Since Dustin Brown’s suspension that led to a line shake-up in Game 47 of the regular season, there have been mixed results from forwards on the team’s re-shuffled top two lines.
Justin Williams has offered the best production since the adjustment, registering two goals, three points, a plus-two rating and 10 shots in the two regular season games and one playoff game.
On the other end of the range of production, Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar have combined for one assist and a minus-one rating since the Minnesota game.
Darryl Sutter singled out the play of the Brown-Richards-Williams line as being the most consistent in last night’s overtime loss and addressed a question after practice on Wednesday on whether he had considered reverting to a line combination that was together for much of the second half of 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Sutter, on whether he has thought about putting Kopitar back with Brown and Williams:
“You know, the reason we [adjusted the lines] was knowing full well who we were playing, and that 42 (David Backes) plays against 11 (Anze Kopitar). Mike has struggled on the road this year, and if you look at it, it has a big thing to do with the regular season – it wasn’t Kopi’s line. It was whoever Mike was playing with. That line struggled on the road. Jeff and Kopi play really well together. They play a lot of power play time together, and they have something there. So that’s the reason we did it, and quite honest, Mike and Brownie and Willie were our best line by a long shot last night. So it’s more on Kopi to play better, not on putting somebody with him to help him. I wish I got to play with the leading goal scorer in the Western Conference.”