Buffalo Sabres: ESPN analyst’s snub a crime against hockey

Greg Wyshynski of ESPN recently ranked the top 20 lines in the NHL. Missing from that list was the Buffalo Sabres Thompson line. 

First off, let’s give ESPN analyst Greg Wyshynski some credit. At least he saw value in the Kid Line comprising Dylan Cozens, J.J. Peterka, and Jack Quinn. The trio ranked 20th on his list of top 20 lines so far this season, so a big kudos to three 21-year-olds.

Absent from that list, however, was the Thompson line comprising Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, and Jeff Skinner. In fact, Wyshynski didn’t even list them among his nine honorable mentions. And overall, there is no bigger crime against the Buffalo Sabres or the NHL at the moment, since the Thompson line is a huge reason the Sabres lead the NHL in goals scored with 105.

Wyshynski’s snub is a crime against the Buffalo Sabres and hockey

Of the Sabres 105 goals, the Thompson line has scored 46 of them. And during Wednesday night’s win against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the line accounted for 14 points and six goals. In short, there is no way Wyshynski has any logic in snubbing the Thompson line from these rankings.

So how did Wyshynski rank these guys? Each line had to play together for at least 75 minutes, so the Thompson line checks that box with ease. He also wanted to balance results with the numbers, so clearly, that’s another box the Thompson line checks.

And finally, he ranked them on their overall work ethic, and how they would project to play with more time on the ice together, which explains why the Kid Line made the cut. But it still doesn’t explain why the Thompson line didn’t make it.

Overall, it was a lapse in judgment from Wyshynski and his team for somehow overlooking and snubbing the Thompson line from the list. Not that rankings matter, but you’d think he’d be wise enough to include a trio that has accounted for 46 goals this season.

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)

Article Source: Ranking the best lines in the NHL in the 2022-23 season by Greg Wyshynski 

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