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Karsten Olsen to Top Line


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It has been 3.2 long seasons in the making, but Karsten Olsen has finally done it - he has made the Seattle Bears top line. And for Seattle, the promotion was not a moment too soon.


But first, let's back up a moment. Karsten wasn't on the top line? Isn't he top three in defenseman TPE or something?


Indeed, he has never been, both for roster construction reasons as well as strategic reasons for the Seattle Bears. Before this season, James Lefevre and Zack Sound always played on the top line, the duo that hadn't been separated since Season 33 for the Bears. In each of his first three seasons, Olsen played with a rotating cast of characters on the second line, plying his trade with a large number of hits and shots blocked.


This season, Olsen was expected to move up to the first line with Zack Sound moving to center, but the Bears decided to go with a different tactic. Seeing the lack of depth around the league, GM Greg Harbinson originally decided to leave Olsen on the second line, hoping that he would be able to take advantage of weaker players in 5-on-5 situations there while first overall draft pick Godavari Yumalatopinto played on the first line. Olsen still played on the top line in PP and SH situations.


However, the experiment didn't quite work out the way Seattle wanted. 16 games into the season, they sat fourth in the North American Conference and needed to make a change. Enter the defensive shift.


Since moving Olsen to the top line, the Bears have gone 3-2-1, including huge wins over recent powerhouses Quebec City and Helsinki. Two of their three losses during that time span have also been to Quebec City, including one in a shootout. Overall, the Bears believe the shift has been successful, and you should expect to see much more of Olsen on the top line as the season drags on.

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