First, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Let's dig into “Between The Lines” once again for Week 12 gems that could spill over into Week 13. It is time to get down to business.
Alex Burrows-Henrik Sedin-Daniel Sedin (Vancouver) – The top line of Week 12 is one that was very familiar for parts of the last two years. When each player on the line has at least four points each, one knows it was a very good week. Alex Burrows has a tendency to wind up on this line with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. This trio tends to come up big in big situations, so playing San Jose, Minnesota, and Boston is a stage they should thrive upon. A player like Burrows is still out there in some leagues.
Steve Downie-Marty St. Louis-Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay) – It's reunion week as Steve Downie was back with Stamkos and St. Louis. He easily had his best week of the season with seven points. This is a case of a little confidence does the world good. The duo of St. Louis and Stamkos had six points each, including a Stamkos hat trick in last night’s 5-2 win over Carolina. This trio plays Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal this week and those teams are below average defensively.
Ryan Callahan-Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards (NY Rangers) – There were times where people openly wondered a bit about the Brad Richards signing but not no more as his line totaled 10 points in Week 12. At 29.4% frequency with EV situations, this is the top trio used 5 on 5. Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin both had four points each and Week 13 could be very good as well. With Richards creating space, he is distributing well which is key for a complement to the Rangers’ GAS Line.
Nicklas Backstrom-Alex Ovechkin-Alex Semin (Washington) – Here we go again - déjà vu. Finally Alex Ovechkin has woken up with four goals in his last two games, most of that time spent with his old partners in crime. Nicklas Backstrom is the pivot that sets it up and Alex Semin, when he is on, is speeding up the ice creating space for Ovechkin. The Right Winger had seven points with Backstrom and Semin tallying five points each. Washington has to let this line run and gun to be effective in 5 on 5 and PP situations. Expect more of the same in Week 13.
Cal Clutterbuck-Dany Heatley-Mikko Koivu (Minnesota) – Please keep an eye on this line for Week 13. Granted, they only totaled seven points on the week. However, there is something about this line with Cal Clutterbuck creating space for Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu. That physical play along with the fact that Clutterbuck does have good hands makes this an intriguing line going forward. This is a time to act and not react.
Lead Us Defenders……
Kevin Bieksa-Alex Edler (Vancouver) – It comes down to how Kevin Bieksa has managed to get it together in the last few weeks. His five points this week was icing on the cake for many Fantasy GM’s. Bieksa and Alex Edler tend to be a defensive pairing not only on the PP1 unit but the first line as well. People forgot that Edler had four points also. That is nine points for the duo and five while playing together. Expect these two to be paired more and more often during Week 13 and beyond.
Kurtis Foster-Anton Volchenkov (New Jersey) – This seems like an odd couple type of pairing but they did have four points last week with Volchenkov netting three of those points. A Week 13 schedule that features four games might be beneficial to the pairing which some consider to be New Jersey’s most offensive pairing. This is a pairing to keep an eye on, especially with Foster going forward with power play points being at a premium in so many fantasy leagues.
Stefan Elliott-Kyle Quincey (Colorado) – For some reason this pairing is one that could log some bigger ice time in weeks ahead as Colorado’s defensive corps undergoes a bit of a transition. Both players had two points each while playing together and more point opportunities could be on the horizon. They have been a bit of a work in progress fantasy wise but in coming weeks, expect more of these three and four point outputs which is solid for fantasy teams. They almost always play together and are available in a majority of leagues (at least 90% availability).
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @TheProgramBTR and fire away your questions. Thanks again and good luck this week.