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Photo Credit: © Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

20 in 20, Line Dancing (Part Six): Load Up Line One?

This is part six of our 20 in 20 series, where we are examining twenty different lineup combinations over a span of twenty days. Our methodology has been to go through various aspects of the lineup and look at possible solutions. For instance, we examined the second line centre role, to see if anyone might fit the spot that Stastny is leaving behind. We also examined the Tanev, Lowry, Copp line to see if they might fit elsewhere in the lineup.

Most of the situations have been looking at specific players or specific spots in the lineup. Today’s suggestions will be slightly different as they involve looking at the lineup as a whole. The intent of section six is to see what the lineup would look like if the Jets loaded up each line with the highest point scorers or if they decided to spread out their scoring among all lines.

While all of the lineups so far have been subjected entirely to my own opinion, today’s will be slightly different. The first combination will be purely based on their points per game from last season which gives zero subjectivity of who might be better suited towards being linemates.

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The second combination will be similar as the players will be separated into lines as if a snake draft was being utilized. This means the top points per game scorer is on line one, followed by second on line two, third on line three and fourth on line four. Then the fifth highest scorer stays on line four, the sixth goes on line three, and so on and so forth until the lines have been created.

For quick reference, I am including what they are ranked among Jets forwards in points per game. (Minimum 20 games played)

SCENARIO ELEVEN: Top Heavy

Laine (3) – Scheifele (2) – Wheeler (1)
Connor (4) – Perreault (6) – Ehlers (5)
Roslovic (9) – Lowry (8) – Little (7)
Tanev (12) – Copp (11) – Dano (14)

(Armia was 10th and Hendricks was 13th which is why Dano made it even though he was 14)

Liklihood: 7/10
Fun Factor: 10/10

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Before actually taking a look at the numbers, I would have guessed a fairly similar picture of this lineup but I didn’t expect the lines to actually look this good. For line one, if Connor can score 31 goals with Scheifele and Wheeler as a rookie, just imagine what Laine might be able to accomplish. Laine already has the chemistry with them because of their power play time together and the natural idea of a all-around forward mixed with a playmaker and sniper makes for a lethal combination.

The second line would be tons of fun to watch. Perreault has played centre in the past and would actually fit quite well between Ehlers and Connor. Connor might fit better with Ehlers than people realize because he is able to keep pace with Ehlers while still maintaining that natural goal scoring ability. This line would be tenacious on the forecheck and would be great at counter-attacking off the rush.

The third line mixes a little bit of everything together with Lowry’s defense, Roslovic’s offense, and Little’s experience. The fourth line would also be interesting because Copp and Dano both have a little offensive upside to their respective games and could add some scoring depth even though the lines are supposed to be top heavy.

 

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SCENARIO TWELVE: Spread Like Butter

Roslovic (9) – Lowry (8) – Wheeler (1)
Little (7) – Scheifele (2) – Copp (11)
Tanev (12) – Perreault (6) – Laine (3)
Connor (4)- Dano (14) – Ehlers (5)

Liklihood: 0/10
Fun Factor: 6/10

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While the first line looks pretty strong, the rest of the lineup doesn’t look impressive. The scoring is very evenly spread throughout the lines but that seems to hinder most of the productivity. It seems that there are much better ways to spread the talent among the lines which goes to show that placing players in certain spots cannot be done by an algorithm.

The top line would be interesting because they would most likely be great in all three zones. They would be able to defend well, break through neutral ice, and play off the rush or in a possession style offense.

The second line would be decent as well although Scheifele’s numbers would really take a hit playing with these two compared to his linemates of last year. The line isn’t extremely dangerous, but they would be capable of scoring and defending quite well.

The third line would probably struggle quite a bit. Perreault and Laine could play well together but Tanev is not very complimentary towards either player. They would be half-decent defensively, but would probably struggle in the offensive zone. Laine needs his linemates to create chances for him as he doesn’t create his own goals very often. This is a bad combination with Tanev because Tanev is not a good set up man. His hands are not very good and he thrives off hustle and speed. Laine would not benefit from this style at all and his goal totals would surely drop.

The fourth line would be quite fun to watch. If you ignore the fact that they don’t have a natural centre, they might be the best line of the bunch. Connor and Ehlers would fit well together and Dano would likely fit in as well because of his versatility. This line would be small and might lose the physical battles, but their speed and skill would make up for the lack of size. Take Connor’s first career goal as evidence they would be lethal off the rush.

Which lineup combination do you like better? Further, what is better in today’s NHL, loading up one line, or spreading out the talent across three or four lines? As always, let me know your thoughts. Submit your lineup combination on Twitter and you might get featured in a later 20 in 20 post!

Previously in the Series:

20 in 20, Line Dancing: Introduction

20 in 20, Line Dancing (Part Two): Who Should Be Second Line Centre

20 in 20, Line Dancing (Part Three): Breaking Up The TLC Line

20 in 20, Line Dancing (Part Four): Vesalainen Makes the Jump

20 in 20, Line Dancing (Part Five): Moose Movement


  • # 2 senario is just plain dumb. The Jets have the depth and skill to parade 4 fast, skilled scoring lies if Maurice had the vision to use them. Forget checking and use the skill the team has on the Jets and NHL ready in the minors to out skate ever team they would face. I would love to see lines of;
    Connor Scheifele Wheeler
    Laine Roslovic Ehlers
    Petan Little Vesalainen
    Appleton Lowry Perreault
    All lines could fly, score and keep control of the puck. The days of having 2 checking/shut down lines are being phased out for skating and scoring lines. Most teams couldn’t do this as they don’t have the speed and skill, but the Jets do. Unfortunately I don’t believe that Maurice has the courage to do this and set the NHL on their ears.