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It's time to give David Legwand a shot on a top line

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Deslauriers, McGinn, Larsson, Foligno, Gionta, Girgensons, and everybody else has been put on a top line for at least a little bit this season. Tim Schaller has not, but thats a given. Why have we not seen Legwand play with Eichel or O'Reilly? 

Legwand has been stuck down on line 4 all season. Legwand has played 160 minutes this season. This is who the amount he's played with each player. 

Legwand Time on Ice with forward teammates

Player

Time on Ice

Nicolas Deslauriers

79:41

Jamie McGinn

77:55

Marcus Foligno

45:08

Sam Reinhart 

29:54

Tim Schaller

29:52

Everyone else 

Under 12 minutes

The top three players Legwand has played with have a combined 9 goals of the 53 the Sabres have scored this season. He is the only forward other than Tim Schaller that is averaging under 10 minutes a night. This is a guy who has put up points throughout his career as recent as two years ago. 

People wrote off Legwand as a 4th line center because that's what he was in Ottawa last season. He did it well. He was a role player, and chipped in some scoring putting 9 goals and 27 points. The year before that Legwand had 51 points with the Predators and Red Wings. That would have ranked 1st on the Sabres that year (Cody Hodgson led the team with 44). 

Is it crazy to think this guy couldn't put up similar numbers if he had better line mates? He hasn't played in a top 6 role since that season with 51 points. The way Matt Moulson has looked, and Brian Gionta have looked, Bylsma should throw Legwand on Jack Eichel's wing and see what happens. Legwand is a good skater north and south, so he would be able to keep up with him better than McGinn, Moulson, etc.



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