This whole having a puck digger on your line theory is so generalized. It doesn't need to ALWAYS be the case.
Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Hull
^ one of the best and popular NHL line in history that WORKED. All SMALL guys.
For the record I'm a proponent of having puck diggers and big bodies players with scorers and playmakers. I'm just saying there's no reason to think it's the "end all be all" to hockey.
Kind of a bad example. That line was the Red Wings 3rd line. The first two were full of Hall of Famers.
If you were arguing that Tatar-Larkin-Pulkkinen should be our third line, behind guys like Yzerman, Fedorov, Shanahan, Robitaille, and Larionov, most people wouldn't have a problem with it. Especially if one of these guys (Pulkkinen in this case) was actually Brett Hull.
Most of the time, in modern hockey, it's beneficial to have a "digger" on a line with skill guys because he bring an element of puck retrieval to the line that benefits the skill guys.
But you're right. In the rare circumstances in which you can put two budding superstars, and one of the greastest players in the history of the game, out against 3rd line competition you can get away with not having a "digger".
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