First let me start by saying I like Knuble.
However he has got 1 goal and 2 assists and is -10 since the start of November and just 3 goals and 6 assists total. The biggest thing that those who think he should be on a top 2 line say is that his numbers are down because he is playing with less talented line mates and that is how he gets his points. So I looked up his TOI numbers with his teammates compared to our two other true RW Ward and Brouwer. Brouwer has been out with the best teammates having Ovie on the ice with him for 61.1% of his TOI, Backstrom for 55.3, MJ90 for 24 and Halpern for 16.6. But he also has 10 goals and 8 assists so he is producing with that talent. For Ward it looks like Chimmy 70.9, Laich 62.2, Halpern 17.3, and MJ90 12.1. For Knuble it is MJ90 32.9, Hendricks 31.5, Halpern 23.5, Semin 23.2, and MP85 for 19.
So for all the talk about Knuble having poor line mates for scoring his most common line mate is MJ90 who is tied for 6th on the team in points and also is out almost a quarter of the time with Semin who is also tied for 6th in points so it is hard to say that he hasn’t spent a fair amount of time on the ice with quality high scoring teammates and yet he is still ahead of only Hendricks among forwards with at least 25 games played in points and Hendricks is only -1 to Knuble is -8.
Ward has played at most 12% of his time with anyone who is in our top 6 and is still ahead of Knuble in points and is also +5 and is part of a great shut down line so I don’t see any reason to play Knuble on the 3rd line. So as long as we are playing either Semin or MJ90 on the right side I see no reason why Knuble should be higher then either of the other 2 RWs.
Even if you moved Halpern down from the second line and moved MJ90 over unless you move Semin back to the LW on the second line that doesn’t open up a RW spot so the only way that would move Knuble up is if either he or Brouwer move to the left side and play their off wing and I see no reason to move a guy to their off wing just to play Knuble on the top 6. As much as I like him he has become a lot like Holmstrom in Detroit who was also on the 4th line until he got hurt.
TOI numbers from behindthenet
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