This week on Between The Lines, we change things up a bit. We will give you the lines heating it up and a quick look ahead. Also, there will be an eye toward anything that may change up those line combinations. Some will be very obvious and some not so much.
Adam Henrique-Ilya Kovalchuk-Zach Parise (New Jersey) – This is the hottest line in the NHL this week, producing 16 points overall. They are all on multiple game scoring streaks as well. The key component to the line is pivot Adam Henrique, who has six points in his last five games. Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise have complemented Henrique very well. This is New Jersey’s offense it seems of late, so rolling with them into Week 9 is a very prudent idea.
Matt Moulson-Pierre Paranteau-John Tavares (NY Islanders) – What else can you say? All Matt Moulson (LW) did was score six goals last week. If Pierre Parenteau and John Tavares feed him well, the Islanders can win any game. Tavares, the pivot, had five points setting up five of Moulson’s six goals. New York does not offer much in the way of secondary scoring so these guys have to produce. The Islanders have a favorable Week 9 schedule with games at home against Tampa, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Each team has had their share of problems with this top line so they are a Week 9 lock.
Tomas Fleischmann-Kris Versteeg-Stephen Weiss (Florida) – This was the hottest line in November tallying 45 points and one of the hottest this week with 10 points. That was despite a tough road trip on the West Coast. This line has shown immense chemistry in helping Florida to the top of the Southeast Division. This line plays a better two way game than the previous lines above (combined plus-41), which is an added vital component. Week 9 has Florida facing big tests against Washington then at Boston and Buffalo. However they are all solid starts.
Mike Cammalleri-Erik Cole-David Desharnais (Montreal) – It is time to dig a bit deeper into the pile. Watching Saturday’s game between the Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings, it was clear this line was generating chances from all over the offensive zone. Yes they only generated only seven points this week but they have become the top line in Montreal. The ice time of David Desharnais has increased to almost 18:00 ATOI and Erik Cole has let his speed set up the offense. Week 9 looks pretty good against Vancouver, Columbus, and at New Jersey. Our alert is here. Max Pacioretty returns from suspension so see how he impacts this line combination.
Luke Adam-Ville Leino-Zach Kassian (Buffalo) – Buffalo may have finally found a pretty good third line. Granted, they only combined for five points in Week 8, but Luke Adam delivered four of them. The scoring chances created by this line in limited time may be a harbinger of things to come. The line was recently put together, only on the ice 16.4% of the time during 5-on-5 situations but expect that number to crawl up in Week 9. Zach Kassian’s physicality combined with Ville Leino’s skill and Adam’s craftiness may get this line more playing time.
Lead Us Defenders…
Kevin Bieksa-Dan Hamhuis (Vancouver) – This was a bit of a surprise but here is your top offensive defensemen pairing for Week 8 and both can put up some points with how good Vancouver’s offense is. Kevin Bieksa has racked up five points in his last four games and Dan Hamhuis a surprising three points in the same span. Yes they only have three goals combined on the year but play nearly 24:00 a night each. As long as they continue with the assists and ATOI, Week 9 looks very good for this duo.
Jamie McBain-Joni Pitkanen (Carolina) – Jamie McBain has to be more involved in the offense. He has above average speed and hands much like Joni Pitkanen but the youngster has a little more skill. Look at the two goals McBain scored Saturday against Pittsburgh and this is why fantasy owners are hoping this is the impetus that springboards McBain and maybe Pitkanen as well. Joni Pitkanen has to monitor the younger McBain going forward. Week 9 will be a key week for these two. Keep them on your radar.
Daniel Girardi-Ryan McDonagh (NY Rangers) – The #1 pairing is hot. Ryan McDonagh had an excellent week with Daniel Girardi racking up ice time and five points as a bonus. He has three points this week and over 27:00 ATOI while Girardi has about the same time and two points. They do it all together and with the roll the Rangers on, Week 9 is a good idea to have one or both on your team.
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