Carolina’s third line against Vegas’ reduced bottom six
Vegas’ forward core has suffered major injuries. That’s bad enough, but the talent of some of the players they are missing is ridiculous. They’ve always had a major weakness down the middle of the ice, but now the team is missing one of their first line wingers, and another key piece in the top six. That means players in the reduced roles on the third line are going to have to play top-six minutes.
This means that there will be a lot of call-ups for the second-newest team in the NHL, and with Carolina expected to be in much better shape than they were in their win over St Louis, it’s going to be important for the bottom six to really control the game when they’re out against their counterparts. Tonight is going to be a game of who can grind out that win.
When Vegas has to use their bottom six, Carolina will need to dominate and pin the Golden Knights into their own end. This is a game that favors Carolina while it is being contested between the bottom lines. Carolina’s depth gives them a strong edge in this tie, but that’s only if the team plays up to their expectations. We know Carolina’s depth can settle games, they did it last time out.
Tonight, the third line needs to be the dominant force. We know that the third line can shut down a game when tasked to. Tonight, they’re going to be given the job of providing some offense too. Given that this line is centered by the Carolina Hurricanes captain, this is a great example for this trio to lead by example. Perform how everyone else on the team does, and get your job done. There, success starts.