Ken Hitchcock took over the St. Louis Blues’ Twitter account to answer questions from fans. While most of the questions he answered were fun or dealt with his previous experiences, one answer shed some light on the upcoming season and potential lines.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) July 22, 2014
Hitchcock loves to juggle lines and his answer here may partially reveal why he does it. For Hitchcock, it looks like pairs are more important than trios. For instance, Hitchcock will probably try several options with Oshie and Backes both in camp and during the year. There’s no guarantee Oshie and Backes or Schwartz and Tarasenko will stick together, but viewing the roster as pairs rather than lines makes understanding Hitchcock’s madness a bit easier.
It’s also worth noting that Alexander Steen apparently already has a partner in Joakim Lindstrom. The two reportedly have a strong relationship, but questions have been asked about whether Lindstrom makes sense as a top-6 forward. If he doesn’t, you either have Lindstrom playing a bit higher than anticipated or Steen playing a bit lower.
As always, none of Hitchcock’s comments are set in stone or written in ink. Some of the pairs make a lot of sense, but Hitchcock has never been afraid (perhaps to a fault) to shake up a line or a pairing.