Sabres' Krueger says he does not number lines

October 6, 2019

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Back probably at least 10 years ago coaches would number their lines one through four. In those days your top center would play with your No. 1 left winger and so on. Those days are long gone as coaches don’t number lines anymore.

This is a concept that most fans and some media members just can’t get a grasp of. Ralph Krueger said, “I generally think there’s the Larsson line, there’s the Eichel line, there’s the Johansson line and there's the Mittelstadt line and really there’s different roles at different times.

“If you look at when we were closing the game out in Pittsburgh, that line (Larsson’s line) was playing as one of two lines left in the last five minutes, so we won’t be a numerical kind of team and 5-on-5 we were able to even up the ice-time yesterday through the four units.”

When asked who his first line was Krueger said, “There is no first line, it’s quite clear that Jack is our captain on the ice and our captain in regards to creating offense or running the power play, but my brain doesn’t really work that way trying to make sure that everybody understands that they’re important.

“I just find the respect for the depth that teams need to be successful and the role players that we need and I’ve always been one as a coach to avoid any type of ranking within the group because I think we’re all very, very important and it doesn’t matter the minutes we play to the overall team success, so that’s just been a core philosophy I’ve had as a coach.”

On Sunday before the team left for Columbus they did a lot of off-ice work, but did not practice as a team.

Krueger wouldn’t say if Carter Hutton would be in net on Monday against the Blue Jackets, a team that’s 0-2 and lost 7-2 in Pittsburgh.