“Buzz Line” Keeps Pittsburgh Penguins Humming Along

December 10th, 2010 by Matt Gajtka Leave a reply »
Even before Jordan Staal's season debut was postponed indefinitely by multiple health setbacks, the Pittsburgh Penguins were planning on moving the 6'4" center from the third line to the second, alongside Evgeni Malkin.

Thus, the reign of Staal, Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy as perhaps the best third line in the National Hockey League had reached its end, but the Penguins have stumbled upon another trio that has played a surprisingly significant role in generating their NHL-best 20-8-2 record.

Self-dubbed as the "Buzz Line," the grouping of rookie center Mark Letestu, American Hockey League veteran Chris Conner and fourth-year Penguin Kennedy, has excelled by doing exactly what a third line is supposed to do: play responsible defense, chip pucks deep into the offensive zone and toss in the occasional goal.

In fact, it may be accurate to say Letestu, Conner and Kennedy are behaving more like a third line than the triumvirate of Staal, Cooke and Kennedy did. To be fair, Staal is a top-six talent who was miscast as bottom-six due to the Penguins' embarrassment of riches at center with Sidney Crosby and Malkin.

The third-line assignment mi ...

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