Chris Wassel takes a look at the most productive line combos around the NHL.
The regular season is roaring along at breakneck speed. Scoring was definitely up in Week 7 as 11 different line combinations had ten points or more together. That is quite a jump from the previous weeks where one would see maybe five or six, sometimes less. Now let’s go “Between The Lines” one more time.
Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis-Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh) -- There are three players who have more points than Crosby has assists. That is frightening! Pittsburgh has the 1st and 3rd leading scorers in the NHL and the second guy is not named Evgeni Malkin. By the way, Crosby had 11 points on the week and Kunitz had nine. This included Sunday night where the pair had five points each. Let’s be honest Dupuis kind of cleans up and mucks around but the 18 points combined is tops on our list.
Alex Semin-Eric Staal-Jiri Tlusty (Carolina) -- This line feels like a broken record but they floored it to the tune of 16 points as a trio in Week 7. Overall, the three players had 24 points which is mind boggling as they seem to buoy Carolina’s offense and fantasy teams week after week. It is rare to see one player make such a difference but Alex Semin’s ten points and work ethic just amaze everyone. Opponents do not matter and neither does matching lines. They are that good. This line will get its points.
Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin-Brad Marchand (Boston) -- Here is a line that should scare the opposition plenty. They had 14 points when on the same line in Week 7 and there’s no reason to believe double digit production will not come from here on out. Claude Julien has put these three together before. They also only play at EV (#1 among line combos at 35.1%). It is just a part of the way Boston does business so don’t expect much of a power play boost here. What they do is excel in gritty situations and that bodes well for Week 8.
Michael Ryder-Tomas Plekanec-Brian Gionta (Montreal) -- If Montreal could play Florida every night, they would be fantasy domination. Ryder had nine points with seven assists and Tomas Plekanec chipped in five points while Brian Gionta provided the space needed to generate scoring chances. The East seems to be full of lines like this where the muck guy is a little shorter in stature. Montreal has two pretty big lines rolling along with the same basic philosophy. Take notes fantasy owners!
Bobby Ryan-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry (Anaheim) -- While Ryan Getzlaf got paid this week (8 years, $66 million), his top line had a nice solid 12 points during Week 7 when on the ice at the same time. It is good to see Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan sniping goals. Let’s be honest. However, Getzlaf had an astonishing three goals to go along with six assists. Perry did have four goals and Ryan had three in case you were wondering but they have been all over the place and are just nearly 700 pounds of mayhem. They stop themselves at times not the other way around.
Lead Us Defenders…..
P.K. Subban-Andrei Markov (Montreal) -- It was only a matter of time before these two were put together and everyone (fan, media, etc.) were screaming for it. Your wish was granted to the total of nine points in Week 7. Subban had eight points and Markov four as they were together at a 73.6 % only on the power play. They make a first wave of a power play downright harrowing as they have above average passing skills and bombs for shots. I rest my case.
Alex Pietrangelo-Barret Jackman (St. Louis) -- This duo shined with eight points on the seventh week. Shockingly, Jackman had four points to Pietrangelo’s five. It was interesting when Ken Hitchcock broke up Kevin Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo from most situations but so far it has worked well. Time will tell whether this idea has legs. The essential point of these duos was to combine skill and physicality, skill and physicality. So far, so good!
Jake Muzzin-Drew Doughty (Los Angeles) -- Yes, Drew Doughty still has zero goals but he has double digits assists and Muzzin is rapidly establishing himself as a timely fantasy producer. Scoring three goals as a defenseman will get you noticed as Doughty had a part in all three of them. The strange thing is Slava Voynov stole the show with seven points but kind of slid around as far as pairings. Voynov is really to keep an eye on especially if he pairs with Muzzin in Week 8. Keep an eye on this situation.
As always you can follow @ChrisWasselTHW and fire away those questions. Good luck this week.