There's a reason why the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars were so aggressive in the off-season. Both had impressive playoff runs, coming within a game apiece of the Western Conference final, but both, in the end, fell short. Largely to blame: both were one-line teams.
During the regular season, the respective top trios for the Avs (Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen) and Stars (Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov) provided an inordinate amount of their team’s goals. Colorado and Dallas thus had to deepen their top-sixes and worked hard to shore them up on the trade and UFA markets.
More so than a Big Line league, the NHL is a Top-Six league now. The best way to evaluate a team’s offense is through its top two lines, as many teams don’t ice true “first” lines ...
About the Author
Matt Larkin is a senior writer at The Hockey News and has been part of the team since 2011. He's your one-stop shop for deep-dive player interviews, predictions, statistics, fantasy player rankings, player safety and hair tips. Catch him weekly as host of The Hockey News Live and The Hockey News Podcast.