Wassel takes a look at last week's hottest line combinations, including the hot trios in New York, Winnipeg and Toronto
This is it. Week 14 is upon us fantasy hockey players. The shortened season is six days and one game from coming to a close. There is no retreat nor surrender now. Time is of the essence in this final edition of “Between The Lines”.
Forward March (To Glory)
Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg) -- The injury to Bryan Little turned out to be very minor and lucky for the rest of his line as they rolled to a 14 point week. Andrew Ladd had eight points all by himself as he continues a very torrid April. Blake Wheeler chipped in seven points as these three look ready to attempt a playoff push in the final week for Winnipeg. This “first line” is going to have to get it done one more time.
Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel-James Van Riemsdyk (Toronto) -- Toronto has now made the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Phil Kessel celebrated with an eight point Week 13. It just has not mattered whether Van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul, or The Pope has been on the other wing but Kessel has just kept producing like a top ten fantasy player should. The only realquestion is when does Lupul return to the mix. Until then, this first line is clicking again so why mess with a good thing.
Brad Richards-Taylor Pyatt-Mats Zuccarello (NY Rangers) -- This little line went to the market and found 11 points last week. It seemed on Sunday they were quite effective also. However, do not expect that all the time. They have seen 23.2% of the time at EV and now 14.7% of time on the msn advantage. It is going to be interesting to see if Brad Richards can continue his hot streak with a few, solid guys flanking his late and one that can be mistaken for “The Hobbit”. The schedule seems favorable for the final week.
Jiri Tlusty-Eric Staal-Alex Semin (Carolina) -- It was expected that this line could warm up this week and Sunday was an indication. Tlusty had his eighth multi-goal game of the year which leads the NHL. The next highest player has six. The trio itself had a dozen points in Week 13 and it did not hurt to have his linemates flanking him in a manner consistent with solid fantasy production.. The bigger question may be what happens next year. However, for now, the green light will stay on until the end and maybe beyond. Another ten points plus seems a solid number for the first line in Carolina.
Logan Couture-Patrick Marleau-Marty Havlat (San Jose)-- If you throw out the clunker against Columbus where even Mark Lestestu.had a three point night in the win. There is just something about this line that cannot be put into words. The Sharks do not need many points but this line has chemistry so do expect to see more of them in Week 14. After all, the line has speed and grit which is golden in a season like this. Also, they may see a bump to 30% or so on the man advantage. So, please keep that in mind.
Take a look at the latest line combos right here (it's free)
Lead Us Defenders (To The Top)…..
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis) -- It is fun to watch these two play together as they are on all three phases (PP, EV, and SH). The increased load they have received as a number one pairing should surprise no one. They totaled six points together in Week 13. Their overall ice presence leads to a lot of their opportunities and I would throw out their performance against Colorado. Expect solid numbers in Week 14.
Zach Bogosian-Grant Clitsome (Winnipeg) -- The reality is that Paul Postma could have been inserted here but Clitsome has been slightly hotter. Bogosian himself put up five big points for owners while Grant Clitsome now has six points in his last seven games, Bogosian’s power play percentage has crept upward but still is about average second unit power play. With time split almost 50/50 between Postma and Clitsome, it looks like the latter may take the alpha.
Nick Leddy-Brent Seabrook (Chicago) -- This duo had a five-point week that could have been more. They were fun all over the ice as their numbers indicated a boon for fantasy owners. Leddy has always had the offensive push but you had to like how steady Seabrook was. In fantasy circles, the time of year almost screams hey I need a steady fantasy influence. Brent Seabrook is that guy. Chicago does face a couple bumps in the road but with players drawing from their oen experience, it will be fun to see how even the PP splits worth. Roll the dice in Week 14.
As always you can follow @ChrisWasselTHW and fire away those questions. Good luck in this dirty half dozen.