In response to rhino’s question about whether Matt MacKay lost his spot to Spencer Edwards — I think that’s a little too black and white of an explanation. That being said without the emergence of Edwards the Warriors would have had 14 forwards and it’s possible that MacKay would still be a Warrior.
So far the Warriors have used eight guys on the top two lines. The pairings of Bast-Howden and Frazee-Rowinski have been constant with Hood, Honejsek, Herman and Edwards (briefly) all getting time in the top six. The way they’re playing I think the Edwards-Smuk-Paradis line is growing as a unit and is being counted upon as a shutdown third line even more. They did a good job against Red Deer’s top line Wednesday and Hunchak used that match-up against Regina’s top line when he could a week ago.
So if you already have Hood, Honejsek and Herman trying to fight for two spots in the top six, where does MacKay fit in that mix? As a 1990-born player there’s is there any point in playing him in a fourth line role consistently, never mind that an energy line kind of role doesn’t particularly suit his skill set in the first place.
I’m sure the fans have their opinion about whether he deserved a top-six role with the personnel the Warriors have.
In case you were wondering, in Swift Current MacKay started the game with Edwards and MacMaster (with Smuk still suspended and Paradis on the fourth line) and in the home opener against Prince Albert he played with Smuk and Edwards (while Paradis was again on the third line). He was then healthy scratched for the next two games.
There are still questions about where the other odd-man out in the top-six goes. Herman was healthy scratched for three games and Hood was on the fourth line Wednesday. That internal pressure to perform and preserve your role on the team is something the Warriors brass seems to like and it seems to be working by keeping everyone on their toes.
In Medicine Hat I’m sure MacKay will be motivated to prove he can score at the WHL level and that he deserves a top-six role. Edwards has certainly proven that a change of scenery and a second (or third) chance can do wonders for a player.
It is too bad that the first ‘second-generation Warrior’ wasn’t able to finish his career in Moose Jaw as his father had, but he’ll get a second chance to show he can produce in the league and hopefully he does well.
Thanks for the comments and patience as we work out some small technical issues on the new site. We finally have the program recognizing paragraph returns so hopefully it will continue to get more ‘user friendly.’