Thursday, April 19, 2007

Keeping lines together

Gabe Desjardins and Earl Sleek have put together a list on which lines in the NHL have played together the most this season, following up on Sleek's theory that the Ducks' checking line of Rob Niedermayer, Sam Pahlsson and Travis Moen have played all 82 games, side-by-side.

Here's a look at the top 10 trios:
  1. Pahlsson-Niedermayer-Moen (ANA) 88.5%
  2. Selanne-McDonald-Kunitz (ANA) 76.5%
  3. Pominville-Hecht-Briere (BUF) 75.9%
  4. Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner (NJD) 65.8%
  5. Rolston-Bouchard-White (MIN) 62.6%
  6. Jagr-Nylander-Straka (NYR) 59.3%
  7. Gomez-Gionta-Elias (NJD) 53.5%
  8. Pandolfo-Madden-Brylin (NJD) 53.0%
  9. Hunter-Sillinger-Hilbert (NYI) 51.4%
  10. Vanek-Afinogenov-Roy (BUF) 50.4%
It's hard to believe, for one, that the Sabres have managed to keep two of their trios together so often given how many injuries there are been in Buffalo, but this gives you an idea of Lindy Ruff's penchant for keeping lines together throughout the year.

Numbers 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 are hardly surprises, as these are some of the most well-known combinations overall, forward combinations that have been together for at least a year or two now.



At 2:50 p.m., April 19, 2007, Blogger Joe Pelletier said...

A very interesting study.

I have to wonder how teams like NJ and Buffalo will affected as they faced the inevitable adversity such as injuries or slumps.

All season I've watched Alain Vigneault mix and match all year to the point where no matter what comes Vancouver's way, he knows what works and what buttons to push. I think that might give a series advantage against a coach who just rolls his lines out as is.

Joe Pelletier - The Hockey History Blog


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