…about 5 minutes ago. Then it seemed so obvious.
I went through this analysis. The first line is set. Kopitar centers Brown and Smyth. The third line is set. Handzus centers Simmonds and Poni. The second line may be set if Parse is healthy. Assume he is – that means Stoll centers Parse and Williams. That leaves the fourth line. Think wing first. Murray wants a traditional bruising line that can bring energy and chip in the occasional offense. Bruising = Westgarth. Bruising + chipping in offense = Clifford. There are your wingers. Energy + occasional offense = Richardson. Thus, the fourth line is Richardson centering Westgarth and Clifford.
It has to be.
Schenn isn’t taking Richardson’s spot. Moller doesn’t bring bruising to a wing position. Loktionov can’t be placed as a fourth line center because that would create three rookies on one line and Murray is not doing that. Clune or Zeiler? Healthy scratches and the occasional inserts perhaps.
The fourth line has to be Clifford-Richardson-Westgarth.
Bring on the Birds on Tuesday @ Staples.