-- The Anaheim Ducks
might have the most stability of any team in the NHL on their top two lines.
skates between Bobby Ryan
and Corey Perry
, while Saku Koivu
is flanked by Teemu Selanne
and Jason Blake
. Those players have been Anaheim's top six forwards when healthy, and they most likely will continue to be so -- those two specific line combinations consumed nearly 35 percent of the team's time at even strength (according to dobberhockey.com), while no other set of three players played three percent of it as coach Randy Carlyle
mixed and matched his remaining forwards.
Carlyle had many players challenging for spots on the bottom two lines during training camp, but the third line he settled on is interesting because it's made up of three players who weren't on the team last season. Center Andrew Cogliano
was added in a trade with Edmonton, right wing Andrew Gordon
was a free agent and left wing Devante Smith-Pelly
was a second-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft and is expected to make his NHL debut Friday against the Buffalo Sabres
in the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere at Hartwall Areena (1 p.m. ET, TSN2).
"They are three guys who are new to our hockey club," Carlyle said. "Two of them are the 1-2 that have had the best camps in Gordon and Smith-Pelly in our ratings. They've done what they needed to do to go out and earn the opportunity."