Behold: Terry Murray's Magic Line Combinator

via www.logodesignweb.com

You think Terry Murray's lines are random? (I don't really, but it has been remarked on. Okay, maybe I do sometimes.) Check out these truly random lines (generated with the help of random.org).

1.

Scott Parse / Alexander Frolov / Justin Williams
Fredrik Modin / Brad Richardson / Wayne Simmonds
Ryan Smyth / Michal Handzus / Rich Clune
Raitis Ivanans / Jeff Halpern / Dustin Brown

scratched: Anze Kopitar, Peter Harrold, Jarret Stoll

2.

Frolov/Kopitar/Harrold
Modin/Richardson/Williams
Smyth/Handzus/Ivanans
Parse/Clune/Simmonds

scratched: Stoll, Halpern, Brown

3.

Modin/Handzus/Frolov
Smyth/Stoll/Williams
Clune/Richardson/Simmonds
Ivanans/Harrold/Parse

scratched: Brown, Halpern, Kopitar

4.

Frolov/Kopitar/Modin
Halpern/Richardson/Simmonds
Brown/Stoll/Williams
Ivanans/Harrold/Clune

scratched: Handzus, Smyth, Parse

5.

Stoll/Handzus/Kopitar
Modin/Parse/Brown
Clune/Halpern/Williams
Ivanans/Simmonds/Frolov

scratched: Richardson, Harrold, Smyth

6.

Richardson/Kopitar/Simmonds
Frolov/Halpern/Clune
Modin/Stoll/Brown
Ivanans/Parse/Williams

scratched: Smyth, Richardson, Handzus

7.

Richardson/Parse/Simmonds
Modin/Halpern/Ivanans
Smyth/Harrold/Williams
Frolov/Brown/Stoll

scratched: Kopitar, Clune, Handzus

8.

Modin/Handzus/Simmonds
Smyth/Halpern/Brown
Ivanans/Richardson/Clune
Frolov/Parse/Williams

scratched: Harrold, Kopitar, Stoll

9.
Modin/Richardson/Clune
Smyth/Stoll/Brown
Halpern/Handzus/Harrold
Ivanans/Kopitar/Williams

scratched: Parse, Simmonds, Frolov

10.

Frolov/Kopitar/Brown
Richardson/Handzus/Harrold
Clune/Halpern/Williams
Ivanans/Stoll/Modin

scratched: Smyth, Simmonds, Parse

11.

Stoll/Kopitar/Brown
Smyth/Handzus/Parse
Clune/Harrold/Williams
Ivanans/Richardson/Modin

scratched: Halpern, Simmonds, Frolov


Some pretty plausible line combos come up (Modin/Richardson/Simmonds, Smyth/Handzus/Parse), as well as some bad ideas (Ivanans/Kopitar/Williams). One thing that leaps out at me is that, of all the anomalies, the random selection of healthy scratches bears the least resemblence to reality. Therefore, this time I will limit the pool of potential scratchees (to Parse, Ivanans, Halpern, Harrold or Clune) and force whatever line that contains Ivanans to be called the 4th line.

Also, there's a problem with centers (e.g. the Stoll/Handzus/Kopitar line, also Parse/Frolov/Williams). So this time, I'll set the first three centers as fixed (Kopitar, Stoll, Handzus), and randomly throw everyone else in. After all, Terry Murray does call the Kopitar line #1, Stoll #2, Handzus #3, with #4 being a kind of a grab bag. So maybe this will look more like reality.

I will randomly select the healthy scratches first. Then I will randomly select the wingers and fourth liners from those who remain. Here are the randomly selected scratchees for each of five line-ups:

Harrold, Halpern, Parse
Clune, Ivanans, Halpern
Ivanans, Harrold, Parse
Clune, Parse, Harrold
Clune, Harrold, Parse

(Parse gets screwed)

Now, the randomized lines based on the five sets of scratches. Lines that actually don't suck I'll put in bold. Asterisks for lines we've actually seen (in some cases, I'm not sure but they sound familiar).

1.

Clune/Kopitar/Simmonds
Modin/Stoll/Richardson
Williams/Handzus/Brown

Smyth/Frolov/Ivanans

2.

Modin/Kopitar/Simmonds
Williams/Stoll/Brown
Parse/Handzus/Richardson
Smyth/Harrold/Frolov

3.

Smyth/Kopitar/Richardson*
Modin/Stoll/Williams*
Halpern/Handzus/Simmonds
Frolov/Clune/Brown


4.

Frolov/Kopitar/Brown*
Williams/Stoll/Simmonds
Modin/Handzus/Halpern

Ivanans/Richardson/Smyth

5.

Smyth/Kopitar/Williams*
Halpern/Stoll/Richardson
Modin/Handzus/Brown
*
Ivanans/Frolov/Simmonds

Interestingly, four of these five randomizes line-ups are useable. And, actually, if you were to remove Ivanans and simply allow the 4th line to be a pair (Frolov/Simmonds, Richardson/Smyth, Frolov/Smyth) which gets a double-shifted top-nine player as the third linemate, I think you're about as close to an actually functional Terry Murray line-combinator as you're going to get. If I have some spare time, I might just make a widget of this.
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