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Three players, one name
MONTREAL | April 9th, 2009
Three players, one name
Nicknames in hockey are nothing new. Players throughout the decades have been dressed with all types of designated monikers.  But what about the lines?

The first forward unit to earn a nickname came in the early 1930s, when Aurele Joliat, [*player.Howie-Morenz:Howie Morenz] and Johnny Gagnon joined forces to become known as the “Speedball Line”, thanks to their incredible speed.

The following decade enjoyed some of the most prolific nicknames with no less than six trios tagged in a short period of time. The “Punch Line” was arguably the most recognized handle of the 1940s, comprising of Toe Blake, Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard.  The threesome first united in 1943-44 and would dominate the league for the next four years, including a 1-2-3 finish atop the NHL scoring ranks in 1944-45.

It wasn’t the first time Elmer Lach and his linemates had a title. At the start of his career in the 1940-41 season, head coach Dick Irvin decide to place the center between Jack Adams and Tony Demers, forming an all-rookie unit that was coined the “Green Line” as a result of their freshman status.

The following season, the Habs added an already-established line to the fold. On November 28, 1941, the “Razzle Dazzle Line” went from suiting up for the Montreal Royals to joining the Canadiens for $12,000.

Boasting the likes of Pete Morin, Buddy O’Connor and Gerry Heffernan, the trio earned the nickname thanks to their incredible speed and passing plays, which often left opponents lost in confusion. That season, they combined for 67 points in just 48 games.

Offensive-minded units aren’t the only ones to playerbe recognized; while others took care of lighting the lamp, Floyd Curry, [*player.Ken-Mosdell:Ken Mosdell] and Calum McKay came together as the “Wrecking Line” in 1949-50 to ensure the opposition didn’t.

[*player.Dickie-Moore:Dickie Moore] Jean Beliveau and Bernard Geoffrion were three of the most notable individual names in the 1950s; joined together, they were a dream line, appropriately dubbed the “Sizzle Line”.  They combined for 2,572 points in 2,545 games in 46 NHL seasons, and the success of the entire trio can be found hanging from the Bell Centre rafters.

The 1970s saw [*player.Guy-Lafleur:Guy Lafleur] lead the way, centered by Pete Mahovlich and Steve Shutt at left wing, to form a threesome known as “Flower Power”.

In 1974-75, led the veteran Mahovlich and the two rising stars on his wings would pot 118 goals.  “The Little M” would finish the season with 82 assists, setting a still-in-tact team record.

Given the recent success of Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay as a unit, it shouldn’t be long before a nickname qualifies their chemistry.

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