This week on Between The Lines, we trudge onward and upward. We will give you the lines heating it up and a quick look ahead to the next week. What will be found this week? Let’s find out.
Val Filppula-Jiri Hudler-Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit) – We had to look back at this one but they were hot in Week 9 totaling 11 points. Henrik Zetterberg has produced in his last 10 games at a 12-point clip. He had five of those points in the last week. More importantly, the key cog in Zetterberg's play has been Val Filppula. Filppula also had five points in Week 9 and three goals (18 pts in his last 16 games). Filppula can pivot or score from almost anywhere while Jiri Hudler sets the other two players up by creating space where few can. Week 10 could feature more of the same as this line benefits from a favorable schedule.
Nathan Horton-Milan Lucic-David Krejci (Boston) – This line bounced back in Week 9 racking up 10 points. Nathan Horton has kind of been a decoy (one goal). What he has done is set up Milan Lucic and David Krejci. However, this line did have the benefit of playing five games in the seven-day period (12/3-12/10). This trio plays the most out of any line combination (41.8% EV) in Boston but is the second line because of their inconsistency. Week 10 will be tough with three games that end with a Saturday clash against Philadelphia.
Claude Giroux-Scott Hartnell-Jaromir Jagr (Philadelphia) – When healthy, this is the best line in the NHL. Also Giroux, right now, is the best player in the NHL. Though they only had seven points in Week 9, Week 10 could be even better (@WSH, @MTL, BOS) with a schedule that features teams who have had problems with combinations like this in the past. The only question is if Jagr and Giroux can steer clear of injury because when this line is on, Hartnell and company are at their most dangerous.
Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata-Ray Whitney (Phoenix) – It is a line that finds a way to make it work. This line is led by 39-year-old Ray Whitney, who had four points last week and keeps creating ways to acquire points. Some call him “The Wizard”. Fantasy players call him consistent and like a wizard he is magically turning Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata into productive talent for your team. Both had two points each but are very speedy cogs that let Whitney execute. Week 10 looks good but this line will have a tough time with the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Ryane Clowe-Martin Havlat-Logan Couture (San Jose) – This line has found the sledding a bit bumpy of late but showed some signs Sunday that they may be finding that spark again. Martin Havlat had two assists this week but has started creating more scoring chances. Logan Couture has the ability to make Havlat and Ryan Clowe better. The key is on the man advantage where these guys play together mostly as the second power play unit (33.3% PP, 38.1% EV). They will be less predictable and more fantasy worthy in Week 10.
Lead Us Defenders……
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger (NY Rangers) –These two led the way with six combined points in your pools for Week 9. The sublime fact is that Steve Eminger has three points and a plus-6 in his last two games (four points overall). Michael Del Zotto is more offensive minded in reality. He has assists in seven of his last eight games and the Rangers have a solid productive pairing here still under the radar somewhat.
Milan Jurcina-Mark Streit (NY Islanders) – Defensively this pairing can confound at times but they did combine for five points in Week 9. This duo has the ability to put up points if they keep seeing that top power play and penalty killing time. Mark Streit did have a bad game Saturday against Pittsburgh but he can bounce back from this rough stretch. Milan Jurcina has always had a booming shot but hardly uses it. When he does, Jurcina is effective. Now Streit had a whopping 8:04 of PP TOI/G for Week 9 and the points have to come in Week 10 if that time stays up. Consistency is key.
John Carlson-Karl Alzner (Washington) – Overall John Carlson has found life with new coach Dale Hunter to be liberating. With seven points in his last three games, Carlson is letting the big shot fly as well as setting up the offensive firepower in the nation’s capital. Karl Alzner continues to play pretty steady and rack up some pretty good ATOI (over 21:00). Week 10 figures to be a bit tougher for Carlson owners yet bullish for the long haul.
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