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Lightning should start Cirelli as their third line center

When the Tampa Bay Chargers finally overcame the predicament of the playoffs and won the back-to-back Stanley Cup, they did it with the support of a very balanced lineup of starting forwards. Not only do they have some of the top scoring talents in the entire league, but they are also cold with Blake Coleman, Yanni Goode and Barclay Goodrow, arguably the best third line in the NHL. This third line helped to change the identity of the team because it gave them a closed defensive presence that can instantly turn opponents’ mistakes into a goal.

A key component of this Success is GoodHe has always been a stable forward in the top six scoring goals for the Tampa Bay team, but when he took over as the third-line center, he truly became himself. In this dedicated role, he refined the aspects of the game he was good at and made him a better player. Although technically relegated to the top six, he had a greater impact on the Chargers.

Although he was among the top six of the Tampa Bay Chargers and scored 20 goals, he really played his role when Yanni Good was relegated to the lineup as their third-line center. (Jess Starr/Hockey writer)

with Goode was selected by the Seattle Kraken As the expansion draft and the rest of the dominant line dispersed into the wind, Lightning found himself in a difficult position. They must now build a new three-line defense, which may mean going back to their old script by letting the top six forwards play different but equally important roles in the team.

The second line of lightning has an identity crisis with Stamkos and Cirelli

Looking at the Chargers’ starting lineup for the 2020-21 season, you will find that the team often has two natural centers, Steven Stammkos and Anthony Cirelli playing the second line together. Although this route has achieved some scoring success, they also lack a real direction, which often causes them to look a little confused when on the ice.

Look, Cirelli is a defensive expert and he is looking for a 2019-20 Selke Prize He is at his best when he uses his incredible hockey IQ to keep him ahead of his opponents. Although he can become a 20-goal forward if his play style changes, most of his playing time is divided equally between the offensive and defensive areas, or when the Chargers make a penalty kick, which means He is a defensive being.

Detroit Red Wings guard Mike Green and Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli
With the development of Anthony Cirelli in the game, he not only became one of the best two-way forwards for the Chargers, but also in the entire NHL. (AP Photo/Paul Sancia)

On the other hand, Stammkos performed well in the offensive zone because he can use his incredible shots to freeze opponents in their tracks.Although his defensive stats were completely ignored (he never had Corsi or Fenwick less than 54% Throughout his career), this may be because he spends 60% or more of his ice time on the offensive zone or power play.

This means that you have two players with very different game plans trying to allocate game time in the second line of the Chargers, which forces one of the players to leave their natural center position. Needless to say, this may not be the best use of their skill set, because they all played the best hockey at center.

Lightning can find the perfect third-line character for Cirelli

With all this in mind, it makes sense for Tampa Bay to move Cirelli from the second line to take over the full-time role of the third line. Although this may seem like a downgrade on paper, as we discussed with Goode, it is far from the case.

related: Tampa Bay Lightning 2021-22 season preview

By manufacturing Cirelli third-line center, The Chargers will make full use of his skill set. This not only makes him a full-time center again, but he will take over his well-known role as a defensive lockout. If he is given the right teammates to supplement the two-way game plan, this can allow him to perform well in both areas.

Anthony Cirelli Tampa Bay Lightning
Although this doesn’t sound like an improvement in his career, Cirelli can achieve more success by being a third-line center for the Chargers instead of the top six. (Amy Owen / Hockey writer)

So, similar to Goode, Cirelli can accept The next step in his lightning career By actually moving in their lineup. Although this sounds like a relegation, if he is transferred to a full-time role in the third line, this will allow him to return to the most effective aspects of his game and may allow him to flourish on the scoring table in offensive and defensive areas. Nominated by Selke in 2022.






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