Saturday morning I had a chat with a Penguins winger about the differences between playing on the third or fourth line. We talked hockey and the difference between playing on different lines. Like most Penguins wingers, this player has seen time on a few lines this season.
With so much hullaballoo about Daniel Sprong and fans clamoring for Sprong to “get a chance to see what he can do,” I’ve been asking some of the players who have succeeded where Sprong has thus far failed. For context, today I did not mention Sprong who has languished this season while fans blame coaches for his line position, but a Penguins forward and I talked specifics about the game and how different lines change those game details.
Yes, playing with Derick Brassard on the third line is different than playing with Riley Sheahan, or Derek Grant on the fourth line. But the insight for the differences was somewhat surprising.
First, I must confess to being partially incorrect when I’ve told fans there isn’t a difference, but those current differences speak to dogma more than the Penguins instructions.