Behold: Terry Murray's Magic Line Combinator
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).
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: Stoll, Halpern, Brown
scratched: Brown, Halpern, Kopitar
scratched: Richardson, Harrold, Smyth
scratched: Smyth, Richardson, Handzus
scratched: Kopitar, Clune, Handzus
scratched: Harrold, Kopitar, Stoll
scratched: Parse, Simmonds, Frolov
scratched: Smyth, Simmonds, Parse
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).
Of the second set of line-ups, which is the best?