As I predicted, Dustin Penner will sit tonight in favor of Simon Gagne, who sat the last game. Judging by the number of tweets and headlines mentioning Penner, I gather people are cattily enjoying this a little bit. But, unless you expect to see Gagne or Penner regularly skating on the third line this year, it’s entirely predictable that one millionaire or another is going to be sitting on a regular basis. Kopitar, Brown, Williams, Richards, Carter, Penner, Gagne, Stoll. That’s eight guys. Stoll is on the third line. So you’ve got seven left over. Unless there’s an injury, someone’s going to sit.
Probably you’re wondering what’s so bad about Penner or Gagne on the third or fourth line. The answer is that King, Lewis, Nolan, Clifford and Fraser are excellent in their roles, not to mention that they have so far been the best players on the team in the first two games.
I actually think it would be harder to crack the bottom six than the top six.