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01-31-2013, 07:24 PM
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An obsevation about the compressed schedule

What I have noticed so far in this season is coaches rolling four lines more than in a typical year. With so many back-to-back games and three-in-four nights it would be easy to wear-out or injure your top players. So fourth-liners are getting 9 to 12 minutes every game instead of 5 or 6.

So as a consequence, coaches who load-up their goal-scorers on the first line have fewer opportunities to score since they are on the ice less time. Most of the game, these teams are playing prevent defense - trying not to be scored on until their scorers get back on the ice. Florida has this problem.

A smart coach would spread their offensive talent through all four lines so the team can sustain pressure throughout the game, especially against the scrubs found on many team's fourth line.

I think McLean has done some of that, but could spread it out more. Teams that do will have less tired players for the third period (notice how Ottawa rarely get scored on because the opponent offensive players are getting tired with too much ice-time) and build team confidence as players realize any line can score.

IMO the traditional labels of scoring line, checking line, energy line don't work this year. And the teams that will come out on top will either have talent throughout their line-up (Boston, SJ) or make every line a threat by spreading what they have (Ottawa, Nashville).

What do you think?

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