Chicago is rolling with three superstars on one line
A month has already passed in the 2013-14 NHL season and there are a few tendencies that are becoming crystal clear. One of them is that it will be a long season. A fantasy hockey owner must understand that in order to be allowed to adapt. Let’s adapt and go “Between The Lines”.
Lead Us Forwards
Marian Hossa-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane (Chicago) -- Would someone cue up ‘Chelsea Dagger’? The south side trio produced a dozen points in Week 5 and finally showed fantasy GM’s a little reward for their patience. Marian Hossa had six points to tie among the leaders in production for a Week 5 that seemed to be a bit light schedule wise. Jonathan Toews also had five points and at least in Week 6, it would appear that Chicago plays three times (WPG, @DAL, EDM). This could be a favorable week.
Jason Chimera-Joel Ward-Mikhail Grabovski (Washington) -- The Alex Ovechkin injury turned a few heads last week, but then the “Chimera Express” rolled up a half dozen points as the Capitals won big on Friday night against Philadelphia. In all, this line had 12 points and depending on Ovechkin’s status for Tuesday, they could tally a few more against the New York Islanders. Their size, speed, and grit was a lot to handle and in small streaks could be worth having. The window is small so do not expect this much longer.
Mikael Granlund-Nino Niederreiter-Jason Pominville (Minnesota) -- If it felt like most of their points came against New Jersey last night, you may not have been too far off. With a ten point week, the Zach Parise line was usurped for a bit in Minnesota. Jason Pominville will have six point weeks like this every so often, but just not often enough. This is an attractive second line going forward as Granlund and Niederreiter definitely have talent to combine for double digit weeks in the future. Their 36.8% EV frequency is likely to continue because of the first line’s tendency to be in a state of flux.
Kyle Okposo-John Tavares-Thomas Vanek (NY Islanders) -- There are some who will kill this move for all eternity but it did see modest returns in its first full week with nine points. Granted, a slow night against their cross town rivals, the New York Rangers, caused a stir. However, the chemistry did start to take root by the weekend, which is good news for Thomas Vanek owners who sweated a bit when former Islander Matt Moulson scored twice in his Buffalo debut. Line production is always interesting and Vanek definitely benefited with all three points coming via even strength thanks to the Frozen Pool Line Production chart.
Andrei Markov-P.K. Subban (Montreal) -- If it feels like you keep seeing the same three pairings here, it may not totally be your eyes. P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov again topped the list with six points (a tie) mostly because of Subban and in spite of the high injury risk with Markov. The only thing that may derail Subban owners a bit is the coach and it is something I would at least keep an eye on. Though Erik Karlsson had seven points last week, I still have P.K. Subban number one in my fantasy rankings, at least for now.
Alex Pietrangelo-Jay Bouwmeester (St. Louis) -- This is a brutal pairing to try and spell, but they have been harder on opponents so far. Their ability to log tough minutes and Jay Bouwmeester’s ability to gain points unexpectedly has been a nice surprise. The bigger bonus came from Alex Pietrangelo, who sent home three pucks to the back of the net in Week 5. That led all defensemen and was another reason why the pairing had six points together on the week. With the way St. Louis plays, this first pairing will be a fantasy force in weeks to come.
Kris Russell-Dennis Wideman (Calgary) -- With Mark Giordano out till maybe Christmas, Russell has stepped up and into that first pairing with acumen and gusto. It is safe to say that Calgary’s style of play is high risk and high reward, but the minutes are plenty for these two to end up with points for your roster. The pairing also fills up categories and just plays a ton at EV, PP, and PK (43% EV, 84.2% PP). It will not be very long before Russell is claimed by just about everyone and his fantasy bounty has been a very pleasant surprise. In some ways, the same can be said about Dennis Wideman. The beat goes on.
As always you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisWasselTHW. In the meantime, good luck and happy combination fishing. See you next week.
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