Here is Terry Murray's new set of line combinations, and three sets I generated randomly by repeatedly assigning each player an integer and sorting accordingly by position. See if you can figure out which one is Terry's.
Answer: the fourth set is the real one. The first three are randomly-generated. Some thoughts:
- Every line (all four, I mean) with Andrei Loktionov on it looks great.
- Every line with Trent Hunter on it looks bad.
- Hunter and Ethan Moreau were scratched by the randomizer in the first set. That makes those four lines look strong.
- The second simulation put Moreau and Hunter on the fourth line, which is best for them.
- The second simulation magically generated two top-six lines we've actually seen quite a bit of.
- The third simulation sucks the worst of the four sets, even worse than Murray's real lines.
- However, the third set yielded Simon Gagne - Lokitionov - Dustin Brown, which is not a bad idea.
- Murray's actual lines (the last set) don't look any more coherent than my randomly-generated ones.
- Murray's first line, with Brown on the off-wing (could be good) and Hunter on the right (AHHHHHHHGH!) is probably a train-wreck.
- Murray's second line, with Gagne and Mike Richards reunited (good) and Jarret Stoll on the wing (maybe not terrible) is a question-mark. I suppose we'll be hearing about Stoll's ability to get off that quick hard shot, or an attempt to jump-start him.
- Murray's third line, Kyle Clifford - Lokti - Justin Williams, I love. I love everything about it. Except maybe the potential for catastrophic turnovers just inside the offensive blue line.
- Murray's fourth line, Moreau - Colin Fraser - Kevin Westgarth, is fine. Brad Richardson or Trevor Lewis instead of Westgarth would be better, but Murray probably didn't have his scratches randomized as I did, so Richardson and Lewis weren't options.
- Also, I think Westgarth's goal has awakened Murray's dream of turning Westgarth into The Goon Who Can Score.
- To sum up, I think my first two random line-ups are better than Murray's one random line-up. To be fair though, his might have been the best of all the random line-ups he was choosing from. That's the risk you take when you use the Terry Murray Line Combinator.