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07-03-2013, 02:00 PM
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Location: Mahopac, NY
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Interesting to try to visualize our third line, especially if we try to shoehorn it into the traditional "template" for what a third line should be: extremely responsible defensively, able to check the other team's top line, able to contribute offensively to the tune of 50 goals or so (collectively) over the course of a season.

But, we all have seen how templates that look so good on paper and in July break down during the demands of a season. Lines and personnel get shuffled and you end up guys with more offensive ability or guys more suited to a 4th line get slotted in. In today's NHL you seen to rarely have a third line whose job is to check the opponents top line. 3rd lines get less ice time than first or second line. That would not be the case if they get major ice time in checking situations and you wouldn't want that anyway as it cuts down on the ice time of your top offensive players.

But, for the sake of argument and using our current personnel, what players would constitute a legit., traditional 3rd line? It's not easy if you think of it in this way. The center I keep coming back to, and based on what I've read of him, is Lindberg. One of the wingers is Miller. The other? I have no clue. Kreider would be misplaced there. Not the place for MZA. Hagelin is more suited to using his speed higher up in the lineup.

So, unless people grow into roles or new players acquired, we could end up with a similar situation to what we had the last two years, and that is not good: two top lines and two 4th lines. As I've said before, finding legit. third line players almost seems more difficult that finding first liners.

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