By Michael Walters
Sunday night at the beginning of the third period against Los Angeles, Coach Bruce Boudreau decided to change up the lines. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were split up during even strength play. Boudreau changed the lines to generate some offense and it worked. The Ducks came out strong in the third period on the forecheck. The new line of David Perron and Chris Stewart with Getzlaf were able to get a goal to pull the Ducks within one. Then the combo of Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler, and Jakob Silfverberg appeared to tie the game until the refs ruled that Cogliano kicked the puck into the net.
The new lineup in the third period was as follows:
Today at practice the same lineup as above was used with Jiri Sekac rotating in on the fourth line. Getzlaf and Perry were split up at the beginning of the season, but it was short lived. Boudreau could try the strategy again tomorrow. The thought process behind putting them on separate lines is to prevent the opposing coach from being able to pair both their best defensemen against the Ducks’ normal top line of Rakell, Getzlaf, and Perry.
Going with this lineup gives the Ducks three lines that can score. Boudreau could rotate the top two lines pretty evenly throughout the game. This gives Boudreau more flexibility with the lineup, while at the same time causing matchup problems for their opponents. Something to also keep in mind is Perron and Stewart played together in St. Louis. They played together for a short time during the 2010-11 season and then were together for the next two seasons with the Blues(2011-12 and 2012-13). They did spend some time on the same line in St. Louis, so there is some familiarity there that could help if Boudreau decides to go that route.
What do you think? Split Getzlaf and Perry or not?
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