The Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the league thanks to their top line

The time is getting shorter and shorter. There are only seven weeks left in H2H leagues as far as the regular season. Making that playoff move before the Olympic break might be more helpful than one thinks. Points were a bit harder to come by last week but that can always change so let’s go “Between The Lines” one more time. This week we give you an expanded three by three setup.


Lead Us Forwards……


Phil Kessel-Tyler Bozak-James van Riemsdyk (Toronto) -- This was an odd week but this was the only line combination to have a double digit week. The funnier thing is they are almost good for a 10 or more point output nearly every seven day period. They are also one of the few combos that get a solid majority of their points while together. This week that percentage was a perfect 100%. That is extremely rare at a 12 point level but there was this trio. Toronto has one rolling line and they seem to play pretty well so you know the drill.


Kyle Okposo-John Tavares-Thomas Vanek (NY Islanders) -- That recent surge from the Islanders has been sparked by the first line which has been on fire to degrees never believed to be seen. Now they only had nine points while together this week but John Tavares had ten points overall. Thomas Vanek did wind up with five assists though. Using the chart generator, Tavares has 19 points in the last 14 days. His plus/minus is off the charts and if you add in his near 5:00 of PP1 time per contest, he has ample chances to keep producing with Vanek and Okposo.


Val Filppula-Alex Killorn-Teddy Purcell (Tampa Bay) -- Here is another trio with a nine point week but it is encouraging to see Tampa’s second line on the list. They work hard and to be honest Val Filppula and Alex Killorn have an enjoyable chemistry on the ice. It gets results and when Steven Stamkos does come back, this duo will likely still be on the PP2 and second line. That is not a bad thing as far as slightly lower frequencies while facing easier opposition. Their 38.3% EV numbers are very respectable for fantasy hockey fans. Killorn is still on a lot of waiver wires so what are you waiting for?


Defend This…..


Matthew Carle-Radko Gudas (Tampa Bay) -- In a relatively slow week, Carle and Gudas led the way with five points as a duo. Carle was reaping the rewards of that heavy top six reliance in Tampa to the tune of a half dozen points, a solid plus/minus, and elevated ice time once again. While Gudas provides a few points, his hits and penalty minutes are pretty solid which helps fill some categories along with a little over 21:00 ATOI now. The roto ranker had Carle overall around the top 10 among defensemen and Carle’s value will still be high for Week 16.


Calvin de Haan-Brian Strait/Travis Hamonic (NY Islanders) -- It is rare you see a double blip but no one benefited more from the John Tavares surge than de Haan, who fired out six points. The defenseman is likely to start seeing some power play time (41.4% EV is a precursor). At some point Jack Capuano will have to relent and let the kid play special teams. Hamonic should be back after his bout of dehydration over the weekend so do not fret as he has been solid protection for de Haan. Expect a bit of a dip during Week 16 but bullish overall.


Justin Schultz-Andrew Ference (Edmonton) -- Hey! I see Justin Schultz on this list as he had a four point week for fantasy owners. Those owners have to be finally smiling for once. Schultz is paired with a relatively steady defensive defensemen but the reality is Edmonton drew a few favorite offensive matchups. The good news is that Edmonton is so far out of it that they should give Schultz any and all opportunities for power play time, point opportunities, and more. Will he get four points every week? No, of course not. Is he going to be better fantasy wise than in the first half? The answer is yes. Bullish week 16 and 17 are likely but the Olympic break may slow his momentum.

As always you can follow me @ChrisWasselTHW and thanks again for reading. Good luck this week as the fantasy beat goes on! Naturally, watch out for more injuries.

Recently from Between the Lines:


Colorado's line juggling is paying off 
David Krejci and Jarome Iginla are building a connection in Boston 
Nathan MacKinnon is Finally Skating with Matt Duchene 
The Stamkos injury hasn't slowed down Martin St. Louis 

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