Just piggy-backing on what David Pollak released in his Working the Corners blog the other day. It looks like we may have our first glimpse into what coach Todd McLellan may be thinking as his third and fourth lines.
Parts were expected, but there may be one or two players on the final two lines that may have surprised some.
The surprise: Tommy Wingels.
Wingels leads the team in goals this preseason with three heading into Tuesday, and has seemed to have decent chemistry with everyone he has played with so far on the ice.
For now, we know that two players, Michal Handzus and Torrey Mitchell will be apart of that third line, but it is Wingels who is suited up on the left wing next to them.
Jamie McGinn has seemed to be less favorable in the eyes of McLellan at this point, although it felt that McGinn was the man for that third line spot heading into training camp.
Wingels has impressed. McGinn has not.
On the fourth line, we can pencil in Andrew Murray and Andrew Desjardins at the center and wing spots. However, that last spot may be up for grabs, with McGinn and Brad Winchester competing for it.
Winchester, Desjardins and Murray have meshed very well together so far this preseason, and that may be the deciding factor to hold off on having McGinn start on any of the four lines. It really depends on how McGinn looks on these last few preseason games.
It was sad to see Brandon Mashinter head back to Worcester, after a preseason that many saw as his opportunity to crack the starting lines.
It simply looked like he did not have enough, and McLellan noticed it.
Make no mistake, Mashinter will be back sometime this season. He is too talented to stay put in the minors and is a key part in the future of this team.
I guess James Sheppard and Ben Guite never panned out, as well. Neither will start the year in San Jose.