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Who is your favorite 4th liner?


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Just watched GOON, heard there was GOON 2 coming out soon. Got interested in the role and the idea of the bottom 6 player and found this:



What you guys think?


Who is your favorite 4th line player of all time?

Its okay to biased. 

Mine is probably Daniel Carcillo. That goal against Philly will always be in my memory. 

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The "4th liner" in today's game is kinda hard to define accurately.

Not like the old days when EVERYONE knew what a 4th liner was.


A burly pair of fists usually, who was not good enough to warrant major minutes during a game and who was often a liability on the ice, particularly if he found himself matched up against the other team's better players.

He did provide toughness, rest, and the term "character" while certainly valid in many cases for those guys, to me, was just a nice way to say, "Well, he's not good enough to skate 15+ min per game, but he gives the team 'energy'"


Nowadays, the 4th liner role is quite different.

4th liners today are guys who actually serve a purpose...whether they are PK specialists, purely defensive shut down forwards (even against the other team's better lines), grizzled vets who can still play but whose bodies simply can't handle playing 15+ min per night any longer, or young forwards being 'eased' into an NHL lineup, who, once they get comfortable with the NHL speed of play, will then be moved up to higher minute lines.


Given today's type of 4th liner, give me Tampa Bay's Brian Boyle.

A guy who kills penalites (and is a threat short handed on offense), can cover defensively, and is a handful size-wise for opposing defenses to have to deal with.


Under the old definition of 4th liner, I'll take the late Derek Boogaard....who couldn't play a lick of hockey, yet teams were so intimidated by his size and fighting ability, that they actually used up time and energy keeping track of him on the ice, and even pared down their star players ice time whenever he was out there to be sure their 1st or 2nd line guys weren't subject to his brutality on the ice.


From what I am told, genuine human being OFF the ice...but plain for all to see, maniac, knuckle-dragger, and CHARACTER GUY the ice.  ;)


Oh, and welcome to the forum.

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Absolutely no ifs and or buts Kris Draper, the greatest fourth line center of all time. The Winnipeg Jets sold him to the Red Wings for one dollar. A faceoff God, a P/K king. How many fourth lines have nicknames? The Grind line, (Draper, Maltby and McCarty) was the greatest fourth line of all time. Yes, I know I am a wee bit prejudiced but google best fourth lines ever see what comes up.


I love fourth liners, I love bottom pair d-men, the underrated unheralded players who do all of the difficult things that others do not want to do. The things that do not show up in the box score, guys like Jimmy Roberts of the old Canadiens in the sixties who won a couple of cups and then went to three finals with the Blues and then won three more in his next go around with the Habs. Doug Jarvis would be my second all time favorite fourth liner, playing with Gainey who went to the Hall of Fame and was called the perfect Hockey player by Russian Hockey guru Anatoli Tarasov. Jarvis was basically Draper from another generation, plus the whole Ironman thing thrown in.


So my favorite all time top five would be:


1. Draper

2. Jimmy Roberts

3. Gainey (he would rank higher but he bounced up the lines later in his career)

4. Darren Mac

5. Doug Jarvis


Currently, Brian Boyle might be my favorite who currently plays. Everything I said about Drapes and Jarvis applies to him, albeit to a slightly lesser degree.

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VLC!!!   :ph34r:


You took my answer.   ;)   But Mike Richards is another.




Carcillo is probably my least favorite 4th liner. Although he interviewed / wrote a quality piece for "The Players Tribune" .  And I have to agree 100% with @TropicalFruitGirl26 post.  Todays fourth liner is much different than the 4th liner of say even 5 years ago.  In your words -  "A strong 4th line brings a sense of attitude, shows no fear and increases the sense of focus throughout the entire team. With limited ice time they are expected to show consistency and they have little room for error."  Carcillo hardly fits that mold as he is as undisciplined as they come.


Probably some of my favorite 4th liners over the last few years have been the dominating centers who win the important face offs.  Dominic Moore and Manny Malhotra come to mind.

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The Islanders have a pretty good 4th line. The Bruins too. Of course a lot of the 4th lines success correlates to how other lines are doing, and the Bruins had an off year. Anaheims is up there.


But the best fourth line in the NHL, skillwise, is probably the Leafs first line. None of those bums deserve to play anywhere else but the 4th.

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Sergei Brylin, Jay Pandolfo, Ryan Carter, Jordin Tootoo, just to name a few. Although some of those guys often ended up playing second/third line minutes.

Goes to show how pathetic the NJD devils offense has been over the years...



Well, they have never been great offensively.....





I blame Lou.

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Fernando Pisani.


Did lots of little things right, played an honest two-way game, and worked his ass off during a long apprenticeship in the minors, only becoming an NHL regular at 28. Very old school, actually. Had a spring for the ages in 2006, and then his health turned against him, suffering from ulcerative colitis. Played just enough games to qualify for the pension and hung them up. I like a lot about Fernando Pisani.



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My wife put a vote in for Cal Clutterbuck, she likes his style and she loves his name.


You're wife has good taste.  :)


I am biased here, because Cal was a crowd favorite in Minny, but Clutter as a 4th liner is almost elite....he is more a 3rd liner IMO and can sub-in as a 2nd liner/space creator for more offensive minded linemates...but yea, Cal is a good one.


Really, the blow of trading him away was softened significantly in Minnesota by Nino Niedderreiter (the guy they got for him) turning out so well for the Wild.

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I remember hating Clutterbuck in junior (he's always been a guy you'd love on your team but hate playing against) but always thought he had a great name. We used to call him Clusterf***.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I loved Joel Otto Good special teams player and was tough. Tough enough to hang in there against legit goons.


I was also a big fan of Lappy.


In terms of straight up goons, I always thought Dan Kordic and Lacroix were fun. Kordic was simply had the look. The man never smiled and had a mean face. Good fighter too. Lacroix's style was smart. He was a master of dirty boxing. He would either grapple with you or let you beat on him until you got tired, then he'd flip the switch.


Tony Twist was one of the most dominant fighters ever in his prime, but people never wanted to fight him, so that wasn't fun.


PJ Stock was ridiculously fun to watch. He kept throwing punches no matter what.

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