This week we focus a bit more on the most frequently used line combinations in the last week or so. The middle of November is often when injuries begin spiking badly. There were 119 injuries as of Monday morning which is up from 102 last week. That is nearly a 17% jump which means there may be some new line combinations to keep an eye on. It is time to take a look at what Week 6 has to offer.
Alex Semin, RW/LW,Washington Capitals – The numbers were skewed a bit this week as Semin was benched for part of the second and all of the third period against New Jersey on Friday. However, his eight points in 15 games leave considerably more to be desired. Coach Bruce Boudreau has paired Semin with Cody Eakin and Marcus Johansson at a 22% clip (fourth most frequent line combination) in even strength situations. The power play has been a different animal with Semin seeing some time on both power play units (52.7% combined with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom but 15.8% with Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera). The trend this week seems to indicate that Semin will be off the top line but may still teeter between the first and second power play units.
Michael Cammalleri, C , Montreal Canadiens – Cammalleri did not have such a hot week with only one point and a minus-4 rating. His ATOI was 18:19 for the week and he was paired with Erik Cole and David Desharnais at a 14.4% clip for the most often line used. What becomes more fascinating is when you look at the power play for Montreal. The third most common line combination is Cammalleri who would be on that first unit 22.5% of the time. He seems to be interchanged with Max Pacioretty on that first unit (same exact frequency). Cole and Desharnais are the two guys that Cammalleri will be more than likely paired with this coming week.
Jannik Hansen, RW, Vancouver Canucks – Hansen has been the lucky beneficiary of being paired with Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin at a 26.2% frequency during even strength scenarios. How has Hansen done? He scored three goals in as many games playing with the twins. When the man advantage came up is when Hansen saw a little less time (5.2% on PP1 which indicates occasional rotation). This explains the fluctuating ice time at around 15:00 per night. Alex Burrows has returned, but has lined up with Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins.
Lead Us Defenders……
Dennis Wideman, D, Washington Capitals – It was not easy to take a second look at Wideman but with Mike Green’s injury woes, Wideman will see very high ATOI for this week (maybe 25-30 minutes or more a night). He sees ice time in all phases (PP, EV, and PK). Most important to fantasy owners is the fact that he spends so much of his ATOI on the power play (84% of highest frequency of line combinations). Combine that with the nearly 38% of the time he is with John Erskine even strength along with the penalty kill time and no wonder why Wideman has 12 points in 15 games. He is an above average offensive defenseman with high talent around him. Nashville, Winnipeg, and Toronto could be considered a rather favorable schedule.
Stephane Robidas, D, Dallas Stars – With Alex Goligoski out for the foreseeable future, Robidas will benefit at least a little bit. The fact that he should be paired with Sheldon Souray both on even strength (41% EV, 44% PP) this week should be a boon to fantasy owners. Robidas only has five points on the season in 16 games but the chances seem to be there. Dallas has home dates with Florida and San Jose plus a road tilt in Colorado which could benefit Robidas owners more than usual. His ATOI will see a slight uptick to maybe 24 or 25 minutes per night also.
Cam Fowler, D, Anaheim Ducks – Fowler is going to be glad when the next 30 days are over. Why? That is about how long Lubomir Visnovsky will be out for with his broken finger. The second year player had already been seeing 25:32 for ATOI and that will now go up some. Sunday night saw him score his first two goals of the season and this week his points per game should be solid. He already plays over 80% of the power play and even strength at 41.6% with Francois Beauchemin. Those numbers will go up a bit as Fowler will be more and more taxed. Clearly his teammates will have to pick up the slack but it will mean even more opportunities for fantasy owners.
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