NYR lose in the skills competition to Montreal…boy would this be a GREAT series in the playoffs. But let’s talk about some serious things…yes I mean Oscar Lindberg…STUD.
Let me start off by saying I was very high on Lindberg before the start of last year. I had a strong feeling he would come in and instantly have an impact if he earned a spot (which he did). Then he started lighting up the league with goals…even I didn’t see that coming because it was clearly not what his playing style predicts. Once the goals started to dry up throughout the year in 2015-2016 my eyes quickly turned to the other facets of his game. His defense and ability to create offense is beyond any comprehension for a bottom 6 player. He is a very SOLID bottom 6 (mainly 4th line) center who can do many things for the Blueshirts. All you need to do is watch games and you can tell how the 4th line operates in both the defensive zone and the offensive zone.
On defense, Lindberg controls the puck and is very smart and rarely makes mistakes which is the main thing I love about him and it’s clear that AV loves it too. Also it still to this day boggles my mind how easy the 4th line and Lindberg make transitioning to offense look. More often than not you see the Lindberg line entering the zone and forechecking like most successful 1st lines on many other teams in the NHL. Also, the amount of scoring chances that don’t show up on the score sheet (because surprise the 4th line isn’t exactly known for finishing) is asinine. Of course every now and then he will snipe one to get a nice goal or assist. The kid (well not really a kid anymore @ 25) has earned his spot in the lineup and I really think management is looking at other assets to move at the deadline (if at all). I don’t know what the fancy stats say about the 4th line when Lindberg is out there but quite frankly I don’t care what they say. Oscar Lindberg is turning into a complete player (for his role) before our eyes and yes I will gloat a bit and say that I saw this coming from miles away. With him centering the line of Fast and (INSERT NAME HERE – Vesey, Buchnevich, Puempel, WHOEVER) I will make the case that it is better than the 4th line of 2013-2014 which was pretty damn good.
Bottom line is that he does EVERYTHING right and if the 4th line is going well…that creates good opportunities for the other 9 forwards because good forechecking creates issues for the defense later in the game. Oscar Lindberg is the truth and that is a hill I am willing to die on.
Author: @BenR_Experience via Twitter