Both Tatar and Samuelsson played on the Fourth line, but Samuelsson played on the Red Wings’ second power play as well.
Neither did a great job in their roles, which caused Samuelsson to be benched in the third period of the games against the Hurricanes and Tatar did not fair very well against the Bruins, but then again neither did the rest of the team.
Now let’s take a look at what each player’s pros and cons.
- Looks to shoot the puck
- Physical player who uses his 6’2″ frame
- Plays the point on the power play
- Tends to take the puck to the outside
- Not swift of feet
- 36 years old
- Injured often (maybe this should be a pro)
- Shoots before he passes
- Quick feet
- Young player who still has time to develop
- Has good stick skills when the puck is on his stick
- Vertically challenged
- Gets pushed around too easily
- Can be too fancy at times
- Not a good fit for the fourth line
If I had to pick one of them to play on the fourth line, I would stick with Samuelsson.
The reason behind that is because he can use his size and strength to physically grind down the other team, while Tatar is better suited for a role where he would have a chance to play a more skilled game.
In the NHL a play who is 5’10” and not very physical has no business being on a fourth line. Yes Jordin Tootoo is 5’9″, a full inch shorter than Tatar, but he is also 15 pounds heavier and he plays a very physical game, whether it is in the corner or in a fight.
If Mike Babcock can make some space for Tatar on the third line, whether through injury or demoting Todd Bertuzzi or Daniel Cleary to the fourth line, then it would be the perfect spot for Tater. But looking at the fourth line, I would have to pick Samuelsson over Tatar.
Who’s side are you on, Mikael Samuelsson’s or Tomas Tatar’s? Let us know in the comments below.