SI.com 2003 NHL Playoffs 2003 NHL Playoffs


Darren Eliot's Line Analysis: Wild O

Untitled Document Devils O | Devils D | Senators O | Senators D | Mighty Ducks O | Mighty Ducks D | Wild O | Wild D

First Line -- Jeremy Stevenson-Wes Walz-Marian Gaborik
Marian Gaborik can flat-out fly, winning the fastest skater competition at this yearís All-Star Game. But linemate Walz is even faster, having won the teamís fastest skater competition.Together they put a lot of pressure on opposing defensemen, backing them off with their skating skills. Head coach Jacques Lemaire will also utilize them in a defensive matchup, pitting top line versus top line. Stevenson does the heavy lifting in the corners.
Second Line -- Pascal Dupuis-Sergei Zholtok-Cliff Ronning
Dupuis and Ronning both rely on speed to create chances off turnovers, while Zholtok is a crafty playmaker. Both Zholtok and Ronning play on the power play, so Dupuis will sometimes find himself with other linemates immediately following a Wild power-play sequence.
Third Line -- Andrew Brunette-Jim Dowd-Jason Marshall
Brunette and Dowd often play together, both at even strength and on the power play. Brunette, particularly, sees an inordinate amount of his ice time on the powerplay, while Marshall is a long-time defenseman moved up to forward to bang on the forecheck. Like all of Lemaireís combinations, these guys find themselves with an assortment of other players depending on the game situation and matchup needs.
Checking Line -- Antti Laaksonen-Darby Hendrickson-Richard Park
Hendrickson is the teamís best faceoff man, while Laaksonen and Park have excellent speed. Both Laaksonen and Park are diligent checkers, and depending on Lemaireís needs, get spotted on other lines at various points of a contest. Hendrickson, too, sees time with other lines based on faceoff requirements, particularly when the draw is in the defensive zone.

 


 
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