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BTB BLOG: LINE 'EM UP

Friday, 10.12.2007 / 4:51 PM ET / Blogs - Beyond the Boards
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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BTB BLOG: LINE \'EM UP
10.12.07, 4:07 p.m. ::::

"The one good thing about hockey lines is that you're going to put them together and you're going to take them apart."

That was Lindy Ruff's quote this morning talking about his new lines from Thursday night, which were:

Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly and Jochen Hecht
Ales Kotalik, Paul Gaustad and Maxim Afinogenov
Drew Stafford, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek
Mike Ryan, Adam Mair and Daniel Paille

Ruff's comment was directed more towards Roy's and Gaustad's lines.  Certain pairs of players will almost always be together in the lineup:  Pominville and Hecht, Roy and Vanek.

Aside from those four, and even those four in certain cases, players are interchangeable from time to time to create a spark.

Pomminville and Hecht have been able to stay productive for good period of time playing alongside each other.  Same goes for Vanek and Roy.  If those pairs are playing well, it might be detrimental to separate them.

Afinogenov's move to Gaustad's line is simple.

Ruff wanted a goal scorer combined with a playmaker.  Add to that thinking the fact that Stafford thrived in the playoffs skating with Roy and Vanek, and Pominville/Hecht thrive with an offensively gifted center (i.e. Daniel Briere, now Tim Connolly), and you've got your lines.

The common stigma in hockey is fix it when it's broken. 

If you're winning, keep the lines the same.  If you lose, it may be time to switch things up.

These lines are here to stay for at least another game after Buffalo's 6-0 win over Atlanta.
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