Ramblings: Depth in fantasy hockey; Arizona news; Tampa Bay shot stats; game recaps – September 1

Michael Clifford


It was the Penguins teams of recent Cup years that really cemented home to me the necessity of depth in the playoffs. This is very rudimentary, but this is roughly how I see playoff teams at the outset of every year:

  • One good line: playoff contender
  • Two good lines: may win a round or two
  • Three or four good lines: Cup contender

Just look at Cup Finalists in recent seasons: St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Vegas. Most of those teams had reliable third lines, and the ones that didn’t generally had good depth to cobble one together.

It's a little cheat I use when trying to figure out before any season starts to separate the contenders from the non-contenders. Now, teams change at the deadline, and Tampa adding players like Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman wildly changed their fortunes.

The Vancouver Canucks have a fantastic core of Pettersson-Horvat-Hughes that any team would covet. They have a nice pair of wingers in J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser, and pending re-signings with guys like Tyler Toffoli, and Jacob Markstrom. That's a great group of players to build around. But the difference we're seeing in the series with Vegas isn't necessarily the difference between Pettersson-Horvat-Miller-Boeser-Hughes and Karlsson-Stastny-Stone-Pacioretty -Theodore. The difference is between Alex Tuch, Nick Cousins, and William Carrier over Brandon Sutter, Jay Beagle, and Adam Gaudette.

This isn't to pick on Vancouver, it just happens to be a series going on now where the conversation revolves around depth. Chicago had the same issue with Vegas, as Columbus did with Tampa Bay. We saw that play out between Tampa/Boston. [These stats were all going into Monday’s game.] Tampa's third line of Goodrow-Gourde-Coleman had three goals in the first four games at 5-on-5 while each player was