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Bears First Line Starts Hot


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Seattle (AP) -- Coming into the season, nobody quite knew what to expect from the Seattle first line. After last season saw a lot of shuffling between lines, Seattle's coaches thought it had settled on a distinct five heading into this season: holdovers Gabriel McAllister, Fook Yu and Alexei Federov alongside newcomers Shawn Gretzky and Fabio Jokinen. All that remained to be seen is how they would hold up during games.


Well, nine games into the season, it seems that the answer is "quite well." Each of the first liners besides Federov in the top four of point scorers for their position, while all three offensive players are in at least a tie for top ten in both goals and assists. Gretzky in particular has dominated the early part of the season to the tune of a league-leading 21 points, 2 more than second place and 5 more than a tie for third (which includes McAllister).


While some may point to an easier early schedule that has included three games against Quebec, many of the players still feel heartened by the explosive early start to the season. "I thought we might look this good, and it feels good to be right," McAllister told the press after a recent practice. "Sure, there may be some slowdown eventually, but don't be surprised if there's not. I think we're the most talented first line in the league, and we intend to show it."

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