The Athletic’s LeBrun compares Jets’ fourth line to Grind Line

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun gave the Winnipeg Jets’ fourth line a hell of a compliment after Winnipeg’s 3-2 win over Minnesota on Wednesday.

LeBrun suggested that the Jets’ Lowry-Tanev-Copp line evokes memories of the Red Wings’ Grind Line:

Watching from the press box on this night was Kirk Maltby, scouting the game for Detroit, he of the famous Grind Line from late ‘90s Red Wings Cup glory lore. That was a unit centred by Kris Draper that scored big goals while providing important minutes in big matchups.

“It didn’t really click in for me in terms of what were able to do as a line until we started Game 1 of the Cup final in 1997 against Philly’s Legion of Doom line,’’ Maltby told The Athletic after Wednesday night’s game.

That was an achievement. It was such an asset that the Wings could deploy their fourth line against any line that spring.

“We knew our stars would be stars from Stevie (Yzerman) on down, but for us, we always had the mindset if our line could chip in the odd goal and keep the other team off the scoresheet, that would be huge for our team,’’ Draper, driving back late Wednesday night from a scouting assignment, told The Athletic over the phone.

“We got to play against Gretzky’s line when he was in St. Louis that year in the playoffs, it was a fun challenge,” added Draper. “We had the trust of Scotty Bowman to play in all kinds of situations. That trust from your coach allows you to have the confidence to chip in offensively and play minutes.’’

LeBrun continues (paywall), with Maltby suggesting that the “Lowry Line” does indeed have a boatload of potential…

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

6 thoughts on “The Athletic’s LeBrun compares Jets’ fourth line to Grind Line”

  1. We’re in great hands with Kirk Maltby as a pro scout. I’m sure he’s done great work at this job that was gifted to him on the day he announced his retirement 7 years ago. We’ve made a lot of great acquisitions and free agent signings during these last 7 years.

    1. ahh…….the list of drafted players under Maltby are guys you have said are being held back by Blashill and Holland. So, do you think he’s done a bad job scouting or did he do a good job and Blashill and Holland do a bad job? It sure as sh!t can’t be both. oh, wait, you will spin it that way….never mind. I retract my comment…..
      I’m WINNING!!!!!

      1. I don’t want to embarass you here, but Maltby is a PRO scout. Not amateur scout. He has nothing to do with the last 7 years of draft picks. A pro scout would advise Kenny on topics like:

        -what free agents to sign…Nielsen, Tootoo, Colaiacovo, Weiss, Modano, etc…Solid work there.

        -what players to acquire via trade…Legwand, Zidlicky, Cole, Scott Wilson, etc…

        That’s why in my post above I referred to free agent signings and trade acquisitions…never mentioned anything about draft picks. Maybe if you focussed more on the content and less on who the messenger is we would all get along better?

        1. You could never “embarass” me. I’m glad that you felt the need to say it and misspell it which should be embarrassing to you.

          “Maybe if you focussed more on the content and less on who the messenger is we would all get along better?”

          Sorry, which of us pointed out his intent to “embarass” the other Fatty?

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