The latest "hot" line combos - There are just four weeks left in the fantasy hockey season. Whether you are in a head to head, points, or rotisserie league, the time is now. Time is of the essence as fantasy options dwindle somewhat. Let’s take a look “Between The Lines”.
David Krejci-Tyler Seguin-Milan Lucic (Boston) -- This line has been a thorn in the sides of many fantasy GM’s who oppose any of these three players. Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic both produced five-point weeks and Seguin had two assists on Sunday. David Krejci saved his best for last with two goals on the last day of most fantasy weeks. In the last few weeks, this is the only line that seems to be working consistently other than the blossoming Jordan Caron, who had seven points. The first line is a must start this week.
Loui Eriksson-Mike Ribeiro-Michael Ryder (Dallas) -- When a line combines for 13 points on one of the hottest teams in the league, fantasy owners take notice. Mike Ribeiro and Michael Ryder had five points each and this line just seemed to click at every turn. Loui Eriksson also was double shifted a bit between the first and second lines which got a new wrinkle with the return of Brendan Morrow. The best advice to give for this week is for Dallas to keep rolling this first line out but expect some double shifting and mixing. They are still solid starts as Dallas could tail off a bit.
Pascal Dupuis-Jordan Staal-Steve Sullivan (Pittsburgh) -- Though they had 11 points combined when on the ice together last week, this week may see a different center between the two wingers. Why? The reason is it appears like Sidney Crosby could be ready as soon as Thursday against the New York Rangers. Jordan Staal with five points and Pascal Dupuis nabbed four points on the week. Yes Steve Sullivan only had three points but remember the chemistry Dupuis and Sullivan have better chemistry with “The Kid”. Even then two of the three are must starts either way.
Jussi Jokinen-Jeff Skinner-Chad Larose (Carolina) -- Their frequency last week was 42% EV which was tops on Carolina but they did see little or no time on the man advantage. That did not seem to matter as they lit up the scoreboards for 12 points in all. Jokinen, Skinner, and Larose all had four points each. However, with the unknown extent of Jiri Tlusty’s injury, it would be advisable to keep an eye on who moves up to the first line with Eric Staal. They still warrant a start with Carolina playing the role of spoilers from pretty much here on out.
Erik Cole-David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty (Montreal) -- The line was beginning to show some signs of life again this week and then another injury reared its ugly head to David Desharnais sadly. Desharnais was out on Saturday and is considered day to day. Meanwhile, “Mad Max” had a huge eight point week for the Canadiens and tallied his first career 30 goal season. Honestly, this is only the beginning for the Long Island native. If Desharnais is out for a bit, expect Scott Gomez to center the ice with Cole and Pacioretty. Even Gomez is a must start this coming week.
Lead Us Defenders……
Alex Pietrangelo-Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis) -- Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk’s 18 points (ten this last seven days) together the last two weeks is the highest combination total for a duo this fantasy season. Six points each for the talented defensemen as the first PP unit for St. Louis is second (near 28%) in the league since Andy McDonald came back. St. Louis is in sync with this first five. This is the best must start of all.
Jack Johnson-James Wisniewski (Columbus) -- Oddities abound often in the last few weeks of the fantasy season but this pairing is known for offensive potential as they tallied five points when together during last week. Yes Jack Johnson only had four points and James Wisniewski only two but they seemed to even play better defensively as a pair. Their frequency is rising to a first level pair out of necessity but maybe down the stretch that could work. They are worth a look at least this week.
Zbynek Michalek-Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh) -- We do worry about stats other than just points. Simply this pairing of Zbynek Michalek and Brooks Orpik provide some help in categories that can be essential in your playoff run. Orpik has 200+ hits, 100+ blocks, and surprisingly turned out a three point week. While Michalek only had a couple points, he along with Orpik have been pretty solid all year when it comes to ATOI (Average Time On Ice). As Pittsburgh becomes healthy, the pairing is a good idea now.
As always you can follow @TheProgramBTR and fire away those questions. Thanks again for reading and good luck this week.