Last year, Tampa Bay Lightning lifted the Stanley Cup, relying on their top line by Braden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palace to score almost 40% of their points in the off-season.
Tampa Bay is now gaining a different edge as it approaches the 56-game, mid-season cut-off season.
The defending champions have the best start in franchise history as they have a much better balance on offense even with Kucherov, their top scorer from the previous five seasons, being ruled out of the season after thigh surgery.
“This team’s second goal was a big part of our success,” lightning coach John on Cooper said on Tuesday. “But in the end, your best players have to be your best players.”
NHL coaches try to align their No. 1 line with the top three forwards, these stars push each other on both ends of the ice. The best teams keep up the pressure, spinning a few lines that can be scored by having offensive-minded defenders who can set goals or light the lamp themselves.
At the beginning of the week, Tampa Bay, New York’s residents, Vegas and Toronto led their divisions, in part because their secondary score was strong. Carolina, Florida, Washington, Minnesota, Edmonton և Winnipeg are among the most successful teams so far, as they rely on their number one line to score points.
The Oilmen had a score of 20 players, giving the teams more to worry about than just Conor McDavid ոն Leon Dreisitl.
“We know Conor and Leon are going to take some offense, but to be a good team we have to have it in our whole squad, not just intrusively, but we need consistency in that area,” said Edmonton’s coach. Dave Tippt.
The Islands were the first team in the league this season to have five players, including four in the center of each line, who have scored at least nine times. They also have a trio of defenders with at least 10 points.
“Sometimes in this league the top lines cancel each other out,” said Barry Trots, the Islands coach. “That’s what the rest of the staff does, the rest of the staff can make a difference.”
Maple Leaf stars Auston Matthews և Mitch Marner are among the top scorers in the NHL, but their team did not start the week leading the standings with points just because of a dynamic duo.
With the splendor of having a star like line’s Tavares playing in the second line, Ach Ak Himan in the third line, capable of scoring goals, Toronto can finally celebrate winning the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1967.
“Having great depth, the teams in the league have the ability to score goals throughout the game,” said Hyman. “It also helps the morale of the team, the chemistry, when everyone feels they are contributing. “It’s always nice to score a goal.”
It still shines
Western Conference champion Dallas Stars had a rough start to the season, starting with the COVID-19 outbreak, which led to delays. All-Star center Tyler Segin and goalkeeper Ben Bishop are also recovering from out-of-season surgery.
Chicago 6: After conceding four consecutive defeats, Dallas has now won two of three, 11-1 overall. Star coach Rick Bownes says he enjoys the opportunity to jump with his team, especially if they can play more 5-on-5 hockey while avoiding penalties.
“I am satisfied with our team’s game, although the record does not reflect that,” said Bownes.
BA FL VEL
Calgary, making his first consecutive post-season appearance in a decade, became the second NHL team to fire the manager this season. The Flames sacked off-the-shelf coach Ward Ward last week and replaced him with Daryl Sater, who is leading the team for the second time.
“We want to get out of this funk and push back to the playoffs,” said striker Gody Godrod.
PANDEMIC KHA AY:
On Tuesday night, the NHL COVID-19 protocols kept only three players out of the ice: Edmonton’s Kyle Turis, Nashville’s Eric Howlan and San Jose’s Marcus Sorensen.
Ugas will host St. Louis in the return leg on Friday և Saturday during a clash between the top two teams in the West Division.
LEADERS (until Monday)
Goals: Oston Matthews (Toronto), 18; Assistants: Conor McDavid (Edmonton), 30; Points. McDavid, 45; Ice time. Brent Burns (San Jose), 27:05; Wins. Andrei Vasilsky (Tampa Bay), 15; Goals on average. Peter Mrazek (Carolina), 0.99; Save interest. Mrazek, .954.
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Supported by AP hockey writer Stephen Winn և AP Sports Writer Vin Cherwu.
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