PITTSBURGH — Mike Sullivan knows exactly what he wants to get from the Penguins’ fourth line.
He also has to recognize that it hasn’t often happened through the first month-plus of the 2020-21 season.
“We would like it to be a line that brings a lot of energy to the game for us,” Sullivn said. “We want it to be a line that can help us gain momentum with establishing a forecheck and (has) a physical dimension to it. A line that’s trustworthy and reliable defensively, and then has the ability to chip in offensively, on occasion.”
Those are qualities that any coach would value in such a line, to be sure, but with more than a quarter of the season behind the Penguins, the only identity that unit really has developed is that it’s, well, the fourth line.
Indeed, it seems as if it has become mostly a place to stash guys who aren’t being deployed on one of their top three lines.