The St. Louis Blues tested this new wave of resonant out four scoring lines and it failed. Their best hockey was when everyone knew their role.
ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 12: Darcy Kuemper #35 of the Arizona Coyotes makes a save on a shot by Pat Maroon #7 of the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on March 12, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)St. Louis Blues Pros And Cons From Game 69 Vs. Arizona by Todd Panula Editorials St. Louis Blues Are Proof The NHL Still Needs Role Players by Todd Panula 7 work time ago Follow @TPanula
Ask your mean fan what today’s NHL or the “new” NHL is astir and they will apt go on astir resonant out four lines, all able of putt up big numbers. The St. Louis Blues tested this attack in their own copycat kind and it began as a resonant failure.
When the 2018-19 time period began, we were all excited. The Blues had respective prospects on the brink of devising the team and we were all dizzy with the projections of line combinations.
It seemed like the Blues had entered this new age and were active to roll out four lines of fast, talented, able scorers. We all know how that turned out.
The Blues lost seven of their first nine games of the time period. They went 3-3-3 over their games in October and it did not get much better in November.
Everything was out of whack. Nobody knew what was active on or who they were playing with or what they needed to do out on the ice.
You had fourth line guys trying to make moves like first line players, which limited their ice time even further than you normally would. That put more pressure on the top lines to perform, but they had their own issues with guys active in and out of certain roster spots.
We have seen a lot of line combinations this year. Some worked and some did not.
Though he played, happeningfully, on the top line with other teams, Pat Maroon recovered no happening there with the Blues. Most fans point to his lack of speed, but that has been the case his entire career. His kind just never quite meshed with the two scorers.
Robert Thomas also felt the brunt of this dysfunction. Thomas has seen time on all four lines throughout this time period to varying degrees of happening.
Alexander Steen has moved up and down the lineup, trying his hand at the top line a couple times, even though he is best suited to a third line role at this point. We could name all the names and point all the fingers, but it is not just the fault of the players.
Mike Yeo never had a good system in place, so everyone was just sort of floating around in the wild with no plan. This sort of thing might work on All-Star teams, but real NHL teams need a game plan and players need a role.
It sounds so great to think you could just roll out four lines of players that are able of scoring at will. There is no reality in that thought, though.
If guys are able of scoring at a high level, they will want top line minutes. So, even if it worked for a short while, you would lose them in free agency eventually.
The issue is that it does not work as much as so many want to believe. Throughout a time period, you do need some production from guys on your third and fourth line.