Reprinted with permission from hockyebuzz.com
Wayne Gretzky was on Hockey Hotline today for a brief appearance talking about an array of things including the NHL's new All-Star format and you could sense "The Great One" salivating at the prospects of having with that much ice to work with. He would eventually got who his linemates would be in a 3-on-3--Paul Coffey and Mark Messier. That line just might be the ultimate 3-on-3 line and it got me thinking what other trio's could come close.
Immediately Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr came to mind at the forward slots and with Paul Coffey as their d-men, it would rival Gretzky's trio. You could through in the Pens Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin with, probably, Kris Letang, but Letang is not close to the caliber of Coffey.
For Buffalo, Gilbert Perreault and Rene' Robert were a dynamic duo from the early days while Pat LaFontaine and Alexander Mogilny from the early 90's might have been even more dynamic. But finding a d-man close to those pairings was rather difficult. With Perreault and Robert one could fit in Jocelyn Guevremont while LaFontaine and Mogilny may have been joined by Doug Bodger.
Fun with hockey trios.
Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons won't make the two-game road trip that starts in St. Louis tonight and finishes in Dallas on Saturday as he's still recovering from the hit he took in the San Jose game this past Saturday.
Despite his paltry offensive numbers, head coach Dan Bylsma said he's missed on the ice. “He’s a big factor to our team in how we use him and where we use him and the quality of competition he plays against,” Bylsma said after practice yesterday (via Jon Vogl of the Buffalo News.) “Right now we’ve seen a pretty straight matchup with Ryan O’Reilly’s line, especially at home, against the top line of the opposition. But on the road it really was Zemgus and Ryan sharing those duties with not getting the last change, so his quality of competition has been high.
“We’ve used him against other team’s top lines, and he’s come out on the positive side of the possession with his line. That says a lot about what he has been bringing to our team and maybe a little bit past the goals and assist that he does have.”
It's assumed that he'll continue in that role when he returns from injury.
Speaking of injuries, one player is returning tonight while another will be out when the Sabres hit the Scottrade ice tonight.
Evander Kane, who's missed the last 10 games due to a lower body injury, will be back in action. According to reporters he's been flying at practice and has been chompin' at the bit to get back on the ice. "I feel fresh and ready to go," Kane said (via Sabres.com,) "... I'm well-rested. I've been all over our training staff to let me play. Tonight's the night, so I've got to go out there and prove (the training staff) right.
"I got the news [Wednesday]. It's because of them I was able to come back in three weeks and change."
Kane is joining defenseman Zach Bogosian who just came back from an injury to play against Dallas in his first game of the season. The two, if anyone needs reminding, were the key pieces in the Tyler Myers/Drew Stafford trade with the Winnipeg Jets.
Just when the Sabres thought they had a completer blueline, WGR's Paul Hamilton tweeted earlier today that defenseman Mark Pysyk will not play because of an injury to the upper part of his lower-body.
Have fun with that one boys and girls.
Carlo Colaiacovo took his place on the third pairing with Cody Franson at practice. The other pairings remained the same from the previous game with Rasmus Ristolainen and Josh Gorges up top and Bogosian with rookie Jake McCabe on the second pairing.
The lines for this morning's practice were, according to Sabres.com:
Matt Moulson, O'Reilly, Brian Gionta
Kane, Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart
Marcus Foligno, Johan Larsson, Tyler Ennis
Nicolas Deslauriers, David Legwand, Jamie McGinn
Goalie Linus Ullmark will get the start.
One final note, Buffalo is on a three-game win streak on the road putting them 4-3 on the road this season. They're 4-6-1 at home.