line because that's what he'll be doing in Montreal.

IMO this is a dim strategy. The fact he'll be playing 3rd line in Montreal does justify playing 3rd line in Hamilton, but why not have spot duty on the 2nd line and PP?

The Habs are a perennial elite injury team. They need their 3rd liners to be able to play on the 2nd line and on the PP in case of the inevitable injuries to top-6 players.

Just this past year we had Travis Moen, Mathieu Darche, Brad Staubitz, and Ryan White play in the top-6. That is largely because Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri were out for extended periods with injuries. There is nothing unusual about that situation, it is actually the standard year-to-year situation in Habsland. Even if Leblanc is destined to be a 3rd liner on pre-season "everybody is healthy" rosters, he will need to be effective in a top-6 role.

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