I’m a four line coach. I also like playing on teams that have four lines. I’ll always believe rolling four lines as much as possible is the way to develop players, the way to coach and, ultimately, the way to win.
Last season I noticed some trends and dug into the stats of two superstar players who often play significant minutes: Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. Read the results here (Ovechkin) and here (Malkin).
I concluded Ovechkin’s ideal ice time is between 19-21 minutes and generally under 20 minutes for both him personally and for team success, and he needs to play consistent minutes divided evenly over all three periods. I found the less Malkin plays the more he produces, no matter how few minutes it is. Also for him and the Pens as a team, if he’s plays anything over 19 minutes it’s kryptonite.
I got a lot of nice feedback and a bit of not so nice feedback, so for both sides of the coin I’ve decided to keep a Malkin and Ovechkin watch which I’ll maintain throughout the season and into playoffs(hopefully for these two anyway).
It’s only fitting the season opener for these players is a head to head match.