Taking a look at some interesting line combos across the league...
It felt like a week perfect for Sidney Crosby until the weekend reared its ugly head. Suddenly the stakes rise a bit and Week 3 featured a new cast of line combinations with some familiar faces along the way. As we head into the middle of February, it is time to go “Between The Lines” once again for fantasy goodness.
Rene Bourque-Tomas Plekanec-Brian Gionta (Montreal) -- There are ones we do not see coming and this is one of them. Plekanec is an excellent player with speed and finishing ability. Gionta was once a 40-goal scorer and Bourque can score in bunches. It was the right kind of week as this trio combined for 11 points when playing together. Yes they had an awful night in Toronto on Saturday but throw that out and this has the makings of being a pretty good line in Week 4.
Cody Hodgson-Thomas Vanek-Jason Pominville (Buffalo) -- They strike again with another appearance and a very good 11 points combined. The fact that Vanek had eight points by himself and Hodgson found a way to put up six points and they are still more or less carrying the Buffalo offense which is a blessing and curse for their fantasy owners. At some point, they are going to hit a slump. The question is when. The forecast says this week might be the week. Keep an eye out for it.
Tyler Bozak-James Van Riemsdyk-Phil Kessel (Toronto) -- There is something very likeable about this line and not just the way that Kessel is more of a facilitator. In all situations, they play right around 45% of the time together (35.28% EV). Bozak has a tendency to rotate around a bit but plays mostly with Phil Kessel. That is going to get you points and Van Riemsdyk is blossoming into that power forward everyone in Philadelphia thought he could be. Week 4 looks favorable with the Flyers and Senators at home.
Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis-Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh) -- Here we are again as Crosby had a whopping eight assists and ten points while Kunitz chipped in with four goals and nine points. Remember the four forward dynamic with the Pittsburgh power play throws the trio component out the window at times. The bottom line is they had ten points together and still work best. People must realize that Pittsburgh averages well over three goals a game and that is reason for fantasy owners to keep rolling here.
Jamie Benn-Jaromir Jagr-Brendan Morrow (Dallas) -- There may have been better choices but the Jagr and Benn pairing is intriguing on many levels. Nine points together is quite noticeable and Jamie Benn had a nice six point week. Can the old warrior stay healthy while mentoring the “new kid” on the horizon? They won’t be together all of the time but expect them to put up a few more points in the meantime. The questions are health and time on this one. The last thing to add is they play in the Pacific where goals and points can be had. Stay tuned.
Lead Us Defenders…..
Francois Beauchemin-Sheldon Souray (Anaheim) -- What is this? Beauchemin and Souray shot their way to six points together in Week 3. The shocker I think is Francois Beauchemin, who had four points and this is coming from a guy who is normally never known for offense. Souray has that booming shot and found his way to three points which is less of a surprise. People that have Beauchemin may wait it out or sell high at this point. It is a good idea.
Andy Greene-Adam Larsson (New Jersey) -- Hello and welcome to some fantasy green. Andy Greene had a whopping seven points for the week and nearly an eighth but just missed out on the first assist against Pittsburgh Sunday night. Greene and Larsson seem to play well together and it allows the defenseman to play more loose than he ever has. New Jersey plays against some teams that could make this duo a bullish possibility in Week 4. They are worth a casual look.
Andrei Markov-P.K. Subban (Montreal) -- Michel Therrien will make a fantasy owner scratch his head. Markov spent most of his time with Subban this week much to the chagrin of Raphael Diaz fans. Do I get the logic? Yes. Will most people? That answer is no. This “eggs in one basket” philosophy is good for people running with Subban because it will mean more opportunities to use that hard slap shot of his. Ultimately for Markov, this will keep him on the ice longer as Subban will provide protection. That 56% PP frequency is hard to ignore. Points look good.
As always you can follow @ChrisWasselTHW and fire away those questions. Good luck this week.