There are just a week or two left in the regular season for the head to head leagues. This was one of the few weeks in the season where numbers seemed a little more spread out than usual. It is a strange time with oddities abound so let’s go “Between The Lines once again as we recap Week 9 and head for Week 10.
Justin Abdelkader-Pavel Datsyuk-Johan Franzen (Detroit) -- It just is funny how lines pop up out of necessity or necessary change. Whatever the case, this line worked to the tune of 16 points when as a trio in Week 9. Abdelkader had a hat trick the other night against Anaheim. When one combines a skilled puck handling wizard with a grunter and a guy who ends up in the right spots, good things happen. Can it continue Week 10? Time is going to tell.
Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg) -- This little Winnipeg line started to produce a bit as a unit enough to rack up 11 points together in Week 9. That was second best of the week as a line and Blake Wheeler surprised many of us with four goals while Andrew Ladd had five assists. It seems like every team in the Southeast takes turns with hot lines so we cannot guarantee Week 10 success. Play It by ear please.
Daniel Alfredsson-Guilliame Latendresse-Kyle Turris (Ottawa) -- Will Jason Spezza really be back soon? It would kind of be a shame as Latendresse’s return has sparked the Turris-Alfredsson duo. It also helps that Kyle Turris is hitting net more than going wide. They have moved up to a frequency of 22.2% at EV and 38.5% on the PP. I have a feeling that the EV will go up for a bit in Week 10 but if Jason Spezza returns then all bets are off.
Alex Ovechkin-Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom (Washington) -- What was weird is while the line totaled only eight point together, Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson both had seven points each. Just for the heck of it, Backstrom chipped in another five points but they were only together 27.7% of the time and only at EV. The wrinkle will be as Brooks Laich sees more ice time with the top six, what happens to that first line. This is not over.
Patrick Kane-Jonathan Toews-Brandon Saad (Chicago) -- Injuries have kind of forced this line to be a unit but they just have that “it” factor. Saad adds a speed and smarts to the line while also aiding to some freedom for a guy like Kane who loves to create his opportunities. Toews also has a pretty good working chemistry with Kane and Saad while he padded his totals by seven points. Saad had four assists while Kane had five assists. Toews led the way for Chicago with four goals. This line needs more time together, but there is talk that Michael Frolik will get a shot in Saad's spot. It will be interesting to see what the Blackhawks do when Marian Hossa returns.
Lead Us Defenders…..
Sergei Gonchar-Patrick Wiercioch (Ottawa) -- Ottawa was scoring in small bunches this week and this defensive pairing was on fire with 12 points together (15 overall). I don’t think people could remember the last time Sergei Gonchar had nine points in a week. Both of these guys had one goal each by the way the other points were all from assists with quite a few coming on man advantage situations. They are normally an adequate first line pairing but something clicked last week. Its not likely it continues like this in Week 10 but they are a scoring threat.
Roman Josi-Shea Weber (Nashville) -- Wait! These guys racked up ten points? Seriously? Yes we are and Josi alone had six points to Weber’s four. It is nice to see Shea Weber back to fantasy relevance for owners but we thought Roman Josi would have a few weeks like this also. It is good for owners who doggedly held on to Josi for dear life. Nashville needs the defensive corps to step up and this was a huge step upward for a team that desperately needs more offensive punch. Maybe it continues into Week 10.
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon (Minnesota) -- It seems like Ryan Suter racks up points every week and even his +/- is improving. Happily for fantasy owners he delivered five points and hey Jared Spurgeon popped a few points in there for good measure. It still seems to me that Spurgeon likely is not a permanent dance partner so to speak but again Suter is going to almost produce a steady amount of points no matter who he is paired with while he is streaking. Week 10 looks pretty solid once again.
As always you can follow @ChrisWasselTHW and fire away those questions. Good luck this week.